Despite an unsettled economy, applications for early decision to the Class of 2013 are ahead of last year’s pace, an encouraging sign for admissions officials concerned that some families might delay applying to college amid financial uncertainties.
Students applying for early decision by the Nov. 15 deadline rose 7 percent this year, said Matthew Malatesta, vice president for Admissions, Financial Aid and Enrollment.
Malatesta attributed the rise in early decision applications in part to the growing reputation of the College and the value of a Union education. A recent survey placed the College among the top schools in the country where graduates have the most earning potential.
“The quantity and quality of our early decision pool are both up,” Malatesta said. “This is a testament that students see an education at Union College as a good investment. These numbers are an important first indicator that we will have another strong group of students joining our community next fall.”
Malatesta said top-tier schools like Union also may be attractive during this economic downturn because the school has sufficient resources to help families with affordability. The average scholarship at Union was $21,000 last year.
“While the current economic turmoil is worrisome for many, we are a college committed to meeting the full financial need of all students who are accepted,” he said. “Not all colleges are able to meet financial need when they accept students. Ultimately, though, it comes down to where a student wants to attend college, and this is great time to be at Union.”
Students applying under early decision agree to attend Union if admitted. Letters of acceptance will be mailed out around Dec. 15.
The deadline for the second round of early decision is Thursday, Jan. 15, the same as regular admission, with decision letters mailed in early February. 1. Regular decision letters will be sent at the end of March.
Union received a record 5,271 applications last year. With 581 students, the Class of 2012 is one of the largest in recent years. The Class of 2012 includes 289 women and 292 men, and 23 international students from 12 countries, from Bulgaria to Swaziland.