College Apps Increase—But Not at FCLC


Published: Febrary 14, 2008

FORDHAM—The college admissions process is extremely competitive this year, as more students nationwide apply to colleges than ever before. According to The New York Times, officials attribute this increase in applications to demographics, more aggressive recruiting, the ease of online applications and students applying to more colleges as a safety net.

According to Patricia Peek, associate director of admission and director of FCLC enrollment group, Fordham as a whole is experiencing its 17th consecutive year of increased applications. From 2007, the number of applications increased by seven percent.

FCLC, however, has experienced a 5 percent decrease. “As of Feb. 1, FCLC received 5,446 applications, compared to the 5,710 applications received at this point last year,” Peek said.

So why the decrease in applications this year? Peek said the idea of quality over quantity may be influencing the way students are applying to FCLC. “One variation in the pool we have noted is an increase in the quality, as measured by testing, for this year. We suspect that some students may be self-selecting out of the pool as a result of the increasing competition to gain admission in recent cycles,” Peek said.

Another possible reason, according to the Rev. Robert R. Grimes, S.J., dean of FCLC, is that students who apply via the Common Application who do not indicate a campus preference will have their applications automatically sent to Rose Hill.

As far as the overall increase, Peek said the ease of applying online may be one reason, adding that 94 percent of students applied online to Fordham this year.

“It was so easy compared to everything else,” said Arielle Polites, FCLC ’11, who applied online. “It took me no time at all. I also applied to twelve other schools online because it was so convenient,” she said.

More aggressive recruitment efforts may also have increased the number of applicants. “Fordham really impressed me because they came to my school all the way in Puerto Rico to recruit students,” said Adam Azulay, FCLC ’10. “Interestingly enough, they mostly promoted the Rose Hill campus, but I knew Lincoln Center was where I wanted to be.”

In terms of recruitment, “We always aim to deliver a balanced presentation of both campuses and all three traditional undergraduate colleges, in print, in video, in electronic outreach and at our information sessions,” Peek said. “Sometimes the questions and issues raised by an audience will lead us down a path of discussion that is more focused on one campus,” she stated.

Positive publicity, such as Fordham’s distinction in Newsweek as the Hottest Catholic School, is increasing the university’s profile, but it may also be contributing to a more competitive admissions process for the university as a whole, Peek said.

“In addition to the article in Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university number 67 among the 262 top-tier national universities in recent months. Last year, Fordham was ranked 41st among the 245 national universities surveyed by Washington Monthly,” Peek also stated.

While Keith Eldredge, dean of students at FCLC, acknowledges the benefits of publicity, he doesn’t feel that being named one of Newsweek’s 25 Hottest Colleges will dramatically affect the number of applicants. “I don’t think it will make a huge impact,” he said. “Anything positive that gets Fordham’s name out there is good. I’m just not sure every junior and senior in high school reads Newsweek,” he stated.

Even though FCLC is experiencing a decrease in applications this year, administrators are not worried. “In terms of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, we feel confident that the volume and quality of the pool will allow us to meet our enrollment targets. We do anticipate that we will still continue to receive applications for the next several weeks, but it is difficult to predict how many additional candidates will file,” Peek said.