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A banner year for GWU admissions

I've written recently on a variety of admission statistics that seem to be moving in the right direction for selective colleges (and sometimes in the wrong direction for applicants). Record numbers of applications give the colleges a deeper pool. Falling admit rates burnish their reputation for selectivity. Rising numbers of early decision applications and longer wait lists protect colleges against volatility in the admissions cycle.

Here's a case in point. The numbers are in for George Washington University's Class of 2014, and they are all good, at least from the perspective of an admissions dean.

The university received 21,177 applications, the most in its history and a 7-percent increase over last year. The university offered admission to 31.5 percent of applicants, a record low. The university expects to enroll between 2,350 and 2,390 of those admitted, a yield rate of 37.4 percent, a comparatively high number for a school accustomed to yields in the low 30s.

The SAT average for the incoming class is 1,960, which is about 650 per section and also an all-time high. The average student ranks in the 91st percentile of her or his high school class.

Impressive stuff for an institution that is occasionally disparaged as "Georgetown Waitlist University."

(And, yes, GWU has a wait list this year, just like Georgetown. Officials declined to say how long.)

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By Daniel de Vise  |  May 20, 2010; 1:03 PM ET
Categories:  Access , Admissions , Privates , Students  | Tags: GWU, GWU admissions, George Washington University, George Washington University admissions  
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I don't get what all the hype is about GWU, especially because it's astronomically expensive. It has virtually no campus to speak of, and what it does have is no that attractive; has little campus community, Washington, DC is a dangerous city, few people can live on campus, living in DC is expensive, and it's just not that stellar academically to be worth all the money. Kids are silly in their college selection habits -- once a few of them start liking a certain school, they all start jumping on the bandwagon...

Posted by: MoMto3 | May 25, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Alright, MoMto3 I really don't think you know the university that well. I must admit that GW was my first choice back in 2006 and I attended the University until my graduation. I think I will answer your complaints in order for ease.

-It has virtually no campus to speak of, and what it does have is no that attractive;-

GW is an urban school much like BU, NYU, UPenn, Northeastern and the list goes on. Unlike many of those great schools I just mentioned, GW does have a defined campus that happens to be open to the city. If you walk across Pennsylvania Avenue down 22nd street, you are surrounded by everything GW. It may not be the pearly gates that many schools have, but most of us who attended do not want that.

-has little campus community-
Trust me, we do. Most of us live on-campus or in Foggy Bottom, thus it isn't uncommon to run into classmates/friends/supervisors. Once again, it is not a normal experience, but if you join organizations and get active it becomes pretty rewarding.

-Washington, DC is a dangerous city-
As a newly inducted 'official' District resident, I do take offense to that. DC is a big city with big city issues, but we are not any less safe compared to our counterparts. GW's campus itself remains one of the safest areas of the city being patrolled by more law enforcement agencies than some states have. As previously stated, it is an open campus and you should always be on guard, but any campus administrator will say that at any school, because College students are easy prey.

-few people can live on campus-
I am not sure where these statistics come from, but a LARGE majority of students do in fact live on campus. Housing is required through Sophomore year and many stay in it until graduation. This is pretty typical at any major University.

-living in DC is expensive-
If you want the big city, you must pay for it and most graduates end up staying here. DC offers an abundance of internships, contacts, and post-grad employment, if you use the city to your advantage. I find that most GW graduates who do not end up employed after school, did not fully utilize the resources at their disposal. A typical GW student should not have less than two 'professional' internships over their four years.

Any who, you can make DC's expensive living affordable by maximizing your use of coupons and searching for deals.

-and it's just not that stellar academically-
Well you may have me in a corner on this issue. It frankly depends on your department, but this is common at many non-Ivy schools. I would not attend GW for art, but my major was consistently ranked as one of the best in the World. The Professors were attentive and knowledgeable, but they were not just going to give you knowledge on a silver platter.

Posted by: DCAg | May 27, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

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