Early Decision acceptance rate falls as applications rise


Elizabeth Byrne, Campus Editor

Northwestern’s Early Decision acceptance rate dropped to about 25 percent as applications during the early admission cycle continue to rise.

The total number of applications rose about 9 percent to 4,399 this year, associate provost for University enrollment Michael Mills said in an email. Last year saw an increase of Early Decision applications by 6 percent to about 4,050.

The admitted Early Decision students are expected to fill about 53 to 54 percent of next fall’s incoming class, dean of undergraduate admission Christopher Watson told The Daily in an email.

Mills said NU accepted about 25 percent of Early Decision applicants this year.

Since 2000, NU and many of its peer elite schools have seen a decrease in early admission acceptance rates because of rising application numbers. According to Northwestern’s Common Data Set, the Early Decision acceptance rate has decreased over the past 18 years as the number of applications increased. In 2008, the acceptance rate for the class of 2012 Early Decision applications was about 39.7 percent.

Prospective students applying to NU face higher acceptance rates for Early Decision applications versus regular decision. Data from NU’s Common Data Set for the class of 2022 shows a 26 percent acceptance rate for Early Decision applicants compared to an 6.4 acceptance rate for regular decision applicants that year.

The admitted students are “wonderfully diverse,” Mills added, with about 54 percent of admitted students from underrepresented backgrounds or outside the U.S. He said he anticipates about 20 percent of the students will qualify for a Federal Pell Grant.

A previous version of this article misstated the class of 2022 regular decision admission rate. It was 6.4 percent. The Daily regrets the error.

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