SAMUEL NELSON/THE HOYA

Georgetown University offered admission to 11.78 percent of applicants through its early action program, a record low even as the number of early applications fell from last year’s record high.

Georgetown accepted 919 students of the total 7,802 early action applicants to the class of 2023, a decrease from last year’s pool of 8,387 applicants.

This admissions cycle marks the third year the acceptance rate landed near 12 percent as well as a drop from the previous record low of 11.9 percent from the 2017 application season, according to records provided by Georgetown Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Charles Deacon (CAS ’64, GRD ’69).

Of the early applicants, 4,478 applied to Georgetown College, and 491 were accepted at an acceptance rate of 10.96 percent, the lowest among the four schools. The School of Foreign Service received 1,578 applications and admitted 187 at an acceptance rate of 11.85 percent. The McDonough School of Business admitted 165 applicants out of 1,112 at an acceptance rate of 14.83 percent. The School of Nursing and Health Studies received 636 applications and admitted 76 at an acceptance rate of 11.95 percent.

The number of applications from minority groups also continued to grow at rates ranging from 1 to 2 percent. This year’s pool was composed of 11 percent black applicants, 13 percent Latinx applicants, 16 percent Asian-American applicants, 8 percent international applicants and 1 percent Native American applicants.  

This applicant pool includes students from 49 of 50 states; Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Including the United States, 42 countries are also represented in this year’s applicant pool.

The states from which the most applications came were California, New York, New Jersey and Maryland, consistent with trends from the past two years.

The early action program saw a 7 percent decrease in the overall applicant pool, however, reversing a trend of growth over the last four years, and all four undergraduate schools also saw decreases in their applicant pools.

The College saw a 6 percent decrease in the number of its applications; the SFS experienced a 9 percent decrease, and the NHS received 2 percent fewer applications. With 1,112 applicants, the MSB saw its smallest early action applicant pool since 2013 and an 11 percent decrease since last year.

Fewer students applied to Georgetown this cycle due in part to pressures from peer schools to apply through binding early admission programs, Deacon said in an interview with The Hoya. These binding early admission programs, which stipulate that students must attend if admitted, benefit universities more than students, Deacon said.

“It’s all about marketing and trying to get numerical results that they think make them look competitive, because if you do get admitted in a binding early decision then you are going to have to enroll, so they get 100 percent yield,” Deacon said.

The university has kept its nonbinding early action program to ensure its admissions process is designed to benefit and protect the decision of its applicants, Deacon said.

“It is reasonable for students with outstanding records to be able to get an early answer, but we also believe that a lot happens during the course of their senior year of high school, so our motto has been we want you to be as sure in May as you were in November,” Deacon said.

Despite the decrease, the applicant pool proved just as competitive as previous years, and the university expects an increase in the regular decision applications come Jan. 10, according to Deacon.

Students accepted in this year’s EA program student pool are, on average, in the top 5 percent of their class, with ACT scores ranging between 33 and 35, or SAT verbal scores between 720 and 760 and SAT math scores between 740 and 790.

While the applicant pool remained competitive and geographically diverse, the university needs to broaden the socio-economic background of students who apply, Deacon said.

Georgetown ranked 12th in income inequality on a list of 38 schools, according to a 2017 study conducted by The New York Times. The median household income from Georgetown’s class of 2013 was $229,100, while the national median income for a household in 2013 was $51,939, according to census data. More than 70 percent of Georgetown’s students in the class of 2013 came from families above the 95th income percentile.

The university’s low endowment presents an obstacle to providing competitive financial aid packages to students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, according to Deacon.

Though significant work remains to bolster Georgetown’s existing programs to aid low-income students, Deacon said he believes the university is on the right track.

“We have to work harder to get lower- and middle-income kids to apply,” Deacon said. “We still have things to achieve, and that’s going to largely depend on being more successful fundraising for financial aid, for programs like [the Georgetown Scholarship Program] and so on, but we’re making great progress there.”

Hoya Staff Writer Will Cassou contributed reporting.

One Comment

  1. Great article. You provided a reason for why EA applications are down. Can you elaborate? How many comparable schools change their ED practice this past year? Or are their other factors – like lower application numbers from international students?

    Further, why would you expect regular decision applications to be up? There was no information supporting that statement.

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