Honors Program admits 2,000
Published: Monday, March 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 21:04
As admission letters are making their way to prospective students, the Honors Program has recently released its incoming admissions numbers for the upcoming academic year, with figures indicating an increase in students who will be celebrating admittance to the Honors Program this year.
According to the Profile of Honors Program Class of 2016, 445 students were admitted to the program last year, out of about 4,500 applications, representing an acceptance rate of approximately 10 percent. However, this year that number jumped to 5,000 applications, with 2,000 students admitted to the program.
Honors freshman Allison Lisberg said she believes the jump in admissions is good for the Honors Program, but only if it does not affect the integrity of the program. She said while she was not necessarily surprised by the increase in admissions, more honors students were enrolled in the program than she originally expected.
“If they have credentials, it’s fine to let them in,” Lisberg said. “I definitely think that if they start seeing a problem with growing numbers in classes, they should redefine who they allow in, whether it is a top percentage or a certain cut-off point, because it really is a nice program as it is.”
Freshman Elizabeth Viersma said she agreed with Lisberg that the size of the classes was a key point in the Honors Program and she would not want it changed.
“It might make the honors classes larger, which I would not like because the smaller classes aspect was a big factor for me,” Viersma said.
The Office of the Provost, headed by Interim Provost Nancy Brickhouse, wrote about the admissions numbers in its March newsletter. According to the newsletter, the number of applications from in-state and non-resident students were both the second-highest numbers ever.
According to the newsletter, the qualifications of students admitted into the Honors Program are the highest of any class ever admitted into the university. Brickhouse also said the diversity of the school is continuing to improve when it comes to “underrepresented minority students and international students.”
“It is clear that our Admissions Office is taking a strong leadership role for enhancing diversity,” Brickhouse said. “We need to be equally confident that we have the right systems and people in place so that these students are successful here.”
Freshman Kimberly Caruso said she believes the expansion of the program will be beneficial. However, she said the university should not change the program during any type of expansion.
“If the Honors Program keeps growing, I think it would be a good thing because more intelligent people would be coming here,” Caruso said. “But I don’t think they should lower the standards of the Honors College.”
Caruso said she thinks university officials should admit a much smaller amount of students to the Honors College, compared to the amount of students admitted to the university in general. She said the program would improve academically if fewer students were admitted to the Honors Program. However, she said this might make potential students not want to attend the university at all.
The increased qualifications of students could be indicative of growing prestige for the university as a whole, along with the Honors Program, Viersma said. She said the Honors Program is well regarded in her hometown in New Jersey, which compelled her to apply and attend the university.
Freshman Meg McGrath said she also heard of the program’s prestige in her hometown in Connecticut. Although several people from her hometown were excited to apply to the university, she said she was the only one of her friends admitted to the Honors Program. She said she believes the way the university is developing, it will continue to grow in size and in reputation.
“Delaware has been getting a lot bigger up where I am from,” McGrath said. “Nobody is saying that it’s Ivy League or anything, but the school has a great reputation up north. I was very excited to be accepted into Honors, and my experience has been great.”