Undergraduate application totals reach 24,000 in early November

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State has received approximately 24,000 undergraduate applications as of the first week of November, which is a very early stage of the yearlong University admissions cycle.

This total reflects a year-to-date total similar to 2009, reflecting an anticipated shift in Pennsylvania demographics among high school college-bound students, a total that peaked during the last decade and is expected to decline through most of the next 10 years.

University officials anticipate receiving about 70,000 undergraduate applications by the end of the admissions cycle, in late summer 2013. Although somewhat down from record totals observed in recent years, application numbers are on schedule to admit another outstanding cohort of students hailing from Pennsylvania and around the world. The high quality of applicants remains identical to previous years, as evidenced by applicants' SAT score distribution and high school cumulative grade-point averages.

A downward trend among application totals to date appears to be occurring at many colleges and universities, although nationwide data is not available to confirm this observation.

"Anecdotal evidence, based on what we are hearing from prospective students and high school teachers and guidance counselors, is that students are applying later and to fewer colleges than in recent years," said Rob Pangborn, interim executive vice president and provost. "Much of the growth in applications experienced by many institutions in the past few years has been due to students applying to more places."

Because enrolled first-year students at University Park this year reached 7,604, exceeding its original target of 7,200, the University has adjusted its 2013-14 target to 7,200 to maintain overall enrollment in State College at a level consistent with recent years. At Commonwealth Campuses, the 2013-14 first-year enrollment target is 8,000.

"As in previous years, the University's applicant pool invariably will be many times larger than the number of first-year students we can accommodate," Pangborn said.

International student applications continue to increase. The University has received close to 1,000 applications through early November, an increase of 10 percent compared to last year at this time. International student applications from prospective undergraduates for the 2012-13 year totaled 9,558, a 24-percent increase from 2011.

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Last Updated November 09, 2012