Ohio University has seen around a 35 percent increase in applications compared to this point last year, something officials credit to the move to the Common Application.
Craig Cornell, senior vice provost for Strategic Enrollment Management, said the Common Application has helped make it easier for students to apply to OU and is one of the reasons why there has been an increase in applications. This academic year, OU joined 700 other schools throughout the country using the Common Application, according to an OU news release.
“We have had a significant growth in applications primarily related to going on to the Common App,” Chad Mitchell, chief of staff for the vice president for Finance and Administration, said. “It was somewhat expected that we were going to have this jump in applications.”
As of Jan. 1, OU admitted 14,992 students, compared to about 11,000 students admitted at the same point last year, which is a 37 percent increase.
OU has admitted 18,335 prospective students as of March 13, Cornell said.
“This has been possible due to the fact that, even though we have grown in applications, growth has been very proportional in all academic colleges, demographic categories, in and out of state balance and academic preparedness,” he said in an email.
It is common for enrollment to remain at about 4,500 students for incoming classes, Cornell said. Compared to the same point over in time over the past two years, OU has admitted about 4,000 more students, according to a Budget Planning Council presentation.
OU has adjusted its projections to account for more admitted students and is in regular contact with academic leaders, Student Affairs and all other offices to keep track of how many students the university is admitting, Cornell said.
“Approximately 4,300-4,500 students is our goal as we know we have the capacity to fully support those students and see them be successful,” Cornell said in an email. “We are also able to adjust if needed if we start to see those numbers fluctuate in any way.”
Mitchell said though the university is up about 35 percent in applications, the university was down about 200 housing deposits at the end of February compared to the same time last year.
“This is not a perfect indicator (of the size of the class of 2021),” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said the university sees a steady growth of housing deposits during Spring Semester, but a lot of deposits come in about May 1, which is the deadline.
“Admitted students submit the housing deposit (or commuter exemption) to confirm their intent to enroll," Cornell said in an email. “We keep daily track of our student admits and commitments, and we know that when you grow an application pool, it is common to see lower commitment rates.”
Lauren Boulding, a senior studying health administration, said if the Common Application were available prior to her applying to OU, she would have been able to make an application and write a uniform essay for all the schools she was applying to at the time.
She said it would have been easier and more convenient to apply to OU with the Common Application.
“I had to apply separately to most of all the schools I had applied to,” she said. “They all had different essay components, and then I had to get my transcripts and test scores sent to every school.”
Seven other four-year public universities in Ohio use the Common Application, according to the release.
“We feel that the Common Application as a tool has helped streamline the process and make it easier for students to find/apply to OHIO and why we have seen a new peak in record applications,” Cornell said in an email.