Georgetown has not lost its edge.
The university’s application process became more competitive this year, as the acceptance rate for the incoming freshman class decreased and the yield increased, continuing a national trend of top colleges becoming even more difficult to get into.
The university admitted under 21 percent of applicants to the class of 2011, and 48 percent of those who were accepted chose to attend, according to Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Charles Deacon. Last year, the acceptance rate was 22 percent, and 46.5 percent of those accepted decided to matriculate at Georgetown.
The university’s acceptance rate has remained relatively constant in recent years, but the number of applicants has risen. In 2003, for example, the university admitted 22 percent of an applicant pool of about 15,400.
“Behind the numbers is the fact that the class is increasingly strong, yet the yield is edging higher – meaning that we are winning more of the best students against the competition,” Deacon said.
A record number of over 16,000 people applied for regular admission in the winter, an 8 percent increase over the previous year.
Georgetown is not the only university that has seen a rise in applications and a decrease in acceptance rate in recent years – around the country, more qualified applicants are applying to college, driving down acceptance rates and making the admissions process more competitive. At Cornell University, for example, the admissions rate dropped over 4 percent this year, to an all-time lower of under 21 percent, while Amherst received a record number of over 6,600 applications this year, 400 more than the previous record.
The average SAT score for Georgetown’s Class of 2011 was 1423 on a 1600-point scale (Georgetown does not count the writing section of the test when deciding applications), eight points higher than Georgetown’s previous record high.
Deacon offered multiple possible reasons for the university’s increased popularity and the strength of the incoming Class of 2011. He said that the increased media coverage of Georgetown from the basketball team’s run to the Final Four and the infectious school spirit it engendered may have led to the higher yield and higher academic credentials of accepted students.
In terms of the waitlist, Deacon said “things have turned out very well,” with only about 25 students being let off.
Most of the students let off the waiting list were from the School of Nursing and Health Studies, which had a 60 percent increase in the number of applicants this year. The yield was slightly lower for NHS, Deacon said, because of the higher percentage of accepted students.
“We will adjust next year,” he said.
Other indicators remain relatively similar to previous years, Deacon said. The Class of 2011 is 55 percent female and there is at least one student from every state. This year, however, only 38 countries are represented in the incoming class, whereas last year, students hailed from 50 different nations.