Northwestern admits nearly 1,000 to class of 2018 during early decision period

Members of the class of 2017 and transfers spend a day at Millennium park during Wildcat Welcome. Early decision admissions were sent Thursday, with 925 entering the class of 2018 from more than 2,800 applicants.

Daily file photo by Brian Lee

Members of the class of 2017 and transfers spend a day at Millennium park during Wildcat Welcome. Early decision admissions were sent Thursday, with 925 entering the class of 2018 from more than 2,800 applicants.

Tyler Pager, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Northwestern admitted 925 early decision applicants Thursday evening, filling about 45 percent of the class of 2018.

This cycle marks the largest number of students accepted through early decision in NU history, up from 43 percent last year. The Office of Undergraduate Admission received 2,863 applications, about a 16 percent increase from last year.

Christopher Watson, dean of undergraduate admissions, said University President Morton Schapiro set a goal of accepting 45 percent of the class through the early decision round.

“We’re only comfortable doing that number knowing it was students we would absolutely want to admit,” Watson said. “So that just took a lot of extra recruiting on our part. The more selective you become as an institution — and this is true of all of our peer schools — the more students are going to apply early to you and that’s the case here.”

Watson added filling 45 percent of the freshman class will likely become the norm moving forward. But he said does not expect that percentage to rise. The percentage has risen drastically in the past few years. In 2010, only 28 percent of the freshman class was admitted through the early decision round.

Schapiro told The Daily last week that in between fundraising trips, he helped Watson with the decisions.

“It’s just so hard to keep everything straight and figure out how to make these decisions,” Schapiro said. “But it’s gratifying. The strength of the early pool is mind-boggling this year.”

Watson agreed the quality of admitted applicants has also increased. While the admissions office does not release specific statistics for the early decision round, Watson said the admits are NU’s most diverse early decision group and the average SAT score has risen about 25 points over the last two years, which he called a “huge jump.”

Schapiro said he has seen a similar growth in applicants who are applying to NU as their first choice.

“There are so many kids, more so than I’ve ever seen, definitely than the last couple years, who absolutely have just virtually perfect SATs, ACTs and just great GPAs and they only want to come here,” he said. “They’re not coming here and applying in the spring because they were deferred from Yale or Stanford or rejected. They’re here because this is where they want to be.”

The acceptance rate was about 32 percent, down slightly from 33 percent last year, and Watson said the regular decision round will once again be extremely competitive.

“Obviously your chances are going to be a little better if we’re your first choice and that’s a good thing for the school,” he said. “We want students here for whom Northwestern’s a first choice and not a back up and almost half the class has said, ‘Northwestern’s my first choice.’ That’s great.”

Email: tylerpager2017@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @tylerpager

Comments