Looking at The Class of 2004

By Beth Hanson Hoya Staff Writer

With the admissions process of 2000 drawing to a close at schools around the country, much attention is being devoted to the class of incoming freshman at Georgetown. With 14,223 total applicants, the number of applications has hit an all-time high, making the prospective class of 2004 Georgetown’s most select group of admitted students.

According to Charles Deacon, dean of admissions, the number of applications has been rising steadily for the past seven years. “Georgetown is attracting a lot of exceptional students,” said Deacon. “Since 1991, our application pool has risen by over 63 percent.” According to Deacon, many of Georgetown’s “overlap” schools such as Duke University, Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania have also seen an increase in applicants.

Georgetown College received 9,553 applications, the most of any of the four undergraduate schools. The McDonough School of Business received 2,434, followed by the Walsh School of Foreign Service with 1,937 and the School of Nursing with 288. Of the pool, 1,188 applicants were valedictorians, 522 were salutatorians and 492 were ranked third in their high school classes. The mean SAT scores for both verbal and math were just below 700. Forty-seven percent of applicants participated in some type of community service, and 18 percent were involved in student government. Over 2,000 applicants were in the National Honor Society, and almost 1,700 participated in school publications. The most commonly played sports among applicants were soccer and tennis.

Georgetown received applications from all 50 states and over 100 countries. The largest group of applicants came from the state of New York with 1,871 applicants, followed by California with 1,471 and New Jersey with 1,403. The international pool has increased this year from 983 in 1999 to 1,043 in 2000.

This year, Georgetown also received a record amount of applications for early action. A group of 3,728 candidates vied for 869 spots, a number which shows a 44 percent increase in early applicants from 1999. Part of the reason for this increase in applications, Deacon explained, was in response to decisions by Harvard University and Brown University to adopt Georgetown’s process of early action. In the past, students could submit a non-binding application to Harvard or Brown, but were not permitted to apply early anywhere else. This year, Harvard and Brown changed this policy to allow students to apply to several schools as early action candidates, just as Georgetown has traditionally done. “Both Harvard and Brown have changed their policies in direct response to Georgetown,” explained Deacon. “Early action and early decision programs are a big issue right now. The recent changes in the policies of Harvard and Brown have drawn the attention of many top students to Georgetown. It is a very good thing for us.”

With the increase in both early and regular applications, recruitment efforts have been particularly strong. “The GAAP [Georgetown Admissions Ambassador Program] Open Houses are very important,” said Deacon. “They are part of an effort to make sure that each student gets personal attention.” There are four GAAP weekends each year, one in February and three in April.

According to Deacon, the GAAP weekends have been evolving since the late 1960s. “We are continually looking for ways to improve,” Deacon said. “We used to just have an overnight program for students, but then we realized that we needed to get the parents involved. It’s a family issue.”

The student response to these open house weekends has also been very positive. “The GAAP weekend I attended last year was a great experience and a great opportunity to see the Georgetown campus and meet other incoming freshmen,” said Mary D’Ariano (NUR ’03). Over 70 percent of students who attended the 1999 GAAP open houses chose to matriculate at Georgetown. This year, the 200 GAAP members from all 50 states and many countries have also written letters to prospective students and have presented programs at their respective high schools over holiday breaks.

Deacon attributes much of the successful recruiting to students and alumni. “There are only a dozen or so of us in the admissions office. We do what we can, but student groups such as the Blue and Gray Society, the GAAP program and alumni programs offer a more personal side which we feel is very important. Parents and prospective students continually say how especially impressed they are by student involvement.”

The welcoming of new Georgetown students is not limited to on-campus efforts. “Alumni receptions for accepted students are also important. We have had receptions everywhere from Hong Kong to London, to Miami and Seattle,” said Deacon. “They are a wonderful opportunity to welcome the new students, allow students to meet others from their area and to do some final recruiting.”

These positive admissions statistics have come as a relief to a campus where problems such as the vandalism of the Jewish Student Association’s menorah and other incidents have been prominent in the news over the course of the year. “It is reassuring to see the strength of the application pool this year. When all is said and done, Georgetown is still in high demand despite the recent problems on campus,” said Deacon.

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