Georgetown saw a slight decline in its admissions yield this year, with 46 percent of students accepted to the Class of 2018 enrolling at Georgetown compared to last year’s rate of 47.4 percent.
Of the 3,232 students admitted to Georgetown this year, 1,525 chose to enroll and submitted deposits by the May 1 deadline, according to Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Charles Deacon.
In spite of the slight decrease, Deacon highlighted the consistency of the yield and cited the figure as an improvement in comparison to the rate during the recession.
“Our yield has ranged from 43 to 49 or 50 percent over the last 15 to 20 years,” Deacon said. “We were down around 43 percent the year after the recession when financial matters were a big deal and it’s been moving back upward since then.”
The Class of 2018 has a record number of students from California, and no students from South Dakota, although four students from the state were accepted.
As of fall 2014, the Class of 2018 will be the only class at Georgetown without representation from all 50 states. The graduating Class of 2014 also only enrolled students from 49 states, missing North Dakota.
Deacon said that geographical diversity remains a priority for Georgetown, and that the university is pursuing a student from South Dakota who is currently on the waitlist.
“It’s great to be able to say we have students from all 50 states,” he said.
Shilpa Chandran (MSB ’15), who is from Sioux Falls, S.D., noted the lack of South Dakotan presence at Georgetown, attributing it largely to geography.
“The majority of students from my high school actually went to schools in the Midwest. … A lot of students just don’t go that far,” she said. “It seems like the majority of students [at Georgetown] come from either coast.”
Chandran also pointed to the lack of available information about Georgetown as a factor that contributes to the deficit of students from less common areas of the country.
“Most students perceive those schools to be so far away geographically and culturally that they feel more comfortable applying to schools within the Midwest,” she said. “There’s just a lack of information on what these schools actually are and what they could offer students from the Midwest.”
Justin Chapman (MSB ’15), president of Georgetown Admissions Ambassador Program, agreed.
“The best way for us to get a wide range of students at Georgetown is to make [the school] known throughout their area, so we have winter receptions, high school visits over winter break or Thanksgiving break so that people from all areas of the country can learn more about Georgetown,” Chapman said. Although California has provided the highest number of applicants of any state for a number of years, this year represents the first time that enrolled Californians have outnumbered students from any other state.
Deacon attributed this increase to Georgetown’s nationwide cachet and shrinkage in the applicant pool from the Northeast.
“We’re lucky, being a national university and located in D.C., we continue to see that national appeal. If you are simply located in the northeast and your pool was from New York or New Jersey, you’d be quite worried because that pool is going down quite rapidly and you can’t offset it by people coming from California,” Deacon said.
Jordan Neman (MSB ’16), from Beverly Hills, Calif., attributed the high number of Californians at Georgetown to a lack of options at home.
“If you think about California itself, especially southern California, you’re choosing between the [University of California campuses] and [the University of Southern California] and Stanford. It’s just limited,” he said. “It seems like every school besides those is on the east coast.”
The 1,525 enrolled students who are currently enrolled represent a deficit of 55 below the enrollment cap of 1,580 put in place by the 2010 Campus Plan agreement. In meeting this target enrollment, Deacon stressed the importance of careful planning and utilization of the wait list.
“Under no condition can we go over and the only way we can avoid that is by artificially lowering the number we admit. Our enrollment plan always includes enrolling 70, 80, 90 [students] from the waiting list,” he said.
The university has initially admitted 60 students off the waitlist to fill out the Class of 2018 and 190 students remain, according to Deacon. Deacon expects to be able to offer spots to a total of 75 to 100 students from the waitlist.
The McDonough School of Business had the highest yield rate of the four undergraduate schools at about 57 percent, followed by the School of Nursing and Health Studies at 49 percent, the School of Foreign Service at 47 percent and the College at 42 percent.
Deacon attributed the higher yield rate for the MSB to the current economic climate.
“There are people who would have been in the College or School of Foreign Service who are in the business school now because they still see this liberal arts-based program, but they also see that [the MSB] has that degree that they think will give them some leverage,” he said.
This year, Georgetown looks to accept about 140 transfer students, compared to 170 to 220 in past years, Deacon said. Decision letters to transfer students will be sent June 1.
Overall, Deacon expressed optimism for the Class of 2018.
“I think it’s going to be a great class,” he said. “People seem to be really enthusiastic about coming and they come from even more diversity overall than they have been because the country continues to shift little by little.