You read the title to this blog post correctly. There actually is a college out there that wanted to decrease the number of applications it received this year. According to an article published last week on NYTimes.com, Ursinus College’s applications are down by about 1700 this year, and they are not in a panic.
Like many other colleges, Ursinus hired an outside marketing company a few years ago to help increase their applications. They got rid of their essay and waived their application fee. The did receive more applications, but their yield suffered greatly. With a yield of just 13% (meaning 87% of students that Ursinus admitted decided not to attend), they knew they were not receiving applications from students who really wanted to attend the college.
As a result, Ursinus actually made it more difficult to apply to their college this year. They added back in their essay requirement and asked all applicants to submit a graded paper (in order to verify the quality of the student’s writing).
With all of the talk about the “admissions arms race” and the pressures on students to have the “perfect” academic and personal background, I would give Ursinus a pat on the back. They not only opted out of the admissions game, but found a way to improve their application process that will hopefully yield them some high quality students who truly want to be a part of Ursinus.