App numbers challenge competition

Applications to the College have risen by 11,000 since 2010, faster than its peer institutions.

By Stephanie Xiao

The College received a record 30,369 applications for the class of 2017, a total surpassing those of other elite institutions, including Yale and Princeton.

Not only is this year’s total number of applicwants the highest yet in the College’s history—representing a 20-percent increase over last year’s 25,307 applications—it also exceeds the 29,790 received by Yale and the 26,505 received by Princeton this year.

While UChicago’s application numbers still lag compared to many larger schools, like the University of California at Los Angeles, which received the most applications in the nation this year at 80,472, this year’s total marks a continuing upward trend for the College. Application numbers have increased steadily since 2004.

The most significant jump in numbers in the University’s recent history occurred in 2010, coinciding with the appointment of Dean of College Admissions and Financial Aid James Nondorf and the year after the College switched to the Common Application. The College received 19,306 applications for the class of 2014, a 42-percent increase from the 13,600 applications for the class of 2013.

Other schools like Harvard and Columbia have seen application numbers decrease in recent years. Between the 2010–2011 and 2011–2012 admissions cycles, both schools saw a dip in the number of applicants, from 34,950 to 34,285 and 34,929 to 31,851, respectively.

At over 30,000 applications, UChicago’s total this year represents an increase of just under 11,000 since 2010. In comparison, Northwestern’s application numbers, while still consistently higher than UChicago’s, have increased by less than 5,000 in that time.

Paralleling growing applicant numbers are continued increases in yield as well as continued decreases in admission rates. In December, a record-breaking 10,317 students applied through the Early Action program, out of which 13.38 percent—the lowest in the University’s history—were accepted.

All class of 2017 applicants will be notified of their admissions decisions by mid- to late March, according to a University press release.