Why Has Loyola’s Acceptance Rate Gone Up in Recent Years?

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The short answer: It hasn’t.

Back in January, The PHOENIX was going to do an in-depth editorial on this subject, inspired by the fact that when you simply Google “Loyola University Chicago acceptance rate,” a big box comes up displaying the figure “91.4 percent.”

Some upperclassmen on staff recalled worrying about getting into Loyola when they first applied because the acceptance rate hovered at or below 60 percent from fall 2010 to fall 2012.

The PHOENIX too was curious about what happened, so we set out to find the answer.

Google, Wikipedia and most other websites that showcase colleges using “quick facts” tend to only show data for the previous school year, which is pulled from the school’s common data set. So if you Google “Loyola University Chicago acceptance rate” today, you see a statistic from the 2013-2014 school year.

While the previous year’s data is generally a good indicator of the present day university, in Loyola’s case, it’s not. As it turns out, the 2013-2014 school year was just a freak year for Loyola admissions.

According to Associate Provost for Enrollment Management Paul Roberts, there was an error in reporting data to the common data set that year.

“Once the numbers are out, they are picked up by various news organizations, publications, etc. and we don’t have the ability to correct them,” said Roberts in an email.

According to the common data set, Loyola received only 14,355 completed applications that year — 5,302 less than the year before.

The same data set shows that, out of those applications, 13,121 students were admitted. But while this figure is only slightly higher than the number of admitted students from 2012 and 2014 (11,395 and 12,931, respectively), the low number of reported applications that year meant a sharp increase in the acceptance rate.

In reality, Loyola received 15,438 completed applications (1,083 more than the common data set reports, but still 4,219 less than 2012-2013 admissions cycle) and admitted 13,128 students, yielding an acceptance rate of 85 percent, not 91.4.

The corrected 85 percent figure is still 27 percent higher than the previous year, though.

Roberts added that the university made the decision to admit more students for the 2013-2014 school year than the year prior in order to enroll a larger freshman class (2,500 in 2013 versus 2,003 in 2012).

But the drop in the number of applications was also an odd phenomenon, which, in addition to the increased number of admitted students, added to the high acceptance rate. This decrease may have been due to a change in the application requirements, Roberts said.

Loyola received a record 20,414 completed applications for the 2014-2015 school year, so it appears this drop in applications was short-lived.

Overall, 2013 was just a freak year. But regardless of the reason, you can rest assured that next year Google will display Loyola’s acceptance rate as 63.3 percent.

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