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Enrollment Surges At U. Of C.: Freshmen Class Largest In Modern History

By Sam Cholke | October 13, 2017 12:56pm | Updated on October 16, 2017 8:44am
 The University of Chicago will have its largest incoming freshman class in its modern history.
The University of Chicago will have its largest incoming freshman class in its modern history.
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DNAInfo/Sam Cholke

HYDE PARK — The University of Chicago says its incoming class is the largest in the modern history of the university.

The university on Thursday said there are 1,735 freshmen in class this fall, the most in decades. The number is a 9.1 percent increase from last year when 1,591 enrolled.

The number of applicants to the university had dropped to 27,694 this year after 2016 saw its  largest number ever, 31,411.

But this year a huge number of students accepted the school's offer of admission: 72 percent, which is among the highest yield rates of any school in the country. That means more students who apply are serious about U. of C. and likely chose it over several other schools they applied to.

The university had cut the acceptance rate to 7.9 percent in response to the high number of applicants in 2016, but this year went back to 8.7 percent.

Though breakdowns were not available, the university said there’s more diversity in the incoming class, with more African American and Latino students, as well as international students, choosing to go to college at the Hyde Park campus.

“I am delighted that our new students have such diverse interests and show clear passion for what the College has to offer,” said John Boyer, dean of the College, on Thursday. “Here they will find great intellectual challenges and rewards in the context of a rigorous liberal arts education, and comprehensive preparation for success after they graduate, while living in a wonderful neighborhood and city.”

The university said it’s seen a 69 percent increase in the number of students from CPS enrolling at U. of C. 

The school said it believes the enrollment spike is in part due to new majors like molecular engineering, creative writing and neuroscience and because of increased scholarship opportunities in recent years through the Odyssey Scholarship Program, which will give about 20 percent of students some financial assistance.

The university last month was ranked No. 3 on the U.S. News & World Report rankings of national universities, tied with Yale.

Overall, the school has about 6,000 undergraduate students