Section: Must read

Early Decision on the rise

Early Decision on the rise

By Lauren Eller

The 2013-2014 academic year was a stressful blur in Ransom Hall due to the huge influx of applications the Office of Admissions received. This year, the numbers only seem to be rising: Early Decision (ED) I applications to Kenyon increased 13 percent from last year. Early Decision applicants apply earlier during application season, and if admitted they must attend. Kenyon has two early decision rounds: one in November and one in January.

In the fall of 2013, 227 students applied ED I to Kenyon; this year, as of November 15 deadline, 261 students applied ED I. This was a slight increase, but nothing compared to the jump from 2012-2013 to 2013-2014 when the overall application volume skyrocketed by 63 percent.

Darryl Uy, associate dean of admissions, said this increase was likely due in part to the elimination of a Kenyon-specific writing supplement for the Common Application that occurred last year, but that it could not be attributed to that alone.

“I think it was part of it, but there are other schools that got rid of their supplement as well and they did not see a 63 percent increase like we did last year,” he said. “[There was] maybe 20, 30, 40 percent increase at other schools. So we can’t attribute [it] just to the elimination of the supplement.”

Uy said that one of the largest draws for Kenyon as of late has been famous alumni. “We did a survey and asked a bunch of students … how they heard about it or why they applied,” he said. “The other factor that they mentioned was John Green [’00] and then Josh Radnor [’96] also. I think the media that we got, the sort of free publicity from them over the last year, was really helpful too.”

Kevin Pan ’15, admissions interviewer and head tour guide, said Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays have seemed busier than in past years. “There have been some days where it’s completely booked,” Pan said. He held a similar view on reasons for the increase in ED I applicants, namely the media spotlight on Green.

He explained that, though he’s more involved with admissions than in the past, it feels to him as though more families are coming through this year.

As for interviews he’s conducted, Pan mentioned there were a few students considering ED. “There are students I know who have been on the fringe,” he said.

Pan added that he always asks students which other schools they are applying to, and that many thus far have cited various “overlap” schools, such as Oberlin College, and that some also say they are looking at Ivy League schools in addition to Kenyon.

Emma McGorray ’18 serves as an overnight host and has hosted a few prospective students so far this semester. “I think two-thirds of them have been [good fits for Kenyon],” she said. She added that none of her prospies was planning on applying ED to Kenyon, though some of them would have been interested in doing so if not for financial considerations.

Uy anticipates a large volume of applications this year, just as there was last year. “Last year we had over 6,600 applications,” he said. The first-year class is composed of 448 students, “but we admitted a lot more than that,” Uy said. “We admitted, I think, close to 1,600 to get that 448.”

The unprecedented wave of applications last year prompted admissions to make a change so those reading the applications are less overwhelmed. “This year, in anticipation of having the same amount or maybe even more applications than last year, we have a new position in the office,” Uy said. “So we have a new admissions officer that’s helping out.”

According to Uy, 148 of the students who applied ED I this year are female, while 113 are male; 37 are students of color; 36 are first-generation; and 28 are legacy. Applicants hail from 40 different states and 14 different countries, and hold 21 different citizenships. Ohio had the largest number of applicants at 36, followed by California at 24.


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