This year, UR received a record number of applicants for admission. As of Monday, Jan. 20, the admissions department collected 10,268 applications. The previous high was 10,080 in fall of 2000.
As a result of a spike in births in the 1980s, college enrollment is currently at an all-time high of 15.6 million students nationwide. Numbers are expected to climb to 17.5 million by the year 2010.
This influx of applicants has led to demands for schools to comply with their budgets and still admit deserving candidates. UR is feeling the pressure to follow suit.
Director of Admissions Greg MacDonald said, “This is the largest applicant pool we’ve had at the university. Not only is it the largest, but all quality indicators suggest that the applicants’ quality is just as strong as in previous years.”
“The staff is very good,” Application Processing Manager Laurie Pulver said. “They’re doing a fabulous job of keeping up with what they need to. It ends up being more work for everyone, but they seem to be doing a good job.”
The university plans to admit around 980 freshmen to the school, as it has done in past years.
Dean of The College William Green said, “We want to have parity between the size of the student body and the size of the campus. The Renaissance plan was actually to cut the student body by 20 percent, so we could spend more money per student than before.”
Because there are no plans to accept more students, the school’s selectivity rate is anticipated to decrease from 56 percent to around 50 percent, according to MacDonald.
Green is excited about the increased competition.
“I’m delighted,” he said. “It’s been a goal of admissions for the past five or six years to become more competitive.”
Although active recruiting has not changed in the last year, Green acknowledged UR’s recruitment efforts and reputation as factors in the increased interest.
“I think it has a lot to do with the recruiting in schools,” Green said. “We’re a school of consistent excellence. It’s the fact that kids know that that drives applications.”
Standards for choosing applicants will not change — weight will continue to be given to grade point average, extracurricular activities, and standardized test scores.
“Standards for choosing applicants will remain the same,” MacDonald said. “We will continue to use a wide array of quality indicators. The primary questions remain the same. How will the prospective student benefit from a UR education, and how will the student contribute to our community?”
Despite the fact that so many applicants are vying for a spot at UR, MacDonald cautions that it’s still important to cultivate enthusiasm in the candidates who are admitted, and encourages current UR students to convey a positive attitude about the school.
“We still need to work very hard to make these students choose Rochester,” MacDonald said. “UR students are very good at welcoming new students. It’s current undergrads who are the best ambassadors of what the University experience is.”
Treanor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org