CINCINNATI — The University of Cincinnati is expecting a record number of undergraduate applications this year.
Undergraduate applications to the university’s Uptown Campus are up 11% compared to this time last year. More than 23,000 have applied so far and there are still months until application deadlines.
Admissions officials cite UC’s football success as a leading cause for the surge.
“That's absolutely been an opportunity for us to raise our profile and for people to be able to see us both locally and nationally,” said Jack Miner, University of Cincinnati Vice Provost for Enrollment Management. “But the way that it's most important, especially with our local community after COVID, is giving students an opportunity to see what is the energy of campus.”
Graduate student Ruchir Ravishankar says he never watched football before enrolling at UC.
“If that had that kind of effect on me, who was like an outsider to football, like, I can't even imagine how it'd be like for people who have been watching football their entire life,” he said.
Admissions also credits the university’s nationally-ranked cooperative education, or co-op, program and the ability for students to once again make in-person visits to campus.
A Mason-based college consultant said several of her clients have been more inclined to apply to UC due to the university’s decision to keep standardized test scores optional this year.
“What that's done is students who, for the more selective programs, then they go, ‘Okay, well, I'm gonna throw my hat into the ring,’” said Lisa Marker Robbins, founding CEO of LEAP.
Applications are up nationwide for colleges. In November, the Common App reported college applications were up 22% from pre-pandemic levels.
“Students are applying to more colleges than ever before,” Marker Robbins said. “And the college admission rates at the large universities, as well as the highly selective and elite universities, their admission rate has decreased.”
Local high school senior Gabriella Khaskelis applied to 15 schools.
“I know, like a few people in our school applied to 25 colleges, which is just wild,” she said. “You never know until the very last moment if you got in. Because even like some schools that look like you can get in, you never know if you turn out the other way. So you have to increase your chances.”
At the University of Cincinnati, enrollment is expected to increase this year, too. Admissions officials also say more financial aid will be available.