The University of Chicago has announced plans to expand its undergraduate student body — to 7,000 students. By design, each UChicago incoming class would thus total around 1,700 students. This past fall, UChicago welcomed an incoming class that was about 100 students larger than anticipated — due to the school’s high yield rate which stood at third in the nation. UChicago doesn’t intend to admit as large a class as last year, but plans are still underway to expand its student body so the school has roughly the same undergraduate class sizes as Harvard University. That’s right. UChicago wants to be more like Harvard with respect to its undergraduate student population.
UChicago Seeks to Mirror Harvard’s Undergraduate Student Population
As William Yuen Yee writes in a piece for “The Chicago Maroon” entitled “Boyer Says College Aims to Reach 7,000 Students,” “‘Overtime, the size of the college will end up about the same size as Harvard. The class size for each incoming class will be moving towards 1,700 and that’s where we will plateau for each class to create a population of 7,000 undergraduates.,’ [said Dean of the College John Boyer]. For the Class of 2021, the University admitted 2,419 students and reported a 72 percent yield. Harvard admitted 2,056 applicants, with a yield rate of 84 percent. For the Class of 2022, the College admitted 2,329 students with a yield rate of 78 percent. Harvard accepted 1,962 students, 82 percent of whom accepted their admission offers. As the yield rate for the University continues to trend upward, the number of accepted students is likely to decrease. The minutes paraphrase Boyer as saying that the University is ‘looking to build back to the status and size of the college from before WWII. While we are comparing our size to Harvard, this has been a long historical trajectory that started decades ago and is coming to a close as we meet this goal.'”
UChicago is a Trailblazer, Shouldn’t Openly Mimic Harvard
While we applaud the University of Chicago’s efforts to expand its undergraduate student body, it’s a bit odd that UChicago would announce that it aims to match the undergraduate student population of Harvard. UChicago should wish to expand its incoming class size simply because it wishes to educate more students — not because Harvard is doing it. Harvard is Harvard. UChicago is UChicago. Both are two of the finest institutions in all the world. So, UChicago, maybe don’t publicly state how you wish to mimic a peer institution and just expand your class size if you wish to expand your class size? Yours is an institution that defies the status quo of college admission with an office that requires applicants to write wonderfully weird essays. Yours is an institution that dropped the SAT or ACT requirement to set an example among your peer institutions. Why now are you choosing to openly copy a peer? At least don’t say you’re copying Harvard. Come on now, UChicago! You be you.
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