The Office of Admissions announced last week that Union received 6,570 applications for the Class of 2020, a record-breaking number.
It surpassed the previous record of 5,996, set last year by the Class of 2019, by over 500 applicants. Of the 6,750 applications, 400 were early decision.
Matt Malatesta ’91, the Vice President of Admissions, Financial Aid and Enrollment, said that despite the increase in students applying for spots at Union, there is not a plan to accept more students.
The Class of 2020 is expected to contain around 565 students.
“This increase in applications has allowed us to become more selective in the students we admit,” Malatesta explained.
He clarified that the number of acceptances will not be changed until the number of early decision applicants increases, which this year were in line with previous years. He continued, “In short, since our admit number will be close to previous years, we expect our admit rate to be lower because of the additional applications.”
The number of applications has increased by 50% since 2006.
Malatesta cites a variety of reasons for the increased number of applications, including improvements to buildings around campus, like Lippman Hall, Karp Hall, Henle Dance Pavilion and Feigenbaum Center for the Visual Arts.
Some of this may also be due to a “residual of the good press Union has received in the national media in recent years.” An example of which is Union’s National Championship win in Men’s Hockey in 2014.
New partnerships and outreach efforts with Cappex, Carnegie Communications in the digital media space and with Zehno Communications may also be responsible for drawing more attention to Union.
Malatesta stated that Union completed its first full cycle with the new communication plan with Zehno Communications.
On its website, it states that “Zehno partners with colleges, universities and education organizations to develop highly creative and effective brand and marketing communications programs.”
Union student and tour guide Kathleen Matthews ’17 shared her observations on the increased numbers: “Last spring I was giving more tours and much larger tours in comparison with the year before. All of those students would have been applying to the Class of 2020. It definitely seems like more and more students have been touring Union. Definitely more students have toured since we won the National Championships.”
Malatesta specified that there is no single reason for the increase in applicants and that it is impossible to know exactly why more people are applying to Union. “It is a good time to be at Union….One of the exciting things about working in college admissions and financial aid is that it is not all know-able,” he summarized.