College apps on the rise

More applications poured into top schools this admissions cycle than in any previous year on record. As a result, countless high school valedictorians and students with perfect SAT scores were rejected by Ivy League schools or schools of their choice. According to an article in the New York Times, there are three main reasons for the whopping number of college rejection letters. First, children of baby boomers are now graduating from high school, creating a large application pool. As a result the election process has become more competitive. Second, more high-school seniors are going straight to college after they graduate. The article cites, “In the 1970s, less than half of all high school graduates went directly to college, compared with more than 60 percent today.”

Third, the Common Application and other online alternatives make applying easier because that one application can be sent to several prospective institutions. Students can count on increased competition not only in the application process, but also in the classroom, because more students are fighting for a limited number of seats. Ivy League schools, however, were not the only institutions flooded with applications. Colleges across the board received a tremendous amount of applications. Christine Goodwin, Director of Data Management, Analysis, and Reporting for the Office of Institutional Research, stated that St. John’s University applicants numbered 25,594, of which 15,159 were accepted. This leaves the University at a 59 percent acceptance rate.

According to Goodwin, “3,266 students were enrolled-the largest freshman class ever.” Goodwin also noted that the fall 2006’s incoming freshman class had an overall highschool average of 87 and a mean SAT score of 1075. Javon Williams, a student worker from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, said that this was a “record
breaking year” because applications for every program offered at St. John’s have gone up.

“St. John’s came in second in the Metropolitan area with almost 26,000 applications,”
she explained.

In fact, the Pharmacy Program received approximately 2,600 applicants-only 300 of whom will be enrolled. In the past four years, according to Williams, “no one has been
admitted from the waitlist,” Williams stated.