Applications to Union hit a new high

Publication Date

A record number of students have applied to join Union’s Class of 2021, continuing a decade-long trend of those seeking admission to the College.

To date, Union has received 6,652 applications from some of the nation’s top high school students, a slight increase from last year’s 6,647. Last year marked the first time applications topped 6,000, an 11 percent increase over the year before.

The jump was fueled in part by a record 413 early decision applications, 47 more than a year ago. Students applying under early decision have made a commitment to attend Union if they are accepted.

Matt Malatesta ‘91, vice president for Admissions, Financial Aid and Enrollment, noted the 5 percent boost in women who applied early decision, to 47 percent of all early decision applicants.

Increases were also evident in international applications (24 percent versus 20) and those applying from outside the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states (39 percent versus 36).

The applicant pool represents 48 states and 106 countries.

Malatesta said there is no single factor driving the overall application surge. He pointed to a number of external recognitions that have helped raise the school’s visibility, including Union’s recent inclusion in the college guide, “The Hidden Ivies,” which highlights exceptional schools that offer a broad liberal arts education. Union was also among the Princeton Review’s list of colleges with the best return on investment, and USA Today’s College Guide ranked Union among the top five STEM schools for women.

“We know the types of students we look for have many choices for college, and we continue to be humbled and excited that they see Union as a good fit for themselves,” Malatesta said.

Founded in 1795 as the first planned campus in the country, Union is consistently ranked among the nation's top liberal arts colleges.

The expected size of the Class of 2021 is 575 students.

Regular decision letters will be sent by April 1. Accepted students have until May 1 to commit.

The record number of applications comes at a time when the College remains committed to meeting the full financial need of all admitted students. The average need-based scholarship at Union is $32,500, and the average merit scholarship range from $10,000 to $20,000.