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The Number of Applications - What Does It Tell Us?


charliekkk
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Hey folks,

A quick question: if the number of applications received by School A is two times the number of applications received by School B, what could it mean? Here's some context:

  1. Both are well-regarded programs. According to people I've talked to, there's no real difference in their academic strength. Nor is their placement records very different.
  2. Is it because of School A is more well-known? Maybe not. Both are continental philosophy programs, so both are relatively uncharted. Plus, their undergraduate institutions are not highly ranked, so the names of both schools aren't familiar to most people after all.
  3. Department size: The numbers of faculty are about the same, but the numbers of current students in School A is also two times the number in School B, although I doubt applicants know/consider this as a factor when they choose which programs to apply.

Any thoughts why the discrepancy in numbers of applications is sooooo big??

Edited by charliekkk
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It means more people applied to School A. (Obviously not the answer you are seeking. I’m sorry I just cannot let this one go.)

Deadline might be a factor? Recall the admission chair at my department saying we would receive more applications if our deadline were in Jan.

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Depends on lots of things. Continental schools have phases of having the “it” factor, and it’s easier to tell who’s on the way down. Stony brook is a good example of this given faculty disagreement about the future of the program, possibly Vanderbilt too given significant faculty losses in recent years. (But this is all hearsay...)

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UC San Diego gets a disproportionately higher application pool, and it is speculated (by one of my profs) that it is due to the nice weather and beaches. Meanwhile, UPenn gets about half as many applications as similarly ranked schools. I dunno why. Philly is a great city.

Edited by Duns Eith
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33 minutes ago, Duns Eith said:

UC San Diego gets a disproportionately higher application pool, and it is speculated (by one of my profs) that it is due to the nice weather and beaches. Meanwhile, UPenn gets about half as many applications as similarly ranked schools. I dunno why. Philly is a great city.

*should have applied to UPenn* 😮

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