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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Admit rate stays at 33 percent for third straight year

The University’s acceptance rate for the Class of 2017 plateaued at about 33 percent for the third straight year.

A total of 33.4 percent of candidates were offered spots in the Class of 2017, Vice Provost of Academic Affairs and Planning Forrest Maltzman said Sunday, on par with the past two years.

The admissions office has struggled to boost GW’s selectivity since the admit rate fell to a record-low 31.5 percent in 2010, after accepting 36.5 percent of applicants in 2009.

“I care more about the quality of the student body we enroll than about the acceptance rate,” Maltzman said in an email. “Our primary goal needs to be to bring in a great class, and this is what admissions is appropriately focused on.”

Just under 22 percent of students accepted this week will need to enroll for the University to meet its target class size of 2,350 freshmen. The University’s yield rate has typically been around 35 percent for all applicants.

Candidates accepted under the University’s binding early decision cycles already account for 41 percent of the Class of 2017. The early acceptance rate jumped nearly 4 points earlier this year from 37.5 percent.

Maltzman said the acceptance rate could fluctuate if the University reaches into its wait list.

While GW’s admissions rate stayed flat, peer institutions Boston and Northwestern universities raised their selectivity.

Just 13.9 percent of Northwestern University’s applicants received offers of admission, down from 15 percent in 2012. Boston University brought its acceptance rate down 9 points from last year, to 36 percent, after receiving nearly 20 percent more applicants.

GW’s applicant pool increased by 1 percent from last year, totalling about 21,982 applications – a figure that University spokeswoman Jill Sankey said GW was content to see.

“Increasing applications for the sake of increasing selectivity does not make us a better institution,” Sankey said about the stagnant number of applicants. “What makes us a great institution is enrolling a diverse, talented and academically gifted student body.

This is the first year that Maltzman, a top administrator and professor, has overseen the admissions process, since Kathryn Napper retired from her post as dean of admissions in December.

It is also GW’s first application cycle after it was booted off the U.S. News & World Report best colleges ranking last fall after GW disclosed that it submitted false admissions data.

Since the unranking, Maltzman has said the University’s admissions cycle would not suffer collateral damage.

The University hired Bryn Mawr admissions dean Laurie Koehler on Thursday to fill the newly established position of senior associate provost for enrollment. That post will start July 1 – overseeing the financial aid, registrar and admissions offices – and will help choose the next dean of admissions.

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