Admissions Sees Dip in Applications
Kirstie Murr, Tower Staff
March 23, 2012
Filed under News
This year Catholic University admissions received 6,200 applications for the class of 2016, 280 fewer undergraduate applications than last year. Of the total applicants, only about 850 are expected to attend the University in the fall.
In the past year, Catholic University has cut its acceptance rate in an effort to improve its academic standards and to become more prestigious. The 2011 acceptances represent the initial efforts that helped cut the admission rate from 85 percent to 75 percent this past year. President John H. Garvey’s Inside CUA article in August 2011 attributed upwards of 6,600 prospective students applying for the 850 existing seats, according to Michael Hendricks, Vice President for Enrollment Management.
Most of the applicants come from the areas such as New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Massachusetts. International applications include students from Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Kuwait and Korea, representing 4-5% of the CUA’s undergraduate students.
CUA considers strong academics, various leadership roles in high school, and significant extra-curricular activities as important in the application process. The average GPA for students who attend is 3.4 and the general SAT score is 1110-1600.
“Students who tell us they are committed to doing the same at CU are the students we are looking to admit to CU,” said Christine Mica, Director of Admissions.
Incoming freshmen had the opportunity to apply either through the Common Application website or through the online University application. A $55 non-refundable application fee, a high school transcript, a letter of recommendation, and ACT/SAT scores are included in the application process.
Interviews are optional, although students applying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Music in the School of Music have to complete an audition.
In addition, students are required to write one 500-word essay on one of three topics about personal experience and worldview. These include, ‘It is often said that you do not know someone until you have walked a mile in his or her shoes. Whose shoes would you walk in and why?’ and ‘In your opinion, what is the greatest obstacle your generation will face, and what solution would you propose to overcome it?’
The last prompt asks for a reflection on Keats, saying, “John Keats wrote, ‘Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced — even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it.’ Please tell us about an experience in your own life that has illustrated a special proverb or quote that has meaning for you.”
In an effort to improve its standing, the University has been addressing its student retention rate issues. Currently, about 80 percent of freshmen stay at CUA. Of the 80 percent of students who stay the full four years, only about 75 percent of them will graduate.
The school hopes to continue to lower the admission rate by at least 10 percent in the next year so as to improve the school’s academic standing.