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Does Chicago Have a Problem?
The only other major school to suffer a significant drop in total applications this year that has come to our attention is the University of Chicago (-9.5%). Alert readers have written in to ask why.
First of all, let’s compare the recent application figures for Dartmouth and Chicago:
Dartmouth’s 14% decline in applications this year dropped the College back to where it was in 2010 (Class of 2014); in contrast, Chicago’s 9.5% decline still had it 42% above the number of applications for the Class of 2014.
In addition, early decision applications at Dartmouth have varied only marginally over the past six years; whereas early action applications at Chicago continued their unbroken, six-year run of increases this year (almost tripling in this time period):
Explanation? The folks in Chicago talked about glitches in the Common App this past fall as having hurt their total application numbers. Like Dartmouth, they delayed closing the application period as a result. That rationale is nonsense, of course. There is no reason why the Common App’s problems affected Chicago to this extent, when they did not affect other schools, including Illinois schools like Northwestern.
The more likely reason is simply that the Chicago numbers saw a momentary pullback after a fantastic rise, which people in the Windy City attribute to the hiring in 2010 of superstar admissions director Jim Nondorf and to his energetic efforts to market the university. None of the articles in the Maroon cited scandals or policy changes in Hyde Park.
In contrast Dartmouth’s admissions charts look different: they point to a school that has been dead in the water for a while now, beset by problems that are particular to it.
Addendum: The evolution of the total number of applications received by Chicago and Dartmouth is striking. Chicago has 5,607 undergrads and Dartmouth has 4,276 — a difference of 31%. Chicago received 43% more applications last year than Dartmouth (27,499 vs. 19,235). More interestingly, looking at the above charts, it appears that Chicago and Dartmouth received about the same number of applications five years ago (even though Chicago had many more students then, too), but since that time Chicago has pulled ahead of the College. Like almost everything else in Hanover, our admissions department needs some shaking up.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own interviews, a review of…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…