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Undergraduate applications to Northeastern show consistent rise in quality and quantity

September 2, 2014 - Students processed to the President's Convocation in Matthews Arena for members of Northeastern's 117th class. The Convocation was followed by "A Taste of Boston," a celebration of traditional New England fare, on Centennial Common.

Northeastern University received a record 51,014 undergraduate applications for 2,800 seats in the fall 2016 freshman class—a 1 percent increase over last year and a ratio of more than 18 applicants per seat. Academic achievement and geographic diversity continue to highlight the university’s applicant pool.

The number of National Merit finalists and semifinalists who applied to the university (1,259) rose 15 percent from last year, and applicants scoring 1500 or better on the math and critical reading portions of the SAT increased 37 percent over last year’s applicant pool.

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Growing interest in STEM fields among women

Northeastern is also attracting more students, particularly women, who are interested in STEM fields. For example, the number of applicants to the College of Computer and Information Science increased 18 percent overall and 33 percent among female students. And the number of applicants to the College of Engineering increased 9 percent overall and 20 percent among women.

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Diversity across the board

Northeastern is attracting an increasingly diverse and global group of students. The number of African American and Asian American students who applied to the university both increased by 8 percent this year, and 19 percent of applicants were international students. Northeastern received nearly 9,500 applications from international students this year, compared with 1,128 in 2006—a 742 percent increase.

This year’s applicants come from more than 8,000 different high schools—5,754 in the U.S. and 2,404 abroad. Among domestic applicants, 65 percent were from outside New England, compared to 49 percent in 2006. Meanwhile, international applicants hail from 153 different countries.

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Experiential education and research at the heart of success

The consistent rise in both the quantity and quality of applicants to Northeastern exemplifies the unprecedented demand for a Northeastern education.

Students have participated in experiential learning—including Northeastern’s signature co-op program—in 131 countries since 2006. Northeastern placed students in 10,395 co-op positions in 2014-15—a 65 percent increase since 2006-07—and more than 3,200 students had a global learning experience in 2014-15.

Northeastern has also hired more than 500 tenured or tenure-track faculty since 2006, many of whom hold joint appointments across colleges. Earlier this month, the university ascended into the top tier for research activity among higher education institutions, according to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, a leading classification used to distinguish U.S. colleges and universities.