College applications up 20 percent from 2007By Julia Morse
The College received a record 12,368 applications for the 2008-2009 school year—a 20 percent increase from last year’s 10,334.
“Clearly students like what they learn about us,” said Michael Behnke, Vice-President and Dean of Enrollment in the College, noting that an increase in resources allowed the Office of Admissions to do additional recruiting this year.
Behnke added, “Our serious approach to education has always been attractive to students. And with recent expansion of study- abroad programs, internships and student activities, prospective students realize they can balance a serious classroom experience on campus with a rich variety of opportunities beyond the classroom.”
This also was a record year for Early Action applications, up 45 percent to 4,429. Last year, the College received 3,053 Early Action applications.
Behnke and Ted O’Neill, Dean of Admissions in the College, attribute the spike in applications for the 2008-2009 academic year, in part, to the Odyssey Scholarship program, established last year by an anonymous gift from a College alumnus.
The Odyssey program will allow the University to reduce student loans among undergraduate students whose families demonstrate low or moderate income and high financial need.
For those students whose annual family income is less than $60,000, the loans could be replaced entirely by grants, and for families whose income is between $60,000 and $75,000, the loans could be cut in half.
O’Neill said, “After having been in the admissions office for 26 years, and having seen nice increases in admissions numbers for most of those 26 years, this increase—pre-Common Application—suggests to me that the world of college applicants is now, finally, truly ready for Chicago. The College’s success in attracting such a large number of diverse and eager applicants who are ready for the rigors and pleasures of life here should be heartening to all of us.”
Approximately 1,270 students will enroll as first-years next fall.