When she started her college search, Maddy Ewald identified two main factors that would help guide her decision. She wanted to attend a school with a solid engineering program. She also preferred a small student body. Attending a private K-12 school in Pennsylvania with fewer than 800 students, she valued the connections made with both students and teachers.
As she narrowed her choices to top liberal arts colleges, Ewald, who is from Havertown, Pa., just outside of Philadelphia, zeroed in on Union. A visit to campus last October closed the deal.
“Autumn is my favorite season and getting to see the campus during this time was incredible,” she said.
“Interacting with some of the students reassured my love for the school. The close-knit community that Union has and the Minerva houses, which help serve as a built-in community from the moment you get on campus, made me feel at home.”
Ewald is among the nearly 9,400 prospective students, a record, who applied to join the Class of 2027. The total number of applications is an 11 percent jump from the year before.
The biggest surge came from those who chose the early action option. Nearly 600 more students applied through early action this year than a year ago, including many from outside the Northeast. Under early action, students have an opportunity to apply by Nov. 1. They are notified of their admissions status in late December 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.
Overall, the number of applications rose in key demographic areas, including female students, first-gen students, traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and international students.
The applicant pool represents all 50 states, several U.S. territories, along with 138 countries.
The expected size of the Class of 2027 is 570 students.
Matt Malatesta ‘91, vice president for Admissions, Financial Aid and Enrollment, said a significant rebound in the number of in-person visits to campus since the pandemic gives students more opportunities to learn about Union. People who visit a campus are more likely to apply and enroll.
“With the addition of some exciting new programs in recent years, there are a lot of exciting things to show off,” he said. "These include civil and environmental engineering majors, data analytics, music technology, digital studies, and financial and actuarial mathematics minors, plus a robust Union Financial Network program,
The College remains committed to meeting the full financial need of all admitted students. The average need-based scholarship at Union is $46,000, and the average merit scholarship is $23,000.
Regular decision letters will be sent by March 18. Students offered admission have until May 1 to accept their offers.
For Ewald, who plans to become a biomedical engineer who will work with prosthetics, the choice was easy. She applied through early decision, meaning she made a commitment to attend Union once she was accepted. She has already ordered Union swag from the College’s bookstore.
“I seriously considered other schools, but I knew there was not going to be another school I loved as much as Union.”