The University admitted a higher percentage of incoming freshmen students this year, bucking a trend of increasing selectivity at comparable universities nationwide.
Thirty-two percent of applicants were admitted into GW’s Class of 2015, about a half of a percentage point more than the Class of 2014.?The increase in the acceptance rate comes after a dramatic drop from 36.5 percent in 2009 to 31.5 percent in 2010.
Admissions offices across the country received more applications than ever this year, forcing them to drop their admit rates. Many of the University’s market basket schools became more selective with double-digit application increases – overshadowing GW’s 1 percent increase.
Boston University saw a 9 percent jump in applicants over the last year, and dropped its acceptance rate by 10 percent.
Colin Riley, BU’s executive director of media relations, attributes the decrease in the school’s acceptance rate to the rising quantity and quality of applications.
“It’s a reflection of the applicant pool. [The acceptance rate] this year is significantly lower than last year and reflects the ever-increasing competition to be accepted to BU,” Riley said.
New York University experienced an 11 percent spike in applications and a 4 percent dip in admissions according to a recent New York Times report.
An admissions representative from NYU could not be reached for comment.
Barkmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, said rising application numbers mean universities are facing greater uncertainty in determining their yield rates.
“If you see a 10 percent increase in applicants, what assumption do you make that the likelihood of the folks you admit will enroll?” Nassirian said. “It’s quite a challenge and you really don’t want to be wrong in either direction.”
The problem of yield rate arose for GW’s applicant pool in 2009, when the University saw many more students enroll than expected. Executive Dean for Undergraduate Admissions Kathryn Napper said the University expects to see a yield rate of about 34 percent this year, resulting in an incoming freshman class of 2,350 students.
Last year Napper predicted a yield rate of 35 percent, though the actual yield rate hit a record high of 37.4 percent.
“We do see this natural reaction from applicants when they confront greater uncertainty in being accepted, we see more applications,” Nassirian added.
Napper said the decision to admit more applicants to GW came as a response to “the continued increase in the academic quality of the applicant pool,” as well as “the increased competition from other very prestigious institutions, and the continued state of the economy.”