The number of high school students applying to attend Case Western Reserve University has exponentially increased over the past few years. In 2003, CWRU only received 4,680 applications. Ten years later, the university received over 18,000 applications, which represents an approximate increase of 285 percent. Even compared to 2012, the number of applicants for 2013 surged 25 percent. CWRU’s Director of Undergraduate Admissions Robert McCullough believes the increase in applicants can be attributed to the outstanding work the university is doing as a whole.
“While the university is doing a lot of good work to identify potential students and encourage them to apply to CWRU, the real reason why more students are applying is that this is a terrific university that is getting better every day,” McCullough said. “CWRU has a lot of the things that students are looking for: strong academic programs, mid-sized, in a city with a diverse and vibrant student population. When families come visit, they can see progress that we’re building on a strong foundation with things like the Uptown Development and the Tinkham Veale University Center.”
While the number of people applying to a school is an important trend to observe, the yield rate, or the rate of people who choose to enroll at the school, is also an important measure to gauge how students view the school. Compared to similar schools such as Carnegie Mellon, with a yield rate of approximately 30 percent, and the University of Chicago at approximately 50 percent, CWRU’s yield rate is relatively low. Over the past six years, it averaged around 17 percent.
McCullough suggested that CWRU’s yield rate is lower than its peers since CWRU does not have an early decision program, in which applicants are required to attend if they are offered admission.
McCullough also noted that CWRU’s applicant pool in recent years has been changing rather dramatically and that it has been harder to predict what the yield will be.
When asked if admissions would like to see CWRU’s applications increase by 25 percent again this year, McCullough said, “To be honest, we were a little taken by surprise that our applications grew by 25 percent last year. To be clear, this was a happy surprise. Our goal is to make sure we’re reaching out and connecting with students for whom CWRU would be a good fit.”