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### Steady Rise in Early Decision Applications at College

Photo by for The Lafayette

The college has observed a surge in applications from a more diverse range of geographical locations this year compared to previous cycles.

The early decision application period for the college concluded on Nov. 15, resulting in a total of 561 applications being received, indicating a 15.7 percent increase from the previous year and a substantial 20.9 percent rise compared to the average over the past five years.

Forrest Stuart, the vice president for enrollment management, noted that the trend of higher rates of early decision applications is prevalent among elite higher education institutions, with other schools also experiencing similar patterns.

Stuart clarified that despite the increase in applications, it will not impact the admission rate at the college, as Lafayette is not currently in a phase of expansion.

He mentioned, “It simply implies that we might consider admitting a higher number of students through the early decision process.”

Stuart further explained, “Typically, we aim to have approximately half of the class admitted between the two early decision programs. However, if there is indeed a surge in interest, as evidenced by the application pool, we may adjust this to around fifty-five percent of the first-year class.”

The early decision applicant pool for the class of 2028 also showcases significant geographic diversity, surpassing the diversity seen in previous years.

“We are seeing growth in regions where we are actively cultivating new markets, such as the Southeast, Texas, and the West Coast,” Stuart remarked. “These are areas that have historically shown lower levels of interest. The diverse geographic spread indicates that our efforts to expand into these regions are yielding positive results.”

Stuart attributed the increase in applications from these regions to Lafayette’s initiatives in establishing relationships with college counselors and the advocacy efforts of current and former Lafayette students.

In addition to the domestic geographic diversity, the college has experienced a notable 43 percent rise in early decision applications from international candidates, aligning with a broader trend seen across the nation.

Stuart highlighted, “Institutions recruiting internationally have witnessed a substantial uptick in applications from overseas.”

The robust interest in early decision applications mirrors the enthusiasm displayed by prospective students during the college’s fall open houses.

“Our turnout at both open houses was exceptional,” Stuart remarked. “Having prospective students visit the campus is crucial. While we can describe the campus, experiencing it firsthand is where a student can truly feel ‘at home.’”

College President Nicole Hurd commended the dedicated efforts of the admissions team, acknowledging their extensive outreach during the fall recruitment season.

Hurd expressed, “The admissions team put in tremendous effort traveling extensively this fall. They deserve full credit for their exceptional recruitment work.”

Looking ahead, Stuart remains cautious about the sustainability of this upward trend in applications for the subsequent rounds of early decision and regular decision applicants.

“While the current increase in applications is promising, we must exercise prudence,” Stuart stated. “The real test lies in how we fare with regular decision applications. It’s not about aiming for a specific number of applications; rather, our focus is on attracting the right pool of applicants.”

Dean of Admissions Krista Evans did not provide any comments despite requests for input.