Western gets more freshman applications than ever

Students congregate in Red Square during the 2011 Associated Students Info Fair. File photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

Western Today staff

Western Washington University has received its highest-ever number of freshman applications.

The deadline for freshman applications for fall quarter 2012 was Jan. 31. As of that date, Western had received 9,631 freshmen applications for about 2,800 freshman slots for fall quarter, up by more than 500 applications from last year and exceeding all previous years’ totals.

“Western’s reputation for academic quality and the university’s culture of collaborative learning are increasingly being recognized and appreciated by prospective students and their families,” said Western President Bruce Shepard. “The premier education offered to students at Western represents an enormously important investment in the future of Washington state.”

The record number of applications is particularly noteworthy considering that Western moved its freshman application deadline to Jan. 31 from March 1, which can have the opposite effect.

“More students are seeking to gain admission in Western’s freshman class for a variety of reasons, including academic excellence, a strong tradition of personal attention to students, great value, respect for diversity and incredibly beautiful surroundings,” said Clara Capron, acting director of Admissions and director of Financial Aid.

According to Capron, students are particularly attracted by the more personal attention offered at Western by outstanding faculty. “Parents can be confident that their students are going to learn directly from top-level faculty each quarter at Western,” Capron said.

There also is a determined effort on the part of Western to hold costs down as much as possible, without compromising academic quality. In its February edition, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine ranks Western among the top 100 public colleges and universities in the nation that offer "a combination of outstanding academic quality plus an affordable price tag.”

Western has been recognized nationally for its many successes, from its leadership as one of the most sustainable, “green” campuses in the nation by the Sierra Club to being named the top master’s granting institution in the Pacific Northwest by U. S. News and World Report. Western’s goal is to provide a collaborative learning environment by being a leader in active learning, critical thinking, and societal problem solving, and these awards and honors illustrate those successes.

Prospective students are evaluated using a comprehensive review process that includes a wide range of factors beyond just grade point average. Western’s admissions staff reviews each application to find students who demonstrate academic potential and unique talent in a variety of ways.

All freshman applicants are expected to be notified of their admission decision by mid-March.

Capron recognized and thanked the staff of Western’s Office of Admissions for their outstanding efforts on behalf of students.