The University is making progress in its efforts to attract international students, early admission data show.
About 8 percent of the students who received early binding acceptances to the Class of 2016 are international, a 2 percent bump over last year. The University has actively sought out international students.
Associate Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Admissions Kathryn Napper said the increase resulted from a larger pool of qualified international applicants this year.
In October, Napper said the University would target international students to increase campus diversity and expand into untapped financial markets, bringing in more tuition revenue. This year, GW re-established formal outreach programs in South America to draw applicants from emerging economies there.
“The recruitment we have been doing in admissions over the last five years is yielding results such as greater diversity within the international pool,” she said.
In 2006, GW had 1,863 international students enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate programs – a figure that rose 37 percent over five years to reach 2,553 international students last fall.
Foreign student recruitment aligns with the globalization theme that will inform the University’s 10-year strategic plan, set to be published in the fall. The priority includes bringing more foreign students to campus and increasing GW’s presence abroad.
International students contribute $21 billion annually to the American economy, according to a November study by the Institute of International Education.
The University accepted 13 percent more early decision applicants this year, leaving 110 fewer places for regular decision candidates. Early candidates fill 40 percent of the desired 2,350-person Class of 2016. Last year, early decision made up 37 percent of the freshman class.
Early decision candidates experienced a significant advantage over regular applicants, with acceptances granted to 37 percent of Early Decision I candidates and 43 percent of those in the Early Decision II pool. Last year’s overall admission rate stood at 33 percent.
Napper said both early decision applicants and admitted students this year were “more diverse than ever,” bucking a national trend of generally lower levels of racial diversity among the cohort.
About 35 percent of GW’s successful early decision applicants were multicultural or international.
Early decision applicants are also less likely to come from diverse economic backgrounds, Scott Jaschik, editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed, said.
Napper said the University works to recruit applicants from all socioeconomic backgrounds and hopes that this year’s early and regular decision candidates will reflect that diversity.
She noted that GW is a need-blind institution – one that does not consider financial status of its applicants in the admissions process.
“Until we enroll the freshman class, we have no measurable indicators to report regarding socioeconomic diversity in the class,” Napper said.
Students accepted in GW’s early decision programs come from 41 states, Puerto Rico, the District and 20 countries.
By admitting 100 more early decision students, Napper acknowledged that there are fewer spots for about 21,700 regular decision applicants. Regular decision students will be notified of their admission statuses later in the spring.
This article appeared in the February 21, 2012 issue of the Hatchet.