GW likely to just miss target freshman class size

Nearly 33 percent of accepted students submitted deposits to join the Class of 2017, a number about on par with recent years but likely to produce a smaller freshman class than the University targeted.

Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Planning Forrest Maltzman reported that 2,403 students submitted the $800 enrollment deposit, as of May 5. Typically, about 4 percent of those students do not end up enrolling, which would put the University slightly below its target freshman class size of 2,350.

Last year, 35 percent of accepted students submitted enrollment deposits, but 2 percentage points fewer actually enrolled. Fewer deposits typically means less net tuition revenue for the University.

“These numbers will continue to bounce around a little over the next month,” Maltzman, who oversaw the admissions office this year, said. “Students are continuing to deposit, switch schools and in some instances withdraw deposits as they get in off waitlists at other institutions.”

The number of deposits also indicates that the University likely will not have significant trouble staying below the city-imposed enrollment cap this fall, an issue that administrators have had to face previously. In 2011, full-time students came in just 159 students under the city’s enrollment cap.

 The University reported last month that it accepted about one-third of its nearly 22,000 applicants, a number that has stood still for three years.

The percentage of students who choose to enroll at GW – an indicator of how popular the University among its admissions pool – is typically beaten out by peer schools like New York University and Georgetown University, which boasted yield rates of  36 percent and 46 percent, respectively, last year.

GW usually bests schools like American University and Boston University, each of which had only about one-fifth of their accepted students enroll last year.

Administrators have said that the steady admissions numbers this year are evidence that GW did not suffer from the U.S. News & World Report unranking last fall. The fall off the top colleges ranking came after the University admitted to inflating freshman admissions data for more than a decade.

This post was updated May 8, 2013 to reflect the following:

Correction appended

Due to an editing error, The Hatchet reported that American and Boston universities saw one-fifth percent of their accepted students enroll last year. They saw one-fifth enroll. We regret this error.

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