Students who expressed interest in the Fairfield University Class of 2019 faced a more selective application process than in recent years, according to Director of Undergraduate Admissions Karen Pellegrino.
Undergraduate admissions received just under 11,000 applications for the Class of 2019, 10,732 to be exact, which is an eight percent increase over the last year, Pellegrino said.
“This is the largest applicant pool in our history,” Pellegrino said. “But I’ll be honest, every year we’ve crept up. In the last five years, each year we’ve set a new record in terms of applicants.”
However, according to Pellegrino, the increase in applications this year was “a more substantial increase” than in previous years, citing only a three percent increase in applications last year as compared with this year’s eight percent.
Pellegrino attributes this increase to many things, but mostly because of the ease with which students are able to apply to multiple schools at once through Common Application.
“Students are applying to more colleges to make sure they have options because the process is somewhat unpredictable from year to year,” Pellegrino continued.
Pellegrino also noted an increase in applications “from applications a little bit further from campus, so not from our core states, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts.”
According to Pellegrino, this is because “[Admissions] made a concerted effort to travel more to those areas to communicate in a different way with those students.”
In response to the increase in applicants, Admissions has been forced to become more selective in choosing members of the Class of 2019.
Last year, Admissions accepted 70 percent of its applicants, while this year, Admissions only accepted 63 percent of its applicants, said Pellegrino.
According to Pellegrino, when Admissions did away with the supplemental essay students had to write after the school became test optional, “[Admissions] saw a big bump in applications,” which gives reason to the increasing trend in applications as of recently.
However, one thing that hasn’t changed in the admission process amid the increase in applicants is the amount of students who choose to send in their SAT scores with their application.
“The percentage of students who apply without their test scores has been really consistent. Usually between 28 and 29 percent of our applicants do not send in their test scores, and that hasn’t changed. It’s a pretty constant number from year to year.”
Due to the large size of the Class of 2018, Admissions sought to admit fewer students to the Class of 2019 in order to avoid housing conflicts, according to Pellegrino.
“We actually admitted fewer students this year,” Pellegrino said. “We’re aiming for a class of somewhere between 975 and 1,000.”
“We’re getting a little bit larger than we were five to ten years ago, but we’re not looking to necessarily replicate that 1,050 again, because that will start to put some constraints on housing and on classroom space and on things like that,” Pellegrino continued.
Freshman Napali Bridgelall felt that Admissions selecting a smaller class for the Class of 2019 is a good idea, saying, “I’m worried about Fairfield losing the positive qualities of being a small school.