Admissions Office

August 2019 Letter to School Counselors

Here’s hoping your summer break has been restful and you are rejuvenated for a great school year ahead. My letter this year concerns a bit more business than usual. That’s because I want to share some new options in the admissions process at Union. 

The process has changed significantly in recent years, and I lament the fact that the cycle now begins earlier in a student’s senior year. The Common Application reports that more than 50 percent of all applicants applied to at least one institution Early Action last year. Roughly half of the Ivies and half of the public flagships offer Early Action. Beyond this, we know some colleges fill as much as half their classes Early Decision.

This backdrop, coupled with Union’s recent strategic planning process, has reinforced our desire to further diversify our student body and encouraged us to think about how we can find students who aren’t currently considering Union. In fact, one of President David Harris’s major goals is to attract and recruit students from a greater variety of backgrounds and geographical areas, making for a more inclusive and robust learning environment. 

Each year we lose good students to schools offering an early application deadline. As a result, we are instituting an Early Action option starting this November. 

We are excited to have a larger window of time to allow admitted students to learn about the terrific opportunities that await them here. We hope this will allow a broader range of students to consider us, knowing the short March-to-May 1 time frame can be particularly challenging for those hoping to visit us from a distance. Along with this initiative, we will be providing financial assistance to families from outside the Northeast to help them afford travel to campus.

There are now six ways to apply to Union:

  • Early Action (Nov. 1 deadline; decisions by Dec. 20)
  • Early Decision I and II (Nov. 15 and Jan. 15 deadlines)
  • Regular Decision (Jan. 15 deadline)
  • Leadership in Medicine Program (Nov. 15 deadline)
  • 3+3 Combined Law Program (Jan. 15 deadline)

As always, we value the commitment of students who apply Early Decision, which helps us to predict enrollment. ED remains the most competitive advantage for students who have designated Union their top choice. In the past two years, 38 percent of the incoming class has enrolled Early Decision.

Some may see Early Action as an effort to drive up applications. While that is not our objective, I acknowledge it is a likely consequence. In related news, we will be reinstituting an application fee of $60 and also adhering to the Common Application’s waiver policy. There will be no application fee for international students. 

Going forward, I hope these new practices will help us enroll talented young people we would not have otherwise attracted. As always, I appreciate your questions and feedback, so feel free to reach out. My email is malatesm@union.edu, and my direct line is (518) 388-6026. I also encourage you to connect with the admissions dean assigned to your area, who you can find on our staff site.

Best,
Matt Malatesta ‘91
Vice President for Admissions, Financial Aid and Enrollment