College witnesses increase in students seeking admission


A record number of students have applied to join Union’s class of 2021, building upon a decade-long trend of those applying and seeking admission to the College. “Thrive at the intersections of scientific probing and artistic flair. Of intellectual curiosity and serious fun. Of an idyllic campus, and an urban setting.” This maxim listed on the admissions page on the college’s website, emphasizes clearly the college’s mission to promote interdisciplinary learning and nurture the leaders of tomorrow.

So far, Union has received 6,652 applications from some of the country’s top high school students, a small increase from last year’s 6,647 applications. Interestingly, last year marked the first time applications topped 6,000, an 11 percent increase over the year before. According to statistics provided by Admissions, the increase was fueled in part by a record 413 early decision applications, 47 more than a year ago.

Students applying under early decision have made a commitment to attend Union if they are accepted and withdraw their applications from other colleges. Currently, Union has 2,200 full-time undergraduate students from 37 states and territories and 29 countries. 19 percent of these students identify themselves as members of a multicultural group, 7 percent international students, 47 percent women and 53 percent men.

The class of 2020 is composed of 560 students, 22 percent of those students from diverse backgrounds and 9 percent of those international students and 39 percent of the class of 2020 were accepted Early Decision.

Union offers five diversity-focused Theme Houses and 30 student-run cultural, gender and spiritual clubs and groups. One third of the student body participates in intercollegiate sports, along with many others who participate in the extensive intramural, recreational and wellness classes offered.

The College’s men and women’s hockey is part of the NCAA Division I ECAC conference, while the other 24 men and women’s teams compete in the NCAA Division III Liberty League conference. International applications also saw a rise of four percent and now stand at 24 percent.

Furthermore, applications of those applying from outside the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states saw a rise of three percent as well and now stand at 39 percent. In a nutshell, the applicant pool represents 48 states and 106 countries.

The college also hired Nicole Buenzli as the Associate Dean of Admissions; Director of International Admissions, last summer. There is no single factor driving the overall application rise. A number of external recognitions have helped raise the school’s visibility, including Union’s recent inclusion in the college guide, “The Hidden Ivies,” which highlights exceptional schools that offer a broad liberal arts education.

Union was also among the Princeton Review’s list of colleges with the best return on investment, and USA Today’s College Guide ranked Union among the “Top Five STEM Schools For Women.” The college was also recognized by College Rank for the “Best College Alumni Networks,” recently.

Founded in 1795 as the first planned campus in the country, Union is consistently ranked among the nation’s top liberal arts colleges. Union was also the first college chartered by the Board of Regents of the State of New York.

The expected size of the class of 2021 is 575 students. Regular decision letters will be sent by April 1 and accepted students will have until May 1 to commit. The record number of applications comes at a time when the College remains committed to meeting the full financial need of all admitted students. The average need-based scholarship at Union is $32,500, and the average merit scholarship ranges from $10,000 to $20,000.

To name a few, the college’s alumni include Nobel Prize and Academy Award winners, a National Book Award winner and a MacArthur Fellow, an Olympic Gold medalist, seven cabinet secretaries, a secretary of state, 13 governors, 200 judges, 90 college presidents and the 21st president of the United States.


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