Prospective students have set a new record and surpassed all expectations, submitting 5,500 Early Action applications this year.
This number represents a 17 percent increase in Early Action applications compared to last year’s 4,726 applications, which had itself set a new record for the Undergraduate Admissions Office.
Early Action is non-binding but allows prospective students with exceptional credentials to take advantage of applying early.
The Early Action policy allows students to apply to more than one institution, as opposed to other universities’ Early Decision programs.
While the number of Early Action applicants accepted will probably be near the 1,930 applicants accepted last year, there are no target numbers for Early Action.
“We really let the process be driven by the credentials of the applicants,” said George Walter, associate dean of Enrollment Management.
Early Action applicants will be notified of acceptance by Dec. 20.
All Early Action applicants are either accepted or deferred to regular admission. None are rejected immediately.
“We view Early Action as a process geared toward students who have really excelled,” Walter said.
Target numbers for regular decision are based on historical data.
Last year the target freshman class size was 1,595 students, and offers of admission were calculated to meet the target number as closely as possible.
Last year, Villanova made 5,718 offers out of 13,700 applications received, including Early Action and regular decision. Of those offered admission, 1,604 accepted. The combined number of Early Action and regular decision applications expected this year is 14,000.
The size of the freshman class is largely based on the space in the residence halls, as well as efforts to maintain small class sizes.
The Admissions Office emphasizes the importance of limiting the number of freshmen in triples when determining class size.
The Admissions Office looks for a 50/50 split among men and women as much as possible.
According to Walters, Villanova’s good academic reputation is the main reason for the strong increase in numbers from year to year.
Villanova attracts students who are looking for a school with good academics, a rich Catholic heritage and a good sense of community, Walter said.
“We’re primarily looking at the candidates academically, but we try to have a holistic view,” Walter said.
The Admissions Office takes special notice of students who are involved in their community at home.
Some of the hype surrounding Villanova can also be attributed to the men’s basketball team, which has been increasingly in the spotlight more in the past few years.
“This is a place that values quality,” Walter said, speaking of the Villanova community and the University’s recruiting methods.