FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The University of Connecticut has never been more popular than it is right now, according to a statement released by the university.
The university received more than 29,500 applications to its Storrs campus from potential students. That number constitutes a 10 percent increase over last year's number and more than twice the amount received in 2001 (13,600).
The increase in applicants is in contrast to a nationwide trend that is seeing applications at post-secondary institutions dwindle, most notably in the northeast, according to UConn's statement.
“Nothing speaks more loudly about the academic reputation, attractiveness, and value of a university like a huge rise in applications,” Uconn President Susan Herbst said in the statement. “It is a widespread recognition of the excellence of our faculty, our student experience, and our alumni."
UConn isn't just seeing an increase in sheer volume of applications, either. The quality of applicant is increasing as well. The average SAT score of 2014 applicants is 12 points higher than the previous class.
UConn officials attribute this to the school's continued focus to strengthen its academic offerings, its affordability, and its commitment to targeted growth in key programs.
It doesn't hurt that the school has been making headlines in national rankings and publications this year. UConn was ranked No. 19 in U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best public universities and was the top spot in environmental ranking in the Sierra Club's "Cool Schools" list.
The school's general affordability remains an attractive element for applicants as well. A preliminary report released by he Connecticut General Assembly’s nonpartisan Program Review and Investigation Committee rated UConn as the 11th lowest public flagship university in terms of net cost to students.
Nathan Fuerst, UConn’s director of admissions also credit's the school's concerted effort to potential students locally and nationally that administrators feel are a good fit for the university.
The university will begin notifying applicants with offers of admission starting March 1, with the targeted new class of freshmen at the Storrs campus estimated to be around 3,550 students.