signs of the Class of 2005
in early-action applications slows, while candidates' qualifications
January the Office of College Admissions was reporting a 9 percent
increase in early applicants this fall with 1,801 applications,
up from 1,648 last year and 1,215 in 1998.
schools had smaller increases this year as well," says Michael
Behnke, vice president and associate dean for enrollment, noting
that "the boom in early programs appears to be settling down."
admitted 973 early applicants, up from 868 last year. "Word
of our greater selectivity continues to spread," says Behnke.
"On SATs, we had more growth in the top of the pool and a
decline in the bottom." Average SATs for the admitted group
increased from 1434 to 1437.
interest from New England jumped by 46 percent, while applications
from overseas rose by 23 percent, reflecting Chicago's heightened
recruiting efforts abroad, Behnke says. Applications from the
Middle States, Southwest, and West were up 15 percent each.
these numbers reflect trends across the United States, one aspect
that remains distinctive about Chicago's annual application cycle
is its provocative essay questions. What were this year's applicants
mulling over in their essays? A sample question: "At a crucial
point in his career, the writer James Baldwin withdrew to a secluded
spot in the Swiss Alps. 'There,' he later wrote, 'in that absolutely
alabaster landscape, armed with two Bessie Smith records and a
typewriter, I began to try to recreate the life that I had first
known as a child and from which I had spent so many years in flight....
It was Bessie Smith, through her tone and her cadence, who helped
me to dig back to the way I myself must have spoken... and to
remember the things I had heard and seen and felt.'
certain things-recordings, household objects, familiar smells-help
us to 'dig our way back' to our past. Write about something that
has enabled you to return to a forgotten part of your past."-S.A.S.