After delaying its early action deadline by a week in the midst of Hurricane Sandy, Georgetown saw a record number of early applications this admissions cycle, with 37 more applicants than last year.

This year, 6,736 students applied for early action admission to the class of 2017, marking a slight increase over the 6,699 applicants who applied last year. Most notably, the School of Nursing and Health Studies saw a 20 percent jump in applications.

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Charles Deacon (CAS ’64,GRD ’69) cautioned that those numbers are not final.

“These numbers will change based on some who are allowed to apply late from Sandy-affected areas,” he said.

Consistent with a trend seen in past years, the largest number of early action applications was for the College, which received a total of 3,855 applicants. The Walsh School of Foreign Service and McDonough School of Business received 1,337 and 1,196 applicants, respectively. The smallest number of students applied to the School of Nursing and Health Studies, which received 527 applications.

Despite the overall increase, applications to the College were down by 5 percent this year, while applications to the SFS remained about the same. The MSB, however, saw an increase in early applicants, with 12 percent more students applying early.

According to Dean Deacon, these increases are consistent with national trends toward pre-professional programs.

“This continues a trend over the last several years of students increasingly applying to programs where they feel there is more job security,” he said.

According to Deacon, while the distribution of applicants across schools continues to shift, the quality of applicants remains steady. This year’s pool of applicants had average SAT and ACT scores that were almost unchanged from last year.

The geographic distribution of applications also remained consistent. The largest number of applicants this cycle was from California, with 664 applicants. New York had the second-highest number of applicants, with 617, and New Jersey contributed the third-most, with 598 applications.

The 518 international early applicants this cycle represent a 12 percent jump over last year’s. According to Deacon, this increase is probably the result of the larger number of students from Asia applying to schools in the United States rather than any active recruiting efforts on the part of the university.
“The international numbers just keep rising due, probably, to the momentum of students, particularly from Asia, applying to U.S. colleges. We do visit abroad throughout the world but did nothing differently this year,” he said.
Dean Deacon anticipated admitting approximately 1,050 applicants under the early action program this year, resulting in an admission rate of around 15 percent, consistent with the class of 2016’s rate of just over 15 percent.

Georgetown’s early acceptance rate is lower in comparison to those of several peer institutions. At Harvard University 17.9 percent of early applicants were admitted last year, according to the Harvard Gazette. The University of Chicago’s acceptance rate last year was 17.6 percent and Yale’s was 15.7 percent, according to the New York Times’ Choice Blog.

This rate places Georgetown as one of the most selective universities in the nation, and Deacon feels that this will continue to hold true in the future.

According to Deacon, the university’s efforts to improve accessibility for minority students is causing application rates to rise. The number of black and Hispanic applicants increased by 12 and 7 percent over last year, respectively.

“We continue to target low-income, first-generation students who are underrepresented here at all elite colleges, and that I’m sure has helped increase the number of African-American and especially Hispanic-American students,” Deacon said.

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