Admissions director: Record 25K applied for Class of 2014

| News Editor

The high school seniors arriving on campus this weekend for scholarship finalist weekend—the first of many visitation weekends—were admitted into the University from a pool of nearly 25,000 applicants.

“The admission decisions this year were the most challenging in the University’s history,” Director of Admissions Julie Shimabukuro wrote in an e-mail to Student Life. “As in previous years, the talents (academic and non-academic talents) of this year’s applicants and admitted students are outstanding and, of course, admitted students are from all over the world.”

Shimabukuro said that the admissions rate remained the same, at about 20 percent. Meanwhile, she expects to keep enrollment at about 1,500 students for next year’s freshmen class.

After admissions decisions are released, many admitted students often visit the University or are invited by the University to come for Spring Preview (formerly known as April Welcome). The name change was due to the fact that Spring Preview actually begins in March.

Nneka Onwuzurike is a high school senior from West Bloomfield, Mich., who was accepted to Olin Business School. She has already decided to come to Washington University, but wanted to visit the campus before showing up in the fall. She also thought it was a good opportunity to get away from high school.

“I heard about [the school] through my sister and my brother, who both go to this school. I really wanted to go to a really good school, but smaller and near a big city,” Onwuzurike said. “Everyone’s really nice and friendly.”

Shimabukuro agreed with this sentiment.

“All of our visitors comment that WU students seem very bright and very engaged in their academic work,” she said.  “They also comment that our students seem down-to-earth and happy to be here.  It is a distinctive feature of Washington University. We hear the same comments about our faculty members. I am a WU graduate and I remember feeling the same way when I visited campus.”

Freshmen Rachel Tyroler is hosting two students this weekend. She’s a Rodriguez Scholar and believes that this weekend provides a great opportunity for prospective freshmen to experience the University community. She’ll also be responsible for interviewing the Rodriguez finalists this weekend.

“It gives them a good chance to interact with the kids in Rodriguez and see if that’s something [that] interests them,” Tyroler said. “I hope to show the prospective freshmen what it’s like to be a freshman at Wash. U. and want to come next year. They should get a preview of what it might be like for them next year and how they would fit in the community here.”

Shimabukuro especially emphasized the role that current students play during Spring Preview.

“We are grateful for all of the help and support that is provided by our current students. They serve as overnight hosts, tour guides, greeters and minglers, and they work on many welcome events for visiting students,” she said. “Our students make the difference.”

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