By Nicholas Brenn
The admissions office announced that the number of applications have set a new school record, which increased by seven percent from last year’s total of 5,151 applications.
The applications for the class of 2016 surpassed the previous record holders, the class of 2012, by 237 applications.
“When prospective students read about and visit Union, they find that it is a good time to be at Union,” Vice President of Admissions Matthew Malatesta said.
The completion of the Wold Center for Science and Engineering and the renovations to the Social Sciences building, now called Lippman Hall, are just two facets of Union that the college is using to attract new applicants.
Malatesta explained, “With additions like the IBM donated supercomputer [and] the acquisition of the Paul Schaffer and Adirondack studies home, there are a lot of great things happening here.”
In addition to Union’s growth and innovation in the arts and science disciplines, the college’s commitment to providing students with financial aid packages that effectively meet their needs is another reason for the rise in the number of applications.
With an average need-based scholarship of $29,000 and an average merit-based scholarship of $10,000, Union has garnered a reputation as an institution committed to meeting the financial needs of its students.
Naturally, as the number of applicants rises, so does the selectivity of the Admissions staff.
“We aren’t planning to grow as a college,” noted Malatesta, “so this makes the competition for seats here steeper, which is a good thing for the institution.”
Currently, the admissions staff is in the middle of combing through the second round of early decision applications.
“We aren’t planning to grow as a college so this makes the competition for seats here steeper, which is a good thing for the institution.”
Matt Malatesta ‘91
Vice President for Admissions
Early spring is especially busy for the staff as they are “reading and analyzing [applications] and having committee meetings” to ensure that the accepted students meet the standards of the college.
The students that have applied for the class of 2016 are of a very similar caliber to students that have applied to Union in the past few years.
Of the 73 percent of applicants who submitted their standardized test scores, the average SAT was 1280/1600 and 1910/2400, with an average ACT score of 29.
Malatesta notes that these scores compare favorably to the past two years of applicants who brought record standardized test scores.
He also noted improvements “in female representation and international student representation.”
The numbers, Malatesta says, are also comparable to the last two years. However, outside sources say that the female application rate of 47 percent is still down eight percent from several years ago.
“The trick is in yielding the right number of students to our target, which certainly doesn’t come without challenge,” explained Malatesta.