Acceptance Rate Hits Record Low
Published: Friday, April 13, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 13, 2012 03:04
Georgetown broke several records this admissions cycle, receiving an all-time high number of applications and recording an all-time low acceptance rate of 16.5 percent.
According to Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Charles Deacon, this change is good news for the university.
“The new low acceptance rate indicates that Georgetown continues to be more popular for applicants,” Deacon said. “Sixteen percent … is extremely selective. We see no value in trying to drive that down into single digits, though we could. If we did, it would leave us in a much less personal place and candidates would face an even more numbers-driven admissions process, with decreasing attention to the personal stories of each applicant.”
According to Deacon, many colleges strive for ever-lower acceptance rates in an effort to be perceived as more selective.
“[The] size of the applicant pool and admit rate … [can be] manipulated by certain policies [that] many colleges employ to try to gain the advantage of perception,” he said. “We haven’t artificially inflated the numbers by … accepting the Common Application, the primary driver of multiple and frivolous applications.”
The admitted Class of 2016 is the most diverse class in Georgetown’s history. According to Deacon, of 3,316 accepted applicants, 33.5 percent are minority students, up from 31.4 percent last year.
The admitted Class of 2016 is 15 percent Asian, 10 percent black, 8 percent Hispanic and less than 1 percent American Indian. Fifty-three percent of the admitted pool self-identified as white, 8 percent as foreign nationals and 6 percent did not specify an ethnic background.
According to Vice President of Institutional Diversity and Equity Rosemary Kilkenny, the diversity of Georgetown’s pool of admitted students is increasing, yet there is a disparity between the number of minority students who are admitted and who actually enroll.
Though Asian-Americans, blacks, Hispanics and American Indians represent about 30 percent of admitted students, they make up about 22 percent of Georgetown’s student body.
“We would certainly like the yield of minority students to be higher … [though] it is improving,” Kilkenny wrote in an email.
Yield rates, or the percentage of accepted students who choose to attend the university, have long been lower among minorities.
While the yield among black students has historically been about 30 percent, lower than the overall yield among accepted students of 46 percent, last year the figure rose to 40 percent.
“In my judgment, increasing the yield is a challenge, not a problem, and it is a challenge that we are tackling in a very big way,” Kilkenny said.
Geographically, at least one student was admitted from each of the 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, according to Deacon.
New York, home to 384 admitted students, is the state with the most acceptances. It is followed by California with 363 acceptances, New Jersey with 276, Massachusetts with 189 and Maryland with 187.