April 1, 2011

U of C acceptance rate plummets

Note: This article is satirical in nature and was published for April Fools' Day.

According to statistics released Wednesday, the University of Chicago experienced its lowest acceptance rate yet after receiving a record-high number of applications, continuing a trend over the past two decades.

The University made headlines last year after a 42-percent jump in applications, and administrators at the U of C and other colleges are reacting just the same this year after the acceptance rate eclipsed all peer institutions.

Of the 21,669 applicants—a 12-percent jump—35 were offered a spot in the class of 2015. This resulted in a 0.16-percent acceptance rate, compared to the 18 percent of applicants that were accepted last year.

While University officials say they are pleased with the direction that admission percentages are going in, they maintain that they’re not merely focusing on the numbers. According to University spokesperson Jerry Manning, “Our goal is always to seek out applicants who would fit in with the University’s distinctive academic culture. This is about giving passionate, qualified students a chance to attend a top college where their talents will be put to use.”

The admissions office addressed tactics that may have resulted in this year’s exceptionally low acceptance rate, such as an increase in the number of recruiting visits to high schools and mailings sent out. The office maintains that heightened interest in the school has been the driving force in lowering admissions rates.

The 0.16-percent acceptance rate is the lowest among the U of C’s peer institutions. In comparison, this year Harvard had an acceptance rate of 6.2 percent, and Yale one of 7.35 percent.

Administrators from those colleges are expressing concern over the U of C's practices, but Manning says it's “jealousy.”

Looking forward to next year, Manning admitted that he couldn’t determine whether or not admissions rates would continue to decrease. “It’s exceptional that so many students applied, and unfortunate that we were able to admit so few. What’s important is that we have an incoming class that really holds the ‘life of the mind’ dear.”

Many admitted students are showing interest in attending, and at last count the Class of 2015 Facebook group already had 17 members.