UB applications increase by more than 10 percent

Applicant rate increases in both size and diversity for the fall 2016 semester


This time each year, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at UB delves into the process of sorting through thousands of applications from students hoping to be accepted to the university.

And compared to this time last year, there has already been a jump in the number of applicants who are applying to UB.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions said there has already been a 10.3 percent increase in applications from this time last year. UB had received 19,848 undergraduate applications as of Jan. 21, compared to 18,022 applications at the same date last year, according to The Buffalo News.

Jessica Clark, associate director in the Office of Admissions, believes this has to do with UB’s recruitment strategies.

“We have recruited significantly more than in previous years and become much more strategic and direct in delivering a very clear message to prospective students and their families,” Clark said in an email.

According to the university, this is the highest number of applications UB has received in the past five years and several individual departments are seeing an increase in applicants.

The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has received a 14.4 percent increase in applicants so far and both the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and School of Management have had more than a 10 percent increase in their applicant rate as well.

“We were pleased to see that applications increased across the board in all disciplines that we offer,” Clark said.

Besides the increase in overall applicants, UB has also seen a more diverse applicant pool.

Clark said the diversity of the perspective students has increased by 13.4 percent, with a 21 percent increase in Hispanic applicants, a 13.1 percent increase in African American applicants and almost an 8 percent increase in Asian applicants.

This comes after discussion regarding the lack of diversity among faculty at UB. Almost 79 percent of UB’s faculty is white and only 5 percent are not from the United States, according to UB’s demographic statistics.

In a press release about the increase in applications, the Office of Communications cited Finish in 4 as an attraction for perspective students. Finish in 4 is a pledge incoming freshmen can make upon entering UB in order to guarantee they graduate in four years. Jose Aviles, associate vice provost and director of admissions, said UB’s four-year graduation rate has also increased by almost 20 percent.

This year’s perspective students’ standardized test scores are also higher than in the past, with SAT scores for the incoming applicants higher than those of 2015.

“This has resonated in a way that has produced one of the largest and strongest applicant pools at UB in recent history,” Aviles said in the press release.

Many of the applicants may have already received their acceptance letter as well, which is earlier than UB has sent them in the past. Clark said this is because UB has recognized this time can be taxing, especially for seniors in high school who are in the application process for the first time.

“We recognize the stressful nature of this time of year for high school seniors, our office worked diligently to process and prepare applications for review in a manner that allowed our decisions to begin to be sent much earlier to allow for students to begin celebrating their acceptance,” Clark said.

UB has already accepted approximately 7,000 applicants for the fall 2016 semester.

For students who have yet to apply to UB, the final day for regular decision is Feb. 1, however the Office of Admissions said they will continue to review applications after that date depending on available space.

Marlee Tuskes is the senior news editor and can be reached at marlee.tuskes@ubspectrum.com. Follow her on Twitter at @marleetuskes5.