Jan. 18, 2001
Vol. 20 No. 8

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    College Admissions counselors seek top applicants who match Chicago’s mission

    The counselors in the Office of College Admissions spend most of autumn traveling all over the country to meet prospective students. Once the November deadline for applying early occurs, however, the Admissions Office enters a unique kind of winter hibernation, buried beneath the first wave of College applications.

    This year, the 12-person admissions team has already reviewed 1,801 early applications, a 9-percent increase in applications compared to last fall, according to Ted O’Neill, Dean of College Admissions. By the time O’Neill and his team make their final decisions about the entire application pool this quarter, they will have reviewed more than 7,000 applications.

    “We consider the process a metaphor for conversation–initiated by what we ask for, but driven by what the student provides us. In addition to interviews, applicants reveal themselves through their applications,” said O’Neill. “We continue to see the top students from around the country and abroad in our applicant pool and our task is to find those students who are a good match for Chicago’s intellectual environment.”

    O’Neill said that of the 973 early applicants who were already offered admission in the College, roughly 40 percent will accept. “Our early applicants are often self-selectors who are particularly interested in the College. These students make Chicago’s academic rigor their first choice in an education. Because our selectivity is increasing, we felt the need to defer a lot of excellent candidates this year.”

    The quality of applicants’ SAT scores is similar to last year’s early action pool: 21 percent scored in the 1500-1600 tier and 32 percent in the 1400-1490.

    Among early applicants, students from New England showed the greatest increase in interest in Chicago with a 46-percent rise in applications, followed by students from the Middle States with a 15-percent increase. The number of international students who applied early rose from 64 last year to 84 this fall, and, according to Michael Behnke, Vice President and Dean of College Enrollment, the College expects to see that number continue to rise in the regular application pool.

    “In an era of globalization, we have been intensifying our outreach to the international community. Over the next few years, I expect there will be an increasing number of international students who apply to the College,” Behnke said.

    O’Neill said letters of admission for the regular admissions pool will be sent in late March. To accept a spot in the Class of 2005, all students must accept by May 1. And as those students prepare for orientation, O’Neill and his staff will be on the road again, searching for the Class of 2006.