Big numbers bring changes to admissions

Because of a surge in applicant numbers this year, the admissions department adjusted the admission process to take on this significant increase, and hopes to welcome a class of 960-1,000 students in the fall.

Given the surprisingly large class of 2014, many were concerned with what to expect for next year.

However, students can rest assured that the admissions department worked to accommodate a considerable increase both in interest, and in applicants.

“Our number of applicants went up 41 percent from last year,” Vice President of Enrollment Management Tom Weede said.

Scott Ham, dean of admission, said the increase in interest was a “tricky adjustment.”

“We knew that the number of visitors to campus was up from last spring and summer, and we would likely have a strong increase in the number of applications, but whether that would be 10 percent or 30 percent, we had no idea,” he said.

Because so many more applications came in, the admissions department hired former staff members to help go through the applications. All admission counselors took on additional file review responsibilities, and the operations and communications teams worked to make sure all decisions were entered, processed and mailed by the published deadlines.

“The dedication of the admission staff is simply remarkable,” Ham said.

Despite the larger number of applications to read, the assessment remained personal and three different people viewed each application, Weede said.

Due to the increase in applications, many students that may have been accepted in the past were rejected, and the acceptance rate is now at about 52 to 55 percent.

While the academic numbers of the incoming freshman class may be slightly higher than previous classes, Weede said numbers were not the only factor playing a role in the admissions decisions.

Last year, despite the fact that the university admitted about the same number of students as previous years, the yield rate, or the number of students accepted to the university who decided to attend, increased by two percent.

Weede said that increase is very uncharacteristic for a university because over the last 10 years, this number has been going down because many students started applying to more colleges.

Given Butler’s recent publicity, applicant numbers will not suddenly rise again because deadlines have passed, but Weede says it is always a possibility that the yield rate could increase, as it did last year.

The numbers of the incoming class will remain unknown until the beginning of May, when students’ acceptance of admission decisions are due.

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