Early Action statistics set school record

Molly Grace

Setting a new record for the Undergraduate Admissions Office, 4,726 prospective students applied for Early Action admission to Villanova’s graduating class of 2011. The additional 591 applications to last year’s record-setting total of 4,135 represent a 14.3 percent increase.

Applicants came from 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and 26 foreign countries.

Of the 4,726 applications, approximately 1,850 students were accepted by the admissions committee, for an acceptance rate of approximately 39 percent. Seventy-seven students who did not ask to be considered for early action admission, but whose applications met the Nov. 1 deadline and early action standards, were also accepted. In total, the University accepted 1,927 EA applicants.

The College of Arts and Sciences accepted 1,119 students. The School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing accepted 455, 300 and 53 students, respectively.

According to Steve Merritt, the University’s dean of Enrollment Management, the numbers reflect how the public views the University.

“Villanova remains an extremely popular and visible institution for prospective students and their families nationally and internationally,” he said.

Of the accepted EA candidates, the middle 50 percent SAT (Critical Reading and Math) range was 1340-1440, slightly up from last year’s 1330-1430. The University does not take the score from the new essay portion of SAT into consideration. For those students who elected to take the ACT, the middle 50 percent ranged from 30 to 33. Based on a weighted GPA scale of 4.0, the middle 50 percent of accepted students reported a GPA between 3.80 to 4.12, also slightly up from last year’s 3.77 to 4.12 range.

Because EA is not a binding agreement, the admissions office expects approximately 30 percent of the accepted EA applicants to enroll, a number which, according to Merritt, “is a very strong affirmative response rate,” especially when considering “students of this high academic caliber.”

“This response further demonstrates Villanova’s ever-growing reputation for academic excellence and its continued commitment to the education of the heart and mind,” said Merritt.

This weekend, the University will invite Early Action candidates and their families to campus to learn more about Villanova.

“Early Action candidates have clearly indicated a high level of interest

in attending Villanova,” said Bob Blanchard, the assistant dean for External Relations. “By inviting these students and their families to visit with us, we have an opportunity to answer any remaining questions they may have. We also can help them get better insight into

the learning experience that awaits them, should they enroll.”

The University expects 500 students and

1,400 people to attend Early Action Candidates’ Weekend.

According to George Walter, associate dean for Enrollment Management, several factors are responsible for the increase in the number of applicants. Walter cited the University’s members – students, faculty, staff, Public Safety officers and alumni volunteers – as all contributing to this effort.

“Everyone plays a vital part in the University’s continued success,” Walter said. “Another reason for the increase is the welcoming community that exits at all levels when a student and family members visit Villanova.”

Villanova’s strong academic reputation, its emphasis on volunteering and community service and the success of Villanova alumni in the academic and professional worlds have also increased the University’s positive image.

As evidenced by the vast majority of applicants who applied to Villanova with The Common Application, Walter also credited last year’s decision to join the almost 300 schools that use this service for “greatly increase[ing] the University’s exposure to prospective students.”

The success of last year’s basketball team also “heighten[ed] public awareness and perception.” Merritt said “It is important to note that success reaches far beyond the final score of a game or the total number of wins and losses at the end of the season. At Villanova, prospective students also see young men and women who are student athletes who perform in the classroom as well as in life beyond graduation.”

The University also does its part to reinforce this message to prospective students. Along with the “communications plan” of each of the University’s colleges, the University gains exposure through its various publications, videos, the Internet, and a commercial that runs during televised Villanova sporting events.

As evidenced by the over 13,400 applications that the Admissions Office expects to review for the incoming class of Villanovans, the University seems to have been successful in spreading its positive image.