The Ivy Coach Daily

March 25, 2022

Record Applications to Northeastern Class of 2026

Northeastern set a new application record this year.

Ask admissions officers at our nation’s most elite universities if they care about the annual US News & World Report college rankings and down the line you will hear the same answer: no. Yet readers of our college admissions blog know better. Readers of our college admissions blog know that every admissions officer at our nation’s top universities cares about the annual ranking and where their respective institution lands on the annual list. Readers of our college admissions blog know that deans of admission at top universities won’t be long for their jobs if their institutions fall in the rankings. Readers of our college admissions blog know that admissions officers will do everything in their power to manipulate the annual ranking — from encouraging unqualified applicants to apply in order to boost the application tally and lower the admission rate to sending out personalized notes to encourage accepted students to matriculate in order to improve their yields. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha. Rankings, rankings, rankings.

And while all universities are guilty of manipulating the US News & World Report ranking, which university has manipulated the US News & World Report most effectively? Look no further than Northeastern University, a school that openly plays their version of Moneyball to try to beat their more established college competitors on the September list. As Jeffrey Selingo detailed in his book, Who Gets In and Why?, “For Northeastern to vault into the top 100, university officials determined they had to recruit higher-caliber students to boost the SAT scores and high school class rank of the incoming class. The hope then was that those students would stay enrolled to increase the university’s retention and graduation rates. ’It was very mathematical and very conscious,’ [Northeastern’s then-president Richard] Freeland told Boston Magazine in 2014. ’Every year we would sit around and say ’Okay, well here’s where we are, here’s where we think we might be able to do next year, where will that place us?’…’We did play other kinds of games,’ Freeland admitted. ’You get credit for the number of classes you have under twenty [students], so we lowered our caps on a lot of our classes to nineteen just to be sure.’”

2022 has proven to be no exception for Northeastern. In all, the school is reported to have received approximately 91,000 applications. This blows away last year’s record tally of 75,000 applications. Back in 2020, just two years ago, total applications to the Boston, Massachusetts institution stood at 64,000. That’s a 27,000 applicant jump in just two years. Just when you thought the school set a new application benchmark that would stand for at least a few years, that record gets shattered again. And word on the street it that the Regular Decision admission rate for the institution stood between 6-7%. Will the school enjoy similar success next year? Do stay tuned!

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