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Ohio State’s acceptance rate dropping as applicants increase

Ohio State’s acceptance rate has fallen more than 10 percentage points in the past decade as the number of applications continues to increase overall.
At this time 10 years ago, Ohio State had 19,989 applicants and an acceptance rate of 75 percent. As of Friday morning, exactly three weeks before the Feb. 1 deadline for the autumn 2013 class, there were 25,299.  
Last year at this time OSU had received 23,101 applications. The university received more than 5,000 applications in the last three weeks, bringing the total number to 28,675 applicants.
The university accepted 64 percent of the 28,675 applicants last year. Those who made the decision to come to OSU made up the 7,186 students of the 2012 freshman class.  
Applications submitted to the university reached an all-time high in 2011 with 29,247 applicants, more than what was received in 2012 and Undergraduate Admissions is looking to top that number with the switch to the Common Application.
“The Common Application works in some ways as a marketing tool,” said Vern Granger, associate vice president and director of Undergraduate Admissions and First Year Experience. “Most schools that go to the Common Application see an increase in interest in the university, so that is what Ohio State and most universities are looking to see as well.”
The Common Application is used by 488 schools. A handful of other Ohio and Big Ten schools use it, including Miami University (Ohio), Northwestern University and the University of Michigan.
Granger said the application process is longer this year because the Common Application consists of two parts: general information that every institution requires and an OSU-specific supplement for Honors, Scholars and the Morrill Scholars consideration.
“In the past, those applications were separate applications, but this year they all have been combined into one,” he said.
Jumana Ali, a fourth-year in Arabic and international studies, said she thinks the switch to the Common Application was a good idea.
“If it makes it easier to apply to colleges, then I think it’s a good idea,” she said. “I obviously don’t have to worry about it, but for fellow (future) OSU Buckeyes I guess it’s a good idea.”
Rachel Vlaskovich, a fourth-year in history and political science, agreed.
“I think it’s a good thing as long as the standards of the university don’t lessen because of more applicants,” she said.
Standards are not lessening at OSU according to data provided by Undergraduate Admissions.
The freshmen class that began Autumn Semester 2012 had an ACT score that was almost three points higher at 28.1 than it was 10 years ago, and students graduating in the top 10 percent of their senior class is up to 54 percent in 2012 compared to 33 percent in 2003, according to Undergraduate Admissions.
“We’re looking at the academic record and the academic performance. (Admissions is) looking at the test scores, and we’re looking at the things students are doing outside of the classroom,” Granger said. “Above all, the first thing for any applicant that is ultimately admitted to the university, we have to feel that student can be academically successful at the university.”  
Granger said the switch to the Common Application has been a positive experience and “has allowed us to provide better service to the students.”
“As far as the university goes and the type of students, I see nothing but positives ahead. I think that we are going to continue to attract a very well-rounded, a very strong pool of students,” he said.

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