University sees admissions applications decrease, admits more students

By Abigale Svoboda

Since Friday, the University has sent out a warm welcome to 22,267 students accepted to attend this coming Fall.

The University has received four percent fewer applications this year than in 2014.

This year, 34,119 students applied, and 22,267 students were admitted. In 2014, 35,695 students applied, and 20,040 were admitted. Robin Kaler, campus spokeswoman, said the 11 percent increase was done in an effort to improve yield and attract more Illinois residents. 

This year the University changed its application and admissions procedures by cutting the early decision date, or waiting list.  All applications were due by Dec. 1, and only priority applications for honors programs were due Nov. 1.  

The change was made because more early applicants were applying, and therefore more were placed on the waiting list, according to a previous interview with Nancy Walsh, director of admissions operations. “In December, it was getting harder and harder to make a true final decision on those students,” Walsh said in October.

The University decided to hold only one notification day this year. Lisa R. Micele, director of college counseling at the University of Illinois Laboratory High School, said this may be because wait-listed students from previous years said they felt unwanted and therefore opted to attend other universities. 

Kaler said the University will not know if removing the waitlist was beneficial until this summer, after students have decided where they will attend school. 

The University is one of three Big Ten schools that no longer have wait lists. 

There are 6,937 students in the current freshmen class, a low yield for the University. In the freshman class alone, 71 percent of the students are Illinois residents, 15 percent are international students and 12 percent of students are out-of-state residents, much less than the freshman class in 2004 which amounted to nearly 90 percent Illinois residents. 

The University decided to admit more students this year to ensure a higher yield, Kaler said. 

“We want to make sure the best and the brightest students in Illinois stay here for college,” Kaler said. 

Although the yield was low last year, 7,331 students enrolled in 2013, an increase from 6,932 students in 2012. 

In January, the Board of Trustees voted to freeze base tuition for Illinois residents, another effort to reel in more in-state students. Tuition rates for the class of 2019 resident students will be set at $12,036 and is locked in for four years. 

For some high school seniors, the new decision process made it difficult to make college plans.

For Maggie Harrington, senior at Nazareth Academy in La Grange Park, Illinois, the late response date steered her in the direction of other schools.

“A definite acceptance makes my decision process more real, where with U of I it’s more difficult to inquire further when I don’t even know if I got in or not.”

Harrington, who applied to the College of Engineering, was also accepted into other programs, including Purdue University and Rose Hulman Institute of Technology. 

However, for other eager high schoolers, the change didn’t make a difference. Mary Grace Chizewski, senior at Nazareth Academy, said the University was always her top choice.

“As an impatient and eager person, I would have preferred a waitlist instead of one notification day.” 

University members are in good spirits about the new process and the increased admittance. 

“We always get really good applications from, in media, from students that are very passionate about their academic and their career interests,” Julian Parrott, College of Media associate dean said. “They’re always a wonderful group of students to welcome to campus.”

Kristi Martin, associate director for recruitment for the College of FAA, said the college actually received more applications this year. She said thus far, the college has admitted about 800 students, and they’re still admitting more. 

Since FAA requires auditions in addition to the regular application, the college requires more time to continue notifying students. Martin said the last group of students auditioned for various music and theater majors over the past weekend. 

The deadline for accepted students to confirm their attendance in the fall is

May 1. 

Abigale can be reached at [email protected]

Abigale can be reached at [email protected].