As prospective students swarm to campus for accepted student weekends, it’s worth considering the process that selected them.

With the university reporting record-low acceptance rates, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions should not feel pressure to play the numbers game to increase its selectivity. We commend the university for resisting the temptation to superficially increase the number of applicants by continuing to use its own application rather than the Common Application.

In an interview with The Hoya (“Acceptance Rate Hits Record Low,” A7, April 13, 2012), Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Charles Deacon argued that we could easily drive admissions rates even lower to increase our U.S. News and World Report ranking, but such a change would be detrimental to the university’s holistic application review process. According to Deacon, increasing the number of applications the university receives would mean less attention paid to each.

College rankings can play a large role in a student’s decision to apply to and attend a particular university, but Georgetown remains a rare school that, according to Deacon, doesn’t increase applicant numbers to appear more selective and boost its ranking.

The university’s decision to remain off the Common Application deters those applicants who half-heartedly apply to many elite institutions from doing the same with Georgetown. It’s true that the school-specific application may discourage some bright students who are pressed for time around application season from completing the application, but the university’s increasing selectivity in spite of this — and an increasing yield rate — suggests that the number of students who are genuinely interested in Georgetown is growing anyway.

For many students, Georgetown serves as more than just an academic environment: It’s a community. Though the university could lower its already shrinking acceptance rate even further, higher third-party rankings don’t merit a switch to using the Common Application.

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