Binghamton University received a record-breaking number of freshman applicants this year, as well as more than 30,000 total applicants, an early indicator that the University’s publicity campaigns are paying off.
This year BU received 29,089 freshman applications, surpassing the former record of 28,963 set in 2009, according to Donald Nieman, provost and vice president for academic affairs. Transfer applications are still rolling in, but thus far the combined total of transfer and freshman applicants exceeds 32,100.
BU’s Graduate School saw a similar rise in applications, with a 60 percent increase from last year, said Susan Strehle, interim dean of the Graduate School. The University received 3,402 completed applications this year, compared to 2,042 last year.
The Watson School of Engineering graduate program received the most applicants, with 1,169. Second was the graduate program in Harpur College, with 1,140 applications, according to Strehle.
Both Nieman and Strehle attributed the rise in applicants to increased advertising and recruiting efforts in the U.S. and abroad, which has helped to develop BU’s reputation.
“Our undergraduate admissions staff work very hard to get the word out about Binghamton’s quality,” Nieman said. “Binghamton students also go back to their neighborhoods and high schools and tell their parents, high school teachers and guidance counselors about the great faculty and students at Binghamton, giving us really good word of mouth which is hard to beat in recruiting.”
Additionally, the graduate study application has been made simpler, according to Strehle.
“With more applicants, each program can choose more of the very best applicants,” she said. “We are trying to increase the number of graduate students, and the number of applicants is very good news.”
University President Harvey Stenger said the increased number of applicants is a great achievement for BU.
“It shows our growing popularity, built from our growing reputation of being a great place to go to college,” he wrote in an email to Pipe Dream.
Nieman said that the applicant pool remains strong, as it has been in previous years, but the acceptance percentage is expected to decrease slightly.
“We are working hard to increase applications and expect to see them rise, even though the number of high school graduates in most of the U.S. is declining,” Nieman said.
A significant majority of applicants are from New York, according to Nieman. Out-of-state and international applicant numbers this year were comparable to last year’s numbers.
“So we continue to have a strong attraction to students beyond New York,” Nieman said.