Acceptance Rate Remains Consistent At 16.4 Percent

ILLUSTRATION BY JESUS RODRIGUEZ/THE HOYA The overall admissions rate for the Class of 2020 remained steady at 16.4 percent, with New York, California and New Jersey continuing to hold the positions of top three states represented.

ILLUSTRATION BY JESUS RODRIGUEZ/THE HOYA
The overall admissions rate for the Class of 2020 remained steady at 16.4 percent, with New York, California and New Jersey continuing to hold the positions of top three states represented.

Georgetown accepted 3,276 of 20,002 applicants to the Class of 2020 at an overall admissions rate of 16.4 percent, consistent with that of last year.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions sent out decisions for the regular application cycle Friday.

Of the total applicants, 2,384 were accepted through regular decision and 892 were admitted through early action. The overall acceptance rate of 16.4 percent marks a slight drop from the rates of the past five years, which hovered between 16.5 and 16.8 percent.

This year’s accepted class saw the second-largest pool of regular applicants since the 20,100 received in 2012. Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Charles Deacon (CAS ’64, GRD ’69) pointed to various factors behind the high number of applications, but emphasized the university’s focus on the quality rather than quantity of its pool.

“We are not in the business of trying to build a huge pool, but rather to get a solid group of applicants,” Deacon said. “The combination of the Georgetown brand, name and location, and of course the themes of social justice and the Jesuit person for others seems to be resonating with these kids more and more as an attractive option.”

Both the Georgetown College and the McDonough School of Business saw slightly higher acceptance rates than last year. The College admitted 1,877 students at a rate of 16.1 percent, an increase from the previous year’s 15.9 percent, while the MSB accepted 536 applicants at a rate of 16.2 percent, a rise from last year’s 15.7 percent.

The School of Foreign Service and the School of Nursing and Health Studies saw a decline in acceptance rates. The SFS admitted 654 students at a rate of 17.2 percent, a slight decrease from the Class of 2019’s 17.6 percent. The NHS had the largest drop in acceptance rate, admitting 209 applicants at a rate of 17 percent compared to last year’s 19.7 percent.

Deacon stressed the need to reduce emphasis on application numbers and acceptance rates. He also pointed to Georgetown’s unique characteristics that allow it to attract high-caliber students.

“There is too much of a focus on that kind of a number that’s not healthy, I don’t think, in the long run,” Deacon said. “I don’t think we need to, because we’re increasingly one of those places that’s got kind of this very strong niche, where we don’t have many competitors in this particular space, if you will, which is Washington.”

Students from all 50 states were accepted to the Class of 2020. Continuing the trend of past years, New York, California and New Jersey were the top three states, with 436 students, 381 students and 238 students admitted respectively.

As with last year, nine percent of admits were international students. This year’s class originated from 70 different countries, compared to 72 last year. The majority of foreign applicants came from China, the United Kingdom and South Korea.

“I marvel at how lucky Georgetown is to have such a diverse set of people. You sit here and watch the presidential campaign going on, and you say, ‘Don’t these people realize the changing America?’ We see it right in front of us, it’s inexorably happening,” Deacon said.

Eleven percent of admitted applicants identified as black, while 17 percent identified as Asian, the same percentages as the previous year. Eleven percent of the accepted class identified as Latino, a slight decrease from last year’s 12 percent.

The acceptance rate for legacy students saw a sharp decline from 37 percent last year to 25 percent for the Class of 2020. Deacon said that, similarly to previous years, legacy students comprised around 10 percent of all admits.

Around 220 students were also offered the opportunity to join the Georgetown Scholarship Program, which provides financial aid to those from low-income backgrounds and first-generation college students.

Deacon anticipated a yield rate of 47 percent for this year’s class, keeping with trends in the past 10 years in which the rate has ranged from 43 to 48 percent. The enrollment target for the final class is 1,580, the same as previous years and consistent with the cap of 6,675 undergraduates laid out in the 2010 Campus Plan.

Deacon noted that yield rates in the MSB and the NHS in particular have increased to over 50 percent in the past several years. He attributed this to rising competition in the job market and student desire for employment security.

“Both [the MSB and the NHS], I think, are probably reflecting the job market issue. They are schools that seem to more directly confer an outcome,” Deacon said. “We do see pressure on students as they’re completing high school to worry about outcome on the other end.”

Similarly to previous years, around 2,000 students were offered a spot on the waitlist. Deacon anticipated that roughly 70 to 100 students will be accepted when final decisions are released by May 15.

He emphasized that this year’s waitlist is strong, noting that the average waitlisted student had nearly identical SAT scores to the average admit.

“We purposely try not to make the waiting list large and not put anybody on there as a gesture,” Deacon said. “The only people on the waitlist are people we would be accepting if there were room for them.”

Admitted students will be invited to attend Georgetown Admissions Ambassadors Program Open Houses on the weekends of April 15 and 22. Final enrollment decisions are due by May 1.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that 3,276 applicants were accepted through regular decision and 892 were admitted through early action. 2,384 students for the Class of 2020 were accepted through regular decision and 892 were admitted through early action.

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