UVM Applications Rise More Than Nine Percent

According to a preliminary analysis, applications to the University of Vermont for the fall 2004 semester are up sharply over 2003 to a near record level. As of February 6, total applications numbered 11,236, a 9.3 percent increase over last year. The total is the third highest in university history, surpassed only in 1987 (11,953) ) and 1988 (11,303), the peak years of the university’s “public ivy” era. Additional applications entering the system in the coming week should push the number even higher. Total applications have risen 59 percent since 1997 and 42 percent since 2000. The quality of the applicant pool also appears to be up, according to the preliminary analysis, with average SAT scores rising approximately four points over 2003. UVM’s strong performance comes within a challenging demographic context. The projected growth in the number of graduating high school seniors in the Northeast this spring is only 1.7 percent. “This is one more step on a very positive trajectory we’ve seen over the past several years,” said Don Honeman, UVM’s director of admissions and financial aid. “A combination of factors is driving our success: the investments we’re making on campus, effective communication of our strengths, good word of mouth in high schools, and the inherent appeal of UVM itself, which blends the resources of a research university with the intimacy of a liberal arts college and offers a strong academic experience in a terrific location.” Diversity in the applicant pool is up dramatically this year, with a nearly 30 percent increase in the number of applicants identifying themselves African American, Asian American, Latino, or Native American. At about 50, applications from Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx, with whom UVM has a partnership arrangement, reached their highest total since the program was created in 1999. But despite their strength, Columbus applications accounted for only a relatively small percentage of the diversity surge. “Our reputation for being a welcoming community where students of color can thrive grows each year,” said Honeman. “Diversity adds a rich element to the life of our community, so that’s good news for everyone.” A preliminary count of applications from Vermont students was up slightly over 2003 to 1,620, the third highest total since 1990. That number will also likely rise over the next two weeks, as final tallies are made. Applications from Vermont students are up 28 percent since 1997 and 21 percent since 2000.