- Apr 14, 2008
- Reaction score
Interesting news development today: RECORD NUMBER OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS APPLY TO NORTHEASTERN FOR FALL 2021Perhaps they'll have a small push for increased enrollments, especially with a handful that decided upon a gap year, but after that, the literal number of students in the applicant pool is going to drop, as a result of the decrease in births following 2008, which hasn't increased year over year since then. The class entering in 2026 will be the largest class for quite a while. Maybe it sounds far out, but for universities spending millions on faculty salaries, facility enhancements (with multi-decade long loans attached) and 10, 20, 30-year-campus planning studies, all while boosting your ranking, you have to look very far ahead.It will honestly depend on how many applications they get. In the case of NU, they'll only increase enrollment if the number of applications is high enough that their acceptance rate goes down again.
Last I checked, it was hovering around ~18-19%. I wouldn't be surprised if they're aiming to get that down closer to 15%.
If you're going to maintain your selectivity, that means you're going to accept less students (unless you maintain your applicant pool numbers, which I touch upon later). That means less income to maintain all the new buildings, their debts, and fresh faculty/research hires.
If you want to maintain the number of students so you can financially support all the costs racked up during the boom in students, that means increase your acceptance rate but risk a drop in your overall ranking.
I've personally sat in a few of these kinds of meetings. They thoroughly analyze every statistical trend and every imaginable scenario and what it means financially and operationally. Perhaps NEU has gone through their data and thinks they have enough momentum to hit the highest rankings possible to continue drawing in applicants and continue increasing selectivity, but that's a multi-tiered uphill battle. Good on them if they win it.
The school's citing their COVID-19 preparedness as a factor for the record. Per the article:
I won't sidetrack the conversation any further from the development in question, except to tie in together the cost-of-housing discussion on this thread: as long as there's a growing market for students to attend higher education institutions on-campus like at Northeastern University, we will continue to see a number of students' families able/willing to live in these premium, on-campus residence halls.Liz Cheron, dean of admissions at Northeastern, credits the university’s well-executed reopening as a factor that attracted a larger-than-ever number of students who want the on-campus Northeastern experience.
“We have a successful case study this year that builds confidence for students and families that are hyper aware—having lived through hybrid or virtual high school education—of what it means to be able to attend Northeastern in person,” she says.