Applications to Union have reached an all-time high, marking one of the most competitive years in the College’s admissions history.
The 5,508 students who applied for 575 slots in the Class of 2016 represent an increase of 7 percent from a year ago and a 4 percent jump from the previous record of 5,271 who sought admission to the Class of 2012. This marks the third time in Union’s history that applications have surpassed the 5,000 mark.
The sharp rise in applications comes at a time when major publications like Bloomberg’s Businessweek, Forbes and Kiplinger’s have ranked the College as among the leading liberal arts schools in the country with a top return on investment. The College’s profile also has been boosted with programs and faculty research prominently featured in national publications such as the New York Times, USA Today, Chronicle of Higher Education and Time.
“The landscape of college admissions has changed significantly in the past few years,” said Matt Malatesta ’91, vice president for Admissions, Financial Aid and Enrollment. “Value is of critical importance in people’s college search, which is why Union is doing so well.”
The College also saw a 25 percent increase in students who made Union their first choice by applying through early decision admission. Early decision applications are considered twice a year. Students applying under early decision have made a commitment to attend Union if they are accepted.
The unpredictable economy also resulted in a sizeable number of applicants indicating they will apply for financial aid. Union is committed to meeting the full financial need of all admitted students. The average need-based scholarship at Union is $29,000, and the average merit scholarship is $10,000.
The great track record of Union’s graduates, coupled with the access to great professors and real practical opportunities on campus and around the world, makes the College an attractive option to a wide variety of students, Malatesta noted.
For Olivia Maynard, a senior at St. Martin’s Episcopal School near New Orleans, the decision to attend Union was sealed after she visited campus last summer. Maynard was accepted through early decision.
“As the tour guide took us around and spoke of the Minerva system and the sense of community it engenders, it just felt right,” said Maynard, whose father Ben graduated from Union in 1984. “As he further spoke about interdisciplinary fields, I imagined how I could meld my love of literature into not only a major but also various topics of study.”
Regular decision letters will be sent by April 1. Accepted students have until May 1 to commit.