As I begin this entry, the rain continues to fall and students are finishing exams. I can hardly believe the calendar year is over. How can it be that our 1474 first-year students have finished their first semester? The class of 2017 is full of extraordinary students and ones I am so privileged to have met along the way. In the end, the greatest joy of the work we do is in building relationships with students and families that often last far beyond four undergraduate years. It was a great joy to see so many Elon families while on the road this fall.
We will spend the remainder of this week in committee preparing our Early Action release scheduled, as usual, for December 20th. To-date, over 8,000 students have submitted an application for next fall. Our regular Early Decision pool grew to 494 applications and the Early Action pool includes 6414 applicants. I’m also pleased to report growing interest in Elon’s Gap Semester program. In our second year of offering both an early and a regular deadline, Early Decision Gap applications grew 64%! The program is limited to 15 students so the selection process is particularly challenging. A number of students who applied ED to the Gap program were wait listed for Gap but admitted to the university. The program is too new to determine if and how many students on the Gap wait list will be offered Gap admission.
The EA pool this year is once again large and strong. Clearly, the word is out that the Elon community is full of smart students with good hearts. The admissions committee is working hard on identifying best academic and extracurricular “fit”. We do this by weighing course load, academic success, and diverse and varied interests that match institutional priorities. While the student’s academic record drives the admissions process, a standardized test is very much a factor in our careful evaluation as well. This is especially significant given the number of applicants and limited admission offers.
Because our regular deadline is still to come, we absolutely must limit the number of admission offers in EA. Following release we often hear from students inquiring about their admissions decisions. On the surface, it would seem a student within our advertised academic mid-range or above can expect to be admitted. That is not always the case. Remember, we are reviewing 6000 + applications and many, many of them are outstanding. We have to make hard choices based on a number of things and when the majority of applicants are strong, we simply cannot admit all the students we’d like. So, while many students will be excited with the news that comes their way on December 20th, we are aware that others will be disappointed. That’s hard for the committee as well because remember, we are the admissions staff. Our goal is to “admit” students. However, one of the reasons that Elon may be so appealing to you is our size. Our job is to create a community of learners who have demonstrated potential for academic success (which includes high school record and standardized test score) while maintaining the size of the university.
Often, a student or parent will call and say they know someone who has been admitted but is not planning to attend Elon. The hope is that with this knowledge, we will make an additional offer of admission. When we plan our number of offers for the year, this is already considered. Consequently, we only make additional admission offers once we’ve created a wait list and see the class coming together in the spring.
Sometimes deferred or declined students tell us they know admitted students with weaker or different profiles. Only an admissions office has the full academic and student profile. The decisions we make are based on completed applications that have been thoroughly reviewed by the committee. I have tremendous confidence in our process and in the entire staff. Their commitment to students and the Elon community is admirable. I am honored to work among them.
I started this post a week ago. Since then, the sun has returned and the staff is upstairs stuffing packets to make certain you receive your information in a timely manner. Thank you for applying Early Action to Elon University this year. If you don’t receive your anticipated decision, I know it will be disappointing. If your application is deferred, the very best thing you can do is maintain academic success as a high school senior and demonstrate your continued interest in becoming a Phoenix.
Happy Holidays to all.