Disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the swift move from in-person learning to virtual education did not deter students from completing college applications.
This year, Spelman College received more than 11,000 applications for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. The number represents the highest application pool in the College’s 140-year history, and a 20 percent increase over last year.
“The increased interest in Spelman is a testament to the College’s reputation of graduating Black women with a competitive edge who rise to leadership roles across industries and impact positive change in their communities,”Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman.
Spelman’s unique history has placed the College on an upward application trajectory since 2014, and there is a sense of urgency around supporting HBCUs that is resonating with prospective students, said Chelsea Holley, interim director of admissions.
“From founding inaugural Black student organizations at their high schools to advocating for voters’ rights in the 2020 presidential election, this applicant pool has been civically engaged, committed to leadership and dedicated to the very mission of Spelman College,” said Holley.
The overall academic profile of applicants to Spelman remained consistent over previous years, with an average GPA of a 3.8 and an average SAT score of 1203 for those that chose to have their scores reviewed. The College also saw a four percent increase in applications from Georgia natives.
While the rise in interest from students follows a national trend of selective institutions receiving a record number of applications, Spelman’s historic impact and designation by U.S. News & World Report as the No.1 HBCU in the nation – as well as No. 57 in liberal arts and No. 4 and 10, respectively, for social mobility and innovation for small liberal arts colleges – also contributed to this year’s milestone.
“Students are drawn to Spelman because of its strong programs and its legacy of producing inspirational leaders. The story of Spelman is one that invokes pride, belonging and historical significance,” said Holley. “We have been intentional about sharing the rich tradition and legacy of Spelman, while also highlighting our ability to produce the next generation of leaders in a tech-forward society. We have consistently evolved and managed to remain a pace setter in the education and professional development of women of African descent.”