Elite Schools See Application Bump

Stanford and Duke get 20 and 17 percent hike, respectively.

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Application numbers are beginning to trickle in, and it's about time to write some sort of trend story.

In general, early decision and early action programs were popular this year, and, in general, the elite schools did well. I'll let a random sampling of numbers tell the rest of the story.

WINNERS: school; percent increase over 2008; total number of applications (numbers represent freshman applicants, unless otherwise noted)

LOSERS: school; percent decrease from 2008; total number of applications

  • Middlebury College; 12 percent; 6,771 (so far)
  • Ohio University; 5 percent; approx. 12,800 (but international and transfer applications are up 58 and 63 percent, respectively)
  • University of Wisconsin; 4.4 percent; 24,000 (plus: funny stuff happened with out-of-state and in-state numbers)
  • UC-Santa Barbara; 2 percent; 54,758 (includes transfer students, which actually increased by 1,239 students)
  • Bowdoin; 1.7 percent; 5,929


  • Completely the opposite of Wisconsin's situation, Ball State's in-state applications are up 5 percent, while out-of-state interest is down 40 percent (although the number is relatively small to begin with).
  • As of January 14, Central Michigan's total applicants (freshman and transfers) were on pace with last year, recording only a nine-applicant increase—that's .07 percent over last year's 12,791 applicants.