More students than ever want to join the Viking familyBy Marya Purrington
WWU University Communications Intern
Western has received its highest-ever number of freshman applicants hoping to join the Viking family for fall 2012.
As of April 9, Western had received 9,775 freshmen applications for about 2,800 slots for fall quarter 2012, up nearly 700 applications from last year and exceeding all previous years' totals. The deadline for freshman applications for fall quarter 2012 was Jan. 31.
Applicants are drawn to the private university experience Western is able to offer at the cost of a public university, says Eric Nissen, assistant director of Admissions and Marketing Communications.
"More families are learning about the amazing educational and community environment here, as well as the distinctive beauty of the campus and the surrounding area," Nissen says. "However, probably more than anything, it is the excellence of the academic experience the student will have here."
Record freshman applications aren't the only noteworthy numbers for fall 2012, Nissen says. Total applications from students of color rose by 483 and 167 more out-of-state students applied to Western than last year. There also has been a significant increase in "high-achieving" applicants, students with very high grade point averages and/or standardized test scores, Nissen says.
"Families are realizing what an exceptional value Western provides in terms of the quality of education relative to the low cost of enrollment here," says Nissen.
Admissions counselors review a wide range of factors beyond prospective students' grade point average.
Even with a record number of freshman applications, Nissen says the majority of decisions were finalized a full month earlier than previous years.