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Updated 6:30 PM June 5, 2007
 

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Admissions reports record number of applications for fall

Preliminary figures from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions reflect a record-setting number of applications received for 2007-08.

Overall, applications are up 6.4 percent, totaling more than 27,400—the highest number of undergraduate freshman applications in the University's history. Among underrepresented minority students, specifically, freshman applications are up 6.7 percent.

“This is one of the most exciting admissions seasons I've experienced,” says Ted Spencer, associate vice provost and executive director of undergraduate admissions. “Every year, the caliber of our students rises considerably, and this year is no exception. Our individualized, holistic admissions review process allows us to learn more about applicants and the ways in which they will gain from and contribute to the University community. This class looks to be one of the most highly qualified and intellectually dynamic ever admitted.”

U-M's burgeoning admissions activity requires careful ongoing planning and anticipation of emerging trends, says Lester Monts, senior vice provost.

“Our Office of undergraduate admissions continually seeks ways to improve the admissions process,” Monts says. “We see great promise in Descriptor PLUS—a geodemographic tool provided by the College Board that identifies underrepresented high schools and neighborhoods throughout the country—which was introduced at the beginning of this cycle.

“Another improvement to the process is the new paperless review system instituted in this current cycle, which helped expedite review of applications. And, to aid admitted students' decision-making, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Office of Financial Aid collaborated to ensure that admitted students received notification of financial aid awards in a timely manner."

As of May 20, 6,389 students had paid enrollment deposits, an increase of 16.2 percent over the same time last year. Paid deposits from admitted underrepresented minority students are up 0.3 percent. Paid enrollment deposits are not the same thing as enrollment—each year, some students who pay deposits decide not to enroll—but they can be used to track trends. Final enrollment figures will be available in October.

“The Office of Undergraduate Admissions aggressively extended outreach to prospective students and high school counselors, and encouraged students to submit their applications early in the cycle,” Monts says. “U-M faculty, students, staff, alumni and administrators, including President Coleman, engaged in unprecedented levels of personal outreach to invite students to apply and, when admitted, to enroll.”

Freshman enrollment may exceed the 2007 target of 5,600 because U-M remains a destination of keen interest to prospective students, as reflected by the yield—the percentage of admitted students who decide to attend U-M, admissions officials say. Among newly admitted students, overall, the yield is 46.4 percent, up 0.5 percentage points over the previous year. Among underrepresented minority students, the yield has climbed 3.7 points to 48.9 percent.

Applications from African American students increased this year by 7.1 percent, and Hispanic student applications were up 8.2 percent. Applications from Native American students decreased by 7.6 percent; however, their yield was high, resulting in an increase in paid deposits from incoming Native American students of 3.7 percent over last year.

With interest so high among admitted underrepresented minority students, minority enrollment in the fall is likely to remain strong. The increase in paid enrollment deposits from minority students reflects gains among Native American students as stated and among incoming African American students of 2.3 percent, but also a loss of 2.8 percent among Hispanic students, compared to the same time last year.

U-M remains committed to diversity, and diversity remains a lawful goal. Proposal 2 removed affirmative action as a means to achieve diversity in undergraduate admissions, but other methods to achieve a diverse undergraduate student body remain permissible under current law. The University is making full use of these methods.

Applications from all students overall—and among underrepresented minority students, specifically—remained strong throughout the application cycle right up to the Feb. 1 deadline.

"After the passage of Proposal 2 in November 2006, we worked hard to make it known that the University of Michigan is a welcoming environment and a viable option for all students," said Provost Teresa Sullivan. "Led by President Mary Sue Coleman, the University has made it clear that we will make every effort within the law to maintain diversity among our student community. We are pleased to see they heard and trusted us. We look forward to teaching this class and learning from them as they excel over the coming years."

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