Georgetown’s regular decision undergraduate applicant pool for the Class of 2017 was almost identical to that of the previous year, which bucks a trend of application growth in previous years.
A total of 20,025 students applied in the early and regular decision cycles, down just 0.1 percent from last year’s 20,050. Of those, 13,289 were regular decision applications, down slightly from last year’s 13,351. The Class of 2016 continued a trend of year-to-year application increases, with a jump from the previous year’s 19,228 applications.
Although the College received the largest number of applications out of the university’s four schools, with 11,714, this figure marked a 2.5 percent decrease from last year. The School of Foreign Service had the second largest pool, with 3,690 applicants, marking an increase of 1 percent.
A record number of students applied to the McDonough School of Business and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, with the MSB experiencing an 8 percent increase, with 3,370 students applying, and the NHS receiving 1,251 applicants, a 4.2 percent increase.
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Charles Deacon said these figures, which reflect national trends, have stemmed from ongoing concerns about the economy.
“Students are more concerned with job security,” he said. “They are gravitating to science and pre-med tracks.”
While the total number of applicants remained consistent with last year when a little over 20,100 people applied, this year, the diversity of the student body continues to expand, Deacon said. African Americans made up 7.6 percent of the applicants, Asian Americans 15 percent and Hispanic Americans 11.8 percent.
International students also made up 12.8 percent of this year’s applicant pool. Between 2,200 and 2,400 applicants applied from China and India.
“We are not doing anything new to attract students from those areas,” Deacon said. “There is just a sort of natural momentum.”
As has been the trend in the past few years, the most applicants have come from California, with 2,500 applicants, and New York, which had 1,800 students apply.
Although the early acceptance rate for the Class of 2017 was a record low at 13 percent, Deacon said he expects the overall acceptance rate to remain consistent at about 16 percent.
Citing a report by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, which indicates that the number of high school graduates peaked in 2010 and will decline until 2020, Deacon said he was pleased with Georgetown’s continued success in attracting students to the university.
“Since the total pool of possible applicants is declining, Georgetown has had to, in effect, increase its market share just to stay even,” he said.
Maintaining the same levels of applicants has proved to be a challenge for some schools this year. Boston College’s decision to add a 400-word essay to its Common Application supplement this year caused the number of applications to drop from 35,000 in 2012 to 25,000 this year, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Other peer institutions that use Common App had mixed results. According to a report in The New York Times, Dartmouth College had 23,052 applicants in 2012 but 22,400 in 2013. At Vanderbilt University, 30,870 students applied this year, which marked an 8.9 percent increase over last year when 28,348 submitted applications.
Georgetown is among a small group of universities, along with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that do not use the Common App. That Georgetown maintains such a high number of applicants without using the application system is a point of pride for Deacon.