Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

October 24, 2013

Pitt applications hit all-time high —again

Applications for undergraduate admissions to the Pittsburgh campus are outpacing last year’s record-breaking year, Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg reported at the Oct. 18 Board of Trustees meeting.

At the end of the fifth week of the annual admissions cycle, the University had received 12,584 applications for fall 2014 — ahead of the corresponding point last year, when 7,054 applications had been received.

“We’re up 5,500 applications, or over 78 percent,” Nordenberg said. “And despite Pennsylvania’s challenging demographics, we are up more than 60 percent in applications from in-state students and more than 125 percent in applications from out-of-state students. The quality of that growing pool also continues to rise because applicants know that admissions here are highly competitive. The average test scores are up by 11 points and the percentage of applicants that are in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes is up 2 percent compared to last fall,” he said.

“What draws these hardworking high-achieving students is the quality of experiences associated with today’s University of Pittsburgh inside and outside the classroom, on campus and in the broader community,” the chancellor said.

Nordenberg called the current freshman class “the biggest, best qualified class in our history.

“To put that in context, in 1995 we received 7,825 applications for admission to the undergraduate programs on this campus. By the fall of 2012 that number climbed to 24,871 and by this fall those numbers had taken another very big jump to 27,634.

“Average test scores also soared from 1110 back in 1995 to 1293 this fall. And we have not become more selective by shrinking the size of the freshman class. Instead, the size of Oakland’s freshman class grew from 2,424 in 1995 to 3,922 this fall, an increase of more than 62 percent.”

$2 billion campaign

Nordenberg provided a brief overview of the final tally of the University’s $2 billion fundraising campaign, which ended June 30. Overall, 188,000 people made donations, including 293 who donated $1 million or more.

More than half of the money raised came from outside the region, he said.

The campaign has funded construction and renovations, new initiatives, the naming of the Swanson School of Engineering and the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, three endowed deanships, 154 chairs and professorships and nearly 600 new scholarships and fellowship funds, Nordenberg said.

“The collective good that will be produced over time by that $2 billion investment, though not precisely predictable, is boundless,” he said.

Ken Service, vice chancellor for University communications, told the University Times that the campaign raised an official total of $2.135 billion, noting that earlier campaign reports were preliminary.

An expanded campaign report will be posted at, sources from Institutional Advancement said.

Chancellor position profile endorsed

The board endorsed the chancellor search committee’s chancellor position profile (posted at, which outlines the challenges and opportunities the University’s next chancellor may face and enumerates the experience and traits the committee has determined are needed in Pitt’s next chancellor.

Trustee Dawne S. Hickton, a search committee member, reported that search committee chair Eva Blum sought input in meetings with regional campus presidents, the Council of Deans, the alumni association board and the University Senate executive committee.

Hickton said the profile also takes into consideration input solicited at 14 search forums (see Sept. 26 and Oct. 10 University Times) and through more than 1,600 responses via the online survey posted on the chancellor search site.

She said the committee was impressed by the alignment in the ideas the University community expressed. “It is so apparent there is great affection for Pitt and a deep love and respect for Chancellor Nordenberg,” Hickton said.

Among the challenges and opportunities are: maintaining Pitt’s commitment to excellence, continuing the University’s upward trajectory, dealing with financial pressures in a time of tight government funding and continuing to get the word out about the university that Pitt is today, she said.

Among the important traits desired in the next chancellor are being hardworking, having integrity and honesty; valuing Pitt’s culture, being willing to take risks and experiment with new ideas in a changing higher education landscape and having a commitment to understanding the University’s various constituencies.

Hickton encouraged additional input through the online survey available on the chancellor search website. She also noted that the chancellor search site includes instructions on how to nominate candidates for the position.

In other business:

• Robert A. Paul and Burton M. Tansky were elected emeriti trustees for life in recognition of their service to the University.

Paul served on the Board of Trustees 2004-13; Tansky, who co-chaired the University’s $2 billion campaign, served on the board 2003-13.

• The board’s next meeting is set for Feb. 28. The University honors convocation will be held later that day.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 46 Issue 5

Leave a Reply