Emory College sees record application numbers

By Beverly Clark | Feb. 17, 2012

Story image
Students gather for SongFest, an annual competition held during orientation in which students from each first-year residence hall write and perform songs.

Emory College of Arts & Sciences, Emory's main undergraduate division, has received an all-time record number of 17,489 applications for Fall 2012 admittance, including a record number of students selecting Emory as their first choice school through early decision. The pool edges out the previous high for applications set in 2008 (17,446).

Admissions staff are still processing data, but applicants remain highly competitive in scores, achievement, diversity and engagement, says John Latting, Emory's new dean of admissions, who joined Emory at the first of the year from Johns Hopkins University. Applicants are competing for one of the 1,350 slots available for the Class of 2016.

The applicant pool is currently up 462 applications, or 3 percent, over last year's count. Applications have increased 69 percent over the past 10 admission cycles.

Early decision applications are up strongly, more than 25 percent, in Emory's two rounds of early decision consideration, and as a result Latting says he expects a larger share of the Class of 2016 to enter Emory College via early decision than in prior application cycles.

"For more and more students, they are deciding that Emory is the place to be for them. This year saw several hundred more students identify Emory as their number one choice," Latting says. Many students are drawn to the high quality liberal arts education found within a major research university and pre-professional programs that Emory offers.

Early decision a strong trend at Emory, nationally

The marked rise in early decision applications reflects two trends: increased interest in Emory as a first choice school and increased interest nationwide in early decision, he says.

Several of Emory's peer schools also saw an increase in early decision applications.

On a national scale, the migration from regular decision to early decision reflects a trend to find an angle to reduce and ease some of the anxiety and concern that has built up around the college admissions process for many students and families, he says.  

The applicant pool remains highly diverse geographically and ethnically. Year-over-year growth from 2011 to 2012 has been led by applications from women, Asian-Americans and international students, as well as students from Georgia and California. 

"We're seeing increased awareness of Emory while at the same time the students in our backyard continue to recognize the value and high quality of education Emory offers. The numbers reflect a great balance of regional, national and international reach," Latting says.

Other states leading in the application pool include Florida, New York, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland and Tennessee. About 20 percent of applicants live abroad.

As more families around the world attain incomes that can finance an American education, Emory, as one of the top research universities in the country, has been well-positioned to benefit from the increase in international students, Latting says. 

Admissions staff are now deep in the next phase of shaping the class of 2016; students will be notified of their acceptance status by late March.

"There is a tremendous amount of work involved in attaining such an applicant pool, and not just in the admissions office," says Latting. "It also involves our alumni, current students, faculty, staff in the college, provost and communications and marketing offices: It is truly an integrated effort to shape the class."

Oxford College also see record applications

Oxford College has received more than 6,000 applications this year, nearly double the number received for the 2011-12 academic year, says Jennifer Taylor, associate dean for enrollment services at Oxford. About 90 percent were dual applications with Emory College. Oxford also conducted its first-ever early-decision process, and numerous deposits have already been received from those admitted by early decision. 

The quality of SAT and other academic credentials is also higher year-over-year from 2011, Taylor says. Oxford anticipates a 2012 entering class of about 480.

Oxford College is located on Emory's original 1836 campus in Oxford, GA.  About one fifth of the students in each Emory freshman class choose to begin their baccalaureate studies with Oxford's liberal-arts-intensive program.  As juniors, they continue their studies on Emory's Atlanta campus.