The answer is we still don’t have a complete answer. For now, to satisfy my own curiosity (and perhaps yours), I did some very rough number crunching. (To be honest, that’s the only kind I ever do. My stats work is generally confined to answering questions as they flash in my mind.)
It looks like the total number of applications was up by a little less than ten percent over last year. That’s significant, but hardly eye popping. What’s more interesting is where a lot of these extra applications came from: our youngest applicants. In absolute terms, the increased number of applications from prospective students aged 23 and under was nearly half of the total increase in applications. Meanwhile, the average age of applicants was virtually unchanged — about 26 — and only about a fifth of the added applications came from applicants between ages 26 and 28.
One of the other questions that popped in my head recently regarded the fate of applicants for whom this was not the first application. Taking a very rough look at the reapplicants, over 70 percent were either admitted or offered a place on the wait list. Although a few of them might have been admitted the first time, too, I still think it’s fair to conclude that the majority of applicants who reapply have a more favorable result the second time around.
It’s possible that more careful examination of the applicant pool, or of the admitted-student or enrolling-student rosters will reveal other interesting tidbits. For now, I’d have to say that this year’s admissions process looked much like that of other years.
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