The Washington Post ran a story at the end of December 2017 that allowed readers an inside look at the “holistic” process of admissions at the University of Maryland in College Park.

“Thirty thousand applicants, one flagship university”

Some highlights from the article:

  • The applications are randomly distributed among 35 people on the admissions team, including 14 seasonal hires, who read transcripts, essays, teacher letters and other materials.Typically, these readers make one of three recommendations: fall admission, spring admission or denial.
  • Applications to state flagships are up 79 percent in 10 years
  • Some of the questions asked by review committee: “Were students taking the toughest available courses or coasting? Were they caring for an ill parent at home or holding down a job instead of maxing out on after-school clubs and sports? Would they be the first in the family to go to college or otherwise help diversify the College Park campus?”
  • “A quarter century ago, the university admitted 75 percent of its 14,000 applicants for the fall class. Now it does so for fewer than half of more than 30,000 applicants.”
  • The university says [that 26] factors are ‘flexibly applied,’ but the most important are course rigor, student performance, academic GPA and test scores. (U-Md. says it does not consider whether applicants have family who are alumni.)”


Read the article here:

Inside U-Md. admissions