Applications to University of Chicago Skyrocket

The number of applicants is surprising even as many schools see huge increases.

By + More

The University of Chicago is a popular school—and rightfully so. It offers a world-class education in a fantastic city. But even with those positives, it was still surprising to read a report about the school in the Chicago Tribune on Thursday.

The University of Chicago received a whopping 19,306 applications from prospective undergraduate students for the 2010–2011 school year, the Tribune reports. That's a 42 percent jump in applications from last year, which saw more than 13,000 applicants. Even at a time when many schools are seeing increases in applications, a 42 percent rise is significant. The university plans to accept 19 percent of the applicants, the report says. That's roughly 3,500 undergraduates.

[Check out the Complete U.S. News Guide to Admissions.]

The school tells the Tribune that its increased popularity could come from numerous factors: a more prominent national identity, publicity stemming from having President Barack Obama as a former faculty member, or even the second year of use of the Common Application for the admissions process. Whatever caused the change, it's a welcome uptick in applicants. And the quality of applicants has remained high.

"These kids are every bit as witty and intellectually engaged as students of the past," University of Chicago Dean of Admissions James Nondorf tells the Tribune.

Searching for a college? Get our complete rankings of America's Best Colleges.