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Applications up

For the 1999–2000 academic year, the College has seen a rise in applicants and in the number of applicants with high SAT scores.

Compared to last year, the total number of applicants has gone up 22 percent—from 5,520 to 6,733, according to the University’s Office of Admissions. Nearly a fifth of the applicants applied for early action, an increase of 41 percent from 862 last year to 1,215 this year.

At the same time, the applicants are turning in higher standardized test scores. Among early applicants, the number with scores in the 1,500 to 1,600 tier increased by 28 percent; in the 1,400 to 1,490 tier by 59 percent; and in the 1,300 to 1,390 tier by 33 percent. Among regular decision applicants, the number scoring 1,500 to 1,600 increased by 25 percent; 1,400 to 1,490 by 29 percent; and 1,300 to 1,390 by 20 percent.

Michael Behnke, vice president of enrollment, says the number of early applicants signals a rise in students seriously thinking about attending the College. Though Chicago’s early application process is not binding, as it is at most other colleges, students typically apply early only if Chicago is a top choice, he says. Despite the rise in early applicants, the target size of the class will remain the same size as this year’s entering class—about 1,017—in order to more gradually expand the overall size of the College.

Behnke attributes the increase in applicants to more informational programs for prospective students—this summer, on-campus interviews were up 52 percent—and to new recruitment strategies, such as a viewbook entitled “The Life of the Mind,” that highlight Chicago’s academic rigor, extracurricular activities, foreign study, and athletics.—J.P.

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