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NU applications hit new high

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Northwestern University has received 33,200 applications for the Class of 2018, up 1.3 percent from last year.

Freshman applications now have been on the rise at NU for 11 years in a row, growing by more than 10,000 since 2007, when the University admitted 27 percent of all applicants.

The growth in applications typically results in lower acceptance rates.

Northwestern received 32,772 applications for the Class of 2017, with an acceptance rate 13.9 percent — down by almost half since 2007.

Continuing the upward trajectory, Northwestern’s applications rose this year despite problems with the common application.

“The rollout of the new version of the common application — called CA4 — did not go as smoothly as everyone had hoped, and applicants, high school counselors and teachers were forced to contend with myriad problems and glitches,” said Michael Mills, associate provost for University enrollment.

“Given this context, we're excited to have set another new record,” he said. “It's a real testament to the appeal of the University.”  

For nine consecutive years, early decision applications also have been on the rise. The early commitment to Northwestern is another key indicator of the University’s rising appeal. Northwestern has received 2,828 applications for the Class of 2018 under its early decision program — a 14.73 percent increase from last year.

Through the early decision program, 45 percent of the Class of 2018 already is filled.

“Based on the early decision admits and overall applications, this year’s acceptance rate is likely to fall somewhere between 12 and 13 percent,” said Christopher Watson, dean of undergraduate admissions at Northwestern.

The University increasingly is being recognized nationally and internationally for the excellence of its students, the highly diverse education offered inside and outside the classroom, leading faculty research regularly covered in the news and a popular president, Morton Schapiro, who is well known for his expertise in the economics of higher education.

“We’re doing an excellent job of raising our visibility across the nation and the world,” Mills said, “through outreach by staff, student volunteers and faculty, and the president through his international travel.”

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