Early application data ‘consistent’ with national trends, officials say

Media Credit: File Photo by Grace Hromin | Assistant Photo Editor

Jay Goff, the vice provost of enrollment and student success, said applications came in at a "slower" than usual clip in September and October, but application rates rose across most populations in November.

Officials said early applicant data for the next academic year shows GW is “on track” to meet the University’s enrollment models.

Jay Goff, the vice provost of enrollment and student success, said at a Faculty Senate meeting Friday that the number of applicants for next fall is “consistent” with national trends, and officials are developing new strategies to increase recruitment. He said officials saw “slower” early application levels in September and October, but November application levels are rising across “most populations.”

“New first-years and transfers should be right on track to hit the models in place,” Goff said.

He added that fewer students from China are applying so far.

The number of applicants for the Common Application has fallen 10 percent compared to this point last year while the number of Free Application for Federal Student Aid applicants is down 16 percent compared to this time last year, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

Goff said admissions staff has been unable to conduct in-person campus tours for prospective students or visit high schools, so officials have increased virtual outreach efforts. The admissions office plans to conduct 1,300 virtual activities between September and December, he said.

“I believe we’re following best practices,” he said. “We’re trying experimental work for new virtual campus visit programs and referral programs – contacting alumni and friends of the University to refer students we need in the recruitment process.”

Goff said he has convened “small, tactical” groups to monitor real-time enrollment and admissions trends and recommend new strategies. Officials have also created a Rapid Response and Innovation team to make enrollment decisions as the pandemic persists, he said.

“We’re taking all data in and looking at how things look in the new market,” Goff said. “We just met and had our kickoff meeting last week, looking at the bigger picture pieces for the next five years and next year.”

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