If the Shoutbox is any indicator, people are interesting in seeing Wesleyan’s popularity play out through history. Google’s new Ngram Viewer shows trends of how often a phrase has occurred over time in a certain corpus (e.g. American English, English Fiction, Russian) of texts. They’ve yet to scan every book ever, but they want to.
Wesleyan does pretty well, especially in recent times. Here’s how often “Wesleyan University” appears in “English”:
Early Decision I applications for Wesleyan were due November 15th. So how’d we do? Better. 3% better. Wesleyan received 515 applications in the ED I cycle, up from 500 last year. Yeah, 15 isn’t the hugest increase, but a 3% increase is better than any decrease. We’ll take what we can get.
In contrast, Williams went up only 1.3% and Amherst actually experienced a loss of 5.06%, making Wesleyan’s increase the largest of the Little Three. In the NESCAC, however, Hamilton tops it out with a 24.1% increase. In the category of “Universities with Binding Early Admission” so far, Lafayette had the biggest gain at 56.32% and Elon had the biggest loss at 14.7%.
In his post on the Times’ The Choice blog, Jacques Steinberg (who wrote a book featuring admissions at Wesleyan) notes what makes Early Decision special:
binding early programs continue to be a lightning rod for families and counselors; an applicant who applies under such a program, and commits to attend if accepted, loses the ability to not only field financial aid offers from other colleges, but also forfeits at least some potential leverage to persuade that institution to sweeten its scholarship proposals.
The chart I’ve extracted above shows the NESCAC results with Lafayette and Elon added in. Check out Steinberg’s post for information about other schools.
[NYT – The Choice]