Early applications in College increase nearly 25 percentBy Josh Schonwald
Whats even more encouraging, said Ted ONeill, Dean of Admissions, is that early indications show it is not just the number, but also the quality of applicants to Chicago that is increasing.
The growth in applications came from students with significantly higher test scores than in previous years, ONeill said. The percentage of applicants scoring in the 1,500 to 1,600 tier increased by 43 percent; in the 1,400 to 1,490 tier by 38 percent.
Clearly, more and more students want to come to Chicago and are making us their first choice, said ONeill of the increase. Ive always felt that we deserved more attention, and now were finally getting it.
In addition to the overall increase, ONeill noted two other key trends in this years early applicant pool.
First, applications from international students continued to increase, rising by nearly 100 percent (from 72 applications to 139) from last year. ONeill credited this increase to the growing popularity of elite American universities among the worlds top students. A handful of other schools, the most highly respected internationally, are experiencing a similar increase in applications from abroad, ONeill said. He also believes the availability of an online application is making it easier for international students to meet the Nov. 15 deadline for early applications.
Second, early indications suggest that one of the Colleges goalsto diversify its applicant poolappears to be succeeding. Applications from Latinos and African-Americans have increased, as have applications from students from public schools. There also was a sharp increase in applications from the South (63 percent) and Southwest (34 percent).
ONeill attributes the increase in early applications, in part, to the Universitys increasingly aggressive outreach campaign, which began five years ago and aims to diversify the College. We mail more, we use the Internet more and we visit more schools, said ONeill. For instance, the College now sends Admissions staff to Latin America, the Far East and South America.
ONeill is, to date, very encouraged by this years early applicant pool.
Having more opportunities to be selective is going to work to our benefit, he said. Were having increases among the kinds of students who are most appropriate for us.