GW accepts more Early Decision I applicants

The University’s acceptance rate among its early decision pool remained steady this year, inching up one percentage point over 2011.

GW accepted 586 students, representing 37 percent of its early decision I applicant pool.

In 2009, the early acceptance rate plummeted from 54 percent to 38 percent, where it has hovered ever since. Last year, GW accepted 36 percent of early decision I candidates.

Applications to early decision programs rose nationally, leading many universities to accept a lower percentage of students, The New York Times reported Jan. 13. GW followed neither trend this year, as it saw a 150-person dip in initial early applicants and accepted a greater percentage of students than last year.

Director of Admissions Karen Felton did not return requests for comment about her outlook on GW’s admissions or why the University accepted more early decision students.

Waning interest in GW’s early decision program for the Class of 2016, the first decrease in four years, came as market basket schools saw double-digit growth in early applications.

Northwestern University accepted a slightly lower percentage of students early after receiving 300 more applications than last year. Georgetown University, which offers non-binding early action applications, saw a 2-percent decrease in acceptances, also indicating slightly higher selectivity. In a departure from the trend, Boston University saw an 11-percent increase in acceptances after a 20-percent increase in applications.

Early decision applicants commit to attending the University if selected, which gives them a slight advantage over regular applicants.

“We continue to attract a diverse student body in both our early options as well as for regular decision,” Napper said in an e-mail, adding that the University experiences “no significant shifts” in its applicant pool this year.

Vice President and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Kathryn said the University does not calculate an admissions rate based on early decision applicants alone.

“While we certainly remain sensitive to our overall selectivity for all combined phases of the admissions process, we certainly do not want to disadvantage qualified ED1 applicants by focusing on number that is only appropriate to use for the entire application process,” she said.

University spokeswoman Candace Smith added that early acceptances are issued solely based on an applicant’s qualifications.

This group of students fills a quarter of the 2,350 slots in next fall’s incoming class. Last year, early decision I made up about 23 percent of the total students accepted.

“I’m very excited about this class. I met a number of remarkable high school students who were going to apply to GW,” Napper said before admissions statistics were released.

This story has been updated on January 23, 2011 to reflect the following:
The University provided additional information after the time of publication.

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