NU draws 2,000 to enroll in fall 2005

Michelle Ma

This article, from Monday’s Daily, originally mentioned the incorrect year in the headline. The correct year was 2005, not 2006. The Daily regrets the error.


After the uncertainty and frenzy surrounding the May 1 college decision deadline, more than 2,000 high school seniors have chosen to attend Northwestern in the fall.

This number surpasses last May’s enrollment decisions by more than 100 students. As of Friday, 2,018 admitted applicants submitted tuition deposits confirming their place in the Class of 2009, said Rebecca Dixon, associate provost for enrollment. But this number will drop in the coming weeks as some students decide to attend other schools, she said. The target class size is 1,925 freshmen.

“We have what we consider a very high number of deposits,” Dixon said. “We’re very pleased.”

SAT scores for these students exceed scores from last year.

The average composite SAT score for students who sent in deposits is 1403 — six points higher than the average at this time last year. The average verbal score is 691 and the average math score is 712, both increasing from last year. Average test scores typically drop before the fall because some of the “best students” will choose other schools, Dixon said.

The final enrollment numbers will not be available until this fall, she said. During the summer, unforeseen situations may cause students to withdraw their enrollment from NU.

“We feel quite comfortable with the number of freshmen, and what remains to be seen is how much melt there is going to be,” Dixon said.

“Melt” occurs when students make a tuition deposit at NU but then decide to not enroll in the fall. Due to lingering indecisiveness by the May 1 deadline, some students deposit money at two or more universities to ensure a spot in the classes but later decide to turn down all but one school, Dixon said.

The university sent letters this week canceling admission offers to students who hadn’t told NU if they intended to enroll. Although it is too late for indecisive students to send in an enrollment deposit, some students still determining financial aid have been given more time, Dixon said.

After the required housing deposit deadline in late May, it will be more clear how many students plan to enroll at NU, she said.

“This year, because the deposits are high, we don’t know for sure we won’t use (the waitlist) because after the housing deposit date has come and gone there could be some great fall-off,” Dixon said.

University President Henry Bienen said transfer students will be admitted in the coming months.

“They always like to take some transfers,” Bienen said. “That’s just a policy to pick out some interesting people who are transfer students.”

Ten international students out of the 102 enrolled international students will receive university financial aid for the first time next year.

This new move will give 10 international students selected for financial aid loan and scholarship money for their four undergraduate years. International students are ineligible for federal financial aid and have never been granted aid from NU before. Aid packages were individually created and do not exceed $10,000 each year for each student, Dixon said.

The number of black students who have paid deposits is 121 students, up from 111 students at this time last year. This year 125 Hispanic students — the same number as last year — plan to enroll.

Reach Michelle Ma at [email protected]