President Rodney Erickson said the university is on pace to receive 120,000 applications for enrollment at Penn State for 2014-2015. At this point, approximately 119,000 applications have been received, but Erickson expects more to come before the window closes.
This news was relayed during Erickson’s last formal Faculty Senate meeting as president. His last official duty will be Commencement on May 12, with Eric Barron taking over the presidency the following day.
Of those 119,000 applications, 81,000 are undergraduate students. For the 2013-2014 academic year, Penn State received 71,410 undergraduate applications. The year before, the university received 77,596.
To date, more than 14,700 students accepted their offers of admission to enter baccalaureate programs at all campuses for summer or fall 2014. This is over 100 more than last year and over 500 more than for 2012 as of this same date. New first-year students starting in the summer will top 2,000 for the first time at University Park.
President Erickson said last year’s application plunge was a national phenomenon to the high publicity of student debt, but it’s certainly a welcoming sign that those numbers are returning to normal levels.
There doesn’t appear to be any dissuasion of prospective students this year. The numbers are comparable to Penn State application numbers pre-scandal. Penn State received 109,031 applications in 2009; 115,044 in 2010; 121,950 in 2011; 121,932 in 2012; and 113,380 in 2013.