Northwestern University has received 2,828 Common Applications for the Class of 2018 under its early decision program — a 14.73 percent increase from last year.

The number was 2,465 for the Class of 2017. For nine consecutive years, early decision applications have increased at Northwestern.

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

“Northwestern attracts students who are both creative and analytical and provides a left-brain, right-brain type of education that provides plenty of opportunities for them to explore multiple interests,” said Christopher Watson, dean of undergraduate admissions at Northwestern.

The sheer number of classes and the flexibility of the curriculum across Northwestern’s three campuses in Evanston, Chicago and Qatar offer students unparalleled classroom opportunities for defining and developing their ambitions, he said.

Applied learning is central to Northwestern’s strategic plan and, accordingly, the University is strongly committed to supporting undergraduate research.

The numbers of Northwestern undergraduates doing research and creative projects beyond the classroom — internships, co-ops, research abroad, civic engagement — continue to grow each year in just about every field of study.

More than 60 percent of Northwestern students graduate with more than one major — with a double major or a major, minor and a certificate or various other combinations of studies — sometimes in completely different fields.

Related to the University’s rising visibility and jump in applications, Northwestern students increasingly have been winning elite fellowship competitions, which are widely used to measure the quality of undergraduate teaching and student performance.

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