Northwestern fills more than 50 percent of the class of 2020 through Early Decision


Daily file photo by Zack Laurence

New students participate in the March Through the Arch tradition during Wildcat Welcome. Northwestern accepted 1,061 students to the class of 2020 through Early Decision on Monday night.

Dan Waldman, Reporter

Northwestern admitted 1,061 students Monday to the class of 2020 — more than 50 percent of the class — breaking last year’s record of 49 percent for the highest percentage of Early Decision applicants to comprise a class.

NU received the most Early Decision applications in University history this year with 3,022.

“We see other schools around the country that we compete with and how they’re doing,” said Michael Mills, associate provost for University enrollment. “It seems like we’ve had a good year compared to most, and we’re happy to have such a great applicant pool.”

Of the 1,061 new students admitted, 106 were international students — a nearly 25 percent increase from the number of international students admitted through Early Decision last year. Mills said this year’s Early Decision pool was significantly more diverse than that of last year.

The University also accepted nearly twice as many students from Chicago Public Schools as last year. Mills said NU focused on accepting more students from underrepresented demographics.

“We have higher numbers and percentages of underrepresented minority students,” Mills said. “We have higher numbers and percentage of low income students than last year, and Chicago Public Schools students have been an important focus of ours.”

With the historic amount of Early Decision applicants accepted, Mills said he expects the Regular Decision acceptance rate to drop significantly. Regular Decision applications are due Jan. 1 and applicants are notified of their decision before April 1.

“(The Early Decision acceptance rate) will be about 32 percent,” Mills said. “And Regular Decision will be much, much lower than that. I would guess it will be 10 percent or less.”

Although it’s possible this year’s acceptance rate will drop into single digits, University President Morton Schapiro said earlier this month he is more focused on NU accepting the best applicants rather than the school’s admissions statistics.

“I’m really not looking to minimize the admit rate the way some schools are obsessed to get into single digits,” Schapiro said. “There are a lot of really talented kids who could really thrive here who’re simply not going to get admitted, but that’s the world of selective admissions.”

This story was updated at 4:30 p.m.

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