It came as a surprise last year when Penn State announced that the school received a record number of applications for undergraduate admissions across all of its campuses in 2011. This year, however, the prospects aren’t as high.
Penn State has received 24,000 applications this admissions season compared to 28,000 just at University Park last year — albeit a few weeks difference. The University expects to receive about 70,000 undergraduate applications for all campuses by the end of this summer — down from 79,000 last year — and will likely receive many more as the priority deadline approaches, especially considering many in the northeast were without power for almost a week due to Hurricane Sandy. Interestingly, international applications have been up 10% from last year.
Penn State justifies these numbers by saying that all colleges across the country are receiving fewer applications, although they acknowledge that they don’t have any statistics to back up that claim.
“Anecdotal evidence, based on what we are hearing from prospective students and high school teachers and guidance counselors, is that students are applying later and to fewer colleges than in recent years,” said Rob Pangborn, interim executive vice president and provost. “Much of the growth in applications experienced by many institutions in the past few years has been due to students applying to more places.”