NU apps set new record

Meghan Morris

Applications for Northwestern’s class of 2016 hit a record high for the ninth consecutive year, University officials announced Wednesday. This year 31,991 students applied for regular decision admittance, an increase of 3.5 percent from last year.

This regular decision increase follows a 15.2 percent increase in early decision applications. University spokesman Al Cubbage said the strength of the applicant pool has continued to increase as well. The number of applications received this year is nearly double the 16,228 received in 2005.

“It is pretty unusual to have this sort of increase,” Cubbage said. “It’s a tribute to the great work on the part of the admissions office.”

Both Cubbage and students credited the increase to NU’s wide range of successful programs.

“Northwestern has, over the past few years, increasingly become a top school,” Cubbage said. “The word is out that Northwestern is a good place, so we’re seeing significant increases in our application even during some fairly difficult economic times.”

Peer institutions had similar record-high numbers: Duke University reported 31,565 applicants, while Stanford University received 36,744 applications. Applications to the University of Pennsylvania dropped 1.7 percent this year, according to an article in The Daily Pennsylvanian.

McCormick junior Jacob Townsend said he looked at many schools during his college application process, but found NU’s need-based aid made the difference.

“What really sold me was the financial aid package on top of the incredible experience,” Townsend said. “NU isn’t great at just one thing. You’ll meet people who are great at everything.”

Cubbage said beyond the admissions office, students are the best tool the University has to promote its image.

“When Northwestern students go home and talk about the school and they’re having a good experience, they let people know about that,” he said. “Our current students are getting a good education and are engaged, and that’s the best marketing we can have.”

McCormick freshman Chris Grimestad, who applied early decision last year, said he tells his friends about his NU experience and highlights the University’s size, which he said is neither too big nor too small.

“Northwestern is the greatest school in the world,” he said. “It gets a superlative in every category.”

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