New policies lead to decline in applicants


Alek Fleury

First-year students walk down Main Street Aug. 26, 2019 on their way to the University green at convocation.

Lindsay Freed, Senior Staff Writer

UVM is seeing a slight decline in student applications after taking steps to make the University more competitive and adding a fee to its application process.

The number of undergraduate students applying to UVM has dropped by 16 percent since 2015, Provost David Rosowsky said at the Feb. 1 board of trustees meeting.

The drop in applications is partially due to the University eliminating free applications for out-of-state students in 2015, which was done in order to increase the “quality” of the applicant pool, Rosowsky said.

“We remain focused, not on application numbers, but on acceptance rate and yield,” Rosowsky said.

The acceptance rate for the 2018-2019 school year was 68 percent, and the next goal is 66 percent, he said.

There is growing competition with other schools, such as the State University of New York System, which has lower in-state costs than UVM’s price for out-of-state students, said former student trustee Caitlin McHugh, a junior.

Out-of-state tuition for the 2018-2019 school year is $40,176 for two semesters for a full-time student, according to the UVM website.

Cost-wise, UVM looks like a private institution for its out-of-state students, board chair David Daigle said.

“We better have a value proposition for our out-of-state students,” Daigle said. “Our sticker price is too high [and] our discount price is too high.”

UVM also has to compete with other universities for a shrinking pool of students, said Stacey Kostell, vice president for enrollment management, at the Feb. 1 meeting.

This story updated at 9 p.m. Feb. 4 to include the statement “We remain focused, not on application numbers, but on acceptance rate and yield” from Provost Rosowsky.

The orginal content incorrectly stated: “Despite the added cost for out-of-state applicants, the University is determined to lower its acceptance rate and the rate of students who enroll after being accepted, Rosowsky said.”

The Cynic regrets this error.