Applications to Union climb to a new record

Publication Date

Applications to Union have topped 7,000 for the first time, the highest number submitted for any individual class in the College’s history.

Nearly 7,500 students applied to join the Class of 2024, a 23 percent jump from the 6,086 who applied last year.

The boost in applications was sparked in part by the College’s introduction of an early action option for prospective students. The new plan gives students an opportunity to apply to Union by Nov. 1. Students are notified of their admissions status by Dec. 20 and have until May 1 to accept an offer. Unlike early decision, early action is non-binding. If admitted, a student is not required to attend.

More than 2,600 students applied through early action, which is expected to broaden and diversify Union’s applicant pool by adding more academically talented students from across a wider geographic range. It also allows the College to compete with other top schools that offer early action.

A total of 330 students applied through early decision so far, slightly behind last year’s number. Students applying under early decision have made a commitment to attend Union if they are accepted.

The overall rise in interest from students considering Union comes as the College continues to expand its geographic and global reach. Based on a three-year average, applications from students applying from outside the Northeast jumped 22 percent; international students, 24 percent; and female students 19 percent.

In addition, 35 percent of applicants come from traditionally-underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, up 2 percent from the three-year average.

Nott Memorial

The applicant pool represents 49 states and U.S. territories, along with 112 countries.

This academic profile is one of the strongest in memory. Union is test-optional, but more than two-thirds of applicants submitted ACT and SAT scores. The average scores on both tests experienced slight increases.

Prospective students also expressed strong interest in programs at Union across the board, with double-digit percentage increases in the humanities, social sciences, science and engineering.

The expected size of the Class of 2024 is 570 students.

“We were particularly excited to attract an impressive and diverse group of students to apply early action,” said Matt Malatesta ‘91, vice president for Admissions, Financial Aid and Enrollment. “We were also humbled to see the influx of additional students applying through regular decision. It is clear from the numbers that interest in Union has never been stronger. We now have the responsibility to select from this talented pool those students who we feel are ready to contribute to and enrich our vibrant campus culture.”

The College remains committed to meeting the full financial need of all admitted students. The average need-based scholarship at Union is $38,500, and the average merit scholarship is $17,500.

The College has also expanded financial aid scholarship eligibility through the Making U Possible initiative.

Students who choose Union will join a campus that recently introduced a new strategic plan commissioned by President David R. Harris. Titled “The Power of Union,” the plan promises to develop every student to “lead with wisdom, empathy and courage, in ways large and small, now and across multiple tomorrows.”

The College is also nearing completion of its new $100 million Integrated Science and Engineering Complex, the most ambitious and largest project in the school’s history. The complex will rank among the finest undergraduate science and engineering facilities in the country.

Regular decision letters will be sent by April 1. All students offered admission have until May 1 to accept their offers.

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

A number of external recognitions continue to help raise the school’s visibility, including Union’s 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.