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Standards for undergraduate acceptance tighten

The University of Miami has come a long way from its reputation as “Suntan U” in the 1970s. The school was recently ranked 54th among top national universities in a yearly report published by “U.S. News and World Report”, moving up one spot since last year’s standings.

The report, entitled “America’s Best Colleges 2007,” ranks colleges based on academic excellence, mission and location. Data used in the rankings is provided directly by the schools.

Deanna Voss, senior associate director of admissions, said a higher ranking and improved reputation has resulted in a greater number of applicants seeking undergraduate admission to UM.

The Office of Admissions received slightly more than 19,000 applications for the fall 2006 semester. New freshman enrollment constituted 2,061 of the 7,704 individuals accepted.

Voss said that the admissions process becomes more competitive each academic year because of all the advantages UM offers to prospective students.

“When we can go out and tell students about all the out-of-classroom opportunities, along with the great faculty we have, it draws more students to UM,” she said.

In turn, admissions officials said they would accept those individuals they believe would continue to add to the competitive spirit at the university.

“We’re looking for how the student will contribute to the UM community,” Voss said. “We look for something that sets the applicant apart, something they’re passionate about.”

With application deadlines of Nov. 1 for early decision/early action admission and Feb. 1 for regular admission, the Office of Admission receives applications as early as September. Admissions committee officials are currently reviewing all applications and will send notification letters in February.

Along with the competitive increase in terms of admissions, other trends slightly affect the admissions process. The application procedure has shifted from traditional pen and paper to an online format, with more than 90 percent of applicants using the online application for admission.

Voss noted that the increase in online applications has resulted in students applying to more schools, usually eight to 10 instead of the usual two or three.

“When students apply to more schools, it makes it harder for us to judge the number of students who will actually enroll,” Voss said.

Another trend is that of increasing parent involvement. More parents are contacting the admissions office with inquiries as to their son or daughter’s future. Their involvement continues once the student has been accepted and enrolled, which benefits the university community because they are more likely to participate in family events as well as donate to the school, Voss said.

University officials hope to lower the number of freshman enrollment to exactly 2,000 new students beginning next fall. This change will not affect transfer applicants, who are selected from a different pool.

Transfer applications numbered 3,487 for the fall 2006 semester. However, out of 1,355 accepted, only 656 students enrolled. A similar competitive trend appears between transfer and freshman applicants. For this reason, applications are not only judged on grades, but also on the essay, recommendation letters and SAT or ACT scores.

In modifying the admissions process, the university hopes to become a top 50 school, according the university’s Alumni Association. UM ranks below the University of Florida at number 47 and above Florida State University at number 110.

Other officials in the Office of Admission were unable to speak to The Miami Hurricane because all are currently sequestered, reviewing applications.

NEW FRESHMAN STATISTICS
 Applications received: 19,031
 Students accepted: 7,704
 Enrollment class size: 2,061
 Gender ratio: 51 female/49 male
 Percent from top five percent of
high school class: more than 40%
 Percent from top ten percent of
high school class: approx. 67%
 Average SAT score: 1269
 Full-time tuition for 06-07: $30, 732
*information courtesy www.miami.edu/facts

Megan Ondrizek may be contact at m.ondrizek@umiami.edu.

November 21, 2006

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.