Record numbers for early action

Alessandro Roco

The Undergraduate Admissions Office received an all-time high of 4,144 Early Action applications for the Fall 2006 freshman class, approximately 30 percent more than last year’s total.

The University set a record by admitting 1,801 high school seniors, about 44 percent of the Early Action pool. Remaining applicants were deferred into regular admission, or received letters indicating that their application was incomplete.

Of the 1,801 acceptances, 1,096 were accepted into the College of Arts & Sciences, 405 into the College of Commerce and Finance, 249 into the College of Engineering and 51 into the College of Nursing.

The grade point average and SAT score range for admitted Early Action students were fairly consistent with last year’s statistics. The middle 50 percent of GPA’s ranged from 3.77 to 4.12, and the middle 50 percent of SAT scores ranged from 1330-1430.

Though the new SAT is based on a 2400 point scale, the University’s policy is to only consider the math and critical reading sections as “primary indicators when considering the application, and the writing section as a secondary one,” George Walter, associate dean of enrollment management, said.

As of Tuesday’s statistics, in both early and regular admissions, 47 states and 50 different countries have been represented in the application process, signifying the University’s continued attempt to diversify and publicize the Villanova name.

According to Walter, one major reason for the significantly increased selectivity for the University can be attributed to the University’s participation in the Common Application, whereby a student can apply to several colleges through one standard application.

“I believe that with Villanova using the Common App, it helps expose our name to many more prospective students,” Walter said. “It’s really helpful especially for seniors who apply online because they can just click on our hyperlink and learn all about the University.”

He also cited the ongoing trend of high school guidance counselors observing their senior students applying early in order to keep up with the competitiveness of other students applying to the same school as a major contributor as to why more seniors are applying to early programs not just at Villanova, but also nationwide.

For Villanova specifically, the recent spike in the number of applications over the past couple of years can be attributed to the increased national publicity the University has received most notably from its high rankings in “US News and World Report.” This year, the College of Engineering earned a ninth place ranking in the northern region, while the University’s Master’s program earned the no. 1 ranking, an award it has garnered for over ten years running.

“I made my decision because of Villanova’s prestigious history, its high ranking in the “US News and World Report” for [the College of] Engineering and the communal feeling I got,” said Matt Bandelt, a senior from Bishop George Ahr High School in Edison, N.J.

Bandelt was admitted into the College of Engineering through the Early Action process and has already committed to enrolling in the fall.

Though the University’s academic acclaim has grown, it has been the recent success of the men’s basketball team, volunteer programs and other organizations around campus that have warranted the University even more national acclaim and the attention of prospective students.

“It’s really great to turn on ESPN and watch a commercial about Villanova because it shows that we are defining our own image, and it is a very positive one,” Walter said. “Though we may be getting a lot of great exposure due to our basketball team, it’s also great to see that our popularity is coming from all different parts of campus, such as through the One Book program, Special Olympics and other service projects.”