Early applicants to Georgetown’s Class of 2019 changed demographically along with national trends, while the competitiveness of the applicant pool increased and the breakdown of applications between undergraduate schools stayed stable.
Early action applications, which are non-binding, were due Nov. 1. This first round of applications precedes regular decision applications, which are due Jan. 10, 2015.
This year’s early admissions pool saw a rise in Hispanic applicants and a decrease in non-Hispanic white applicants, in accordance with national trends.
This year, 4,454 students who identified themselves as white applied, a decrease from the 4,527 who applied last year. With this decrease in white applicants came an increase in applicants who identified as African-American, rising from 571 last year to 582 applicants this year; Asian-American, which rose from 896 to 912 applicants this year; and Hispanic-American, which rose the most, from 750 to 790 applicants this year.
Director of Undergraduate Admissions Charles Deacon attributed this change, a demographic trend since 2011, to the rising number of Hispanic high school graduates and decreasing number of white high school graduates. According to a report by the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education, after rising between 1996 and 2011, the total number of high school graduates has since begun to decline.
“The number of people applying [to four-year colleges] is going down, and it’s shifting away from people who have traditionally been most likely to apply — white Americans in particular, who’ve been the ones most likely to apply, are significantly dropping. Hispanic-Americans who have been the least likely to apply is the increasing number,” Deacon said.
With 6,827 applications received as of Nov. 6, Deacon projected that Georgetown would receive about 6,860 applications total, an all-time high for the past four years, including the trickle of excused late applications that arrive after the deadline.
Georgetown received at least two applications from all 50 states in this early round, and 516 applications from international addresses.
Early application numbers to the College, the School of Foreign Service and the McDonough School of Business went up this year, while applications to the School of Nursing and Health Studies saw a slight decrease from last year. Of the total early applications, 56.6 percent were for the College, 19.8 percent were for the School of Foreign Service, 17.3 percent were for the McDonough School of Business and 6.3 percent were for the School of Nursing and Health Studies. Last year, 6,850 candidates applied to the Class of 2018 – 55.6 percent to the College, 20 percent to the School of Foreign Service, 17.4 percent to the McDonough School of Business, and 6.9 percent to the School of Nursing and Health Studies.
Additionally, this year’s applicant pool boasts a more competitive academic record, with the average class rank of the schools that report at the 92.3 percentile, an increase from last’s year class rank percentile of 91.3, and a six-point increase in SAT scores.
“We’re actually, from a business point of view, slightly increasing our market share of high-ability students,” Deacon said.
Despite the more competitive applicant pool, however, Deacon said he did not foresee a decrease in the undergraduate admission rate, projected at about 17 percent regular decision and 15 percent early action, consistent with last year’s 16.6 combined overall admission rate.
“The more competitive the pool is, the harder it is to yield them, because the more likely that we come in contact with the top schools with them,” Deacon said.
Deacon said that Georgetown’s ability to maintain a roughly stable number of early action applications over the past four years, despite the declining number of high school graduates, reflects positively on the school’s admissions numbers.
“Even though these are small, little changes, they actually do reflect the national trends, and we’re actually doing pretty well,” Deacon said.