Virginia university counting incomplete applications in acceptance rate

Posted at 11:41 AM, Sep 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-22 11:41:39-04

(WTVR) – According to official records, 5.972 students applied to Washington and Lee University last year, but only 19 percent were accepted. The Washington Post reported those numbers could be inflated to help make the university as one of the nation’s most-selective liberal arts schools.

The Washington Post obtained university data showing over more than 1,100 students applied for the class of 2016, but one out of every six applications were never completed.

The admission rate would be 24 percent if the incomplete applications were omitted from the official count, which means five more points would be added to the school’s selectivity rate.

Although what Washington and Lee does in coming up with its acceptance rate isn’t illegal, but interviews with officials at other schools suggest an inconsistency between Washington and Lee’s selectivity rate and their large applicant pool.

“This is part of the great mystery of college admissions,” Andrew P. Kelly, a higher education analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Washington Post.  “We don’t have much of an idea how this works internally.”