Spelman College breaks admissions application record

Spelman College says it received more applications for the upcoming fall semester than it ever has in any cycle, despite coronavirus pandemic disruptions

Spelman College received its largest application pool in the Atlanta Black women’s college’s 140-year history as interest in historically Black colleges and universities grows.

More than 11,000 applications were submitted for the academic cycle to begin this fall, a 20% increase in the number of applicants Spelman saw the previous year, the school announced on its website.

“The increased interest in Spelman is a testament to the College’s reputation of graduating Black women with a competitive edge who rise to leadership roles across industries and impact positive change in their communities,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of the selective school.

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Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for 20th Century Fox)

The author and scholar of art and culture continued, “Our admissions team has done an excellent job of sharing our stellar outcomes with prospective students from across the nation. We are excited that these bright young minds are seizing the opportunity to experience our unique liberal arts education by applying to Spelman.”

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Chelsea Holley, interim director of admissions, credits the inpouring of applications to the greater urgency to support HBCUs by the Black community in the past decade.

“From founding inaugural Black student organizations at their high schools to advocating for voters’ rights in the 2020 presidential election, this applicant pool has been civically engaged, committed to leadership and dedicated to the very mission of Spelman College,” she said.

The college reports to have seen no change in the overall academic profile of the applicants it reviews for admission. Students accepted to the school on average have a high school GPA of 3.8 and an average SAT score of 1203. The pool of applicants native to Georgia increased by 4%.

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A general view of “Hidden Figures” Q & A Discussion at Spelman Convocation at Spelman College on November 17, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for 20th Century Fox)

“Students are drawn to Spelman because of its strong programs and its legacy of producing inspirational leaders. Thestory of Spelman is one that invokes pride, belonging and historical significance,” Holley said. “We have been intentional about sharing the rich tradition and legacy of Spelman, while also highlighting our ability to produce the next generation of leaders in a tech-forward society. We have consistently evolved and managed to remain a pace setter in the education and professional development of women of African descent.”

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Spelman College neighbor Morehouse College has also recently seen an influx of applications, having introduced an online program with reduced tuition for men looking to continue pursing degrees they never completed. According to a story recently published by NPR, citing a report by the U.S. Census Bureau, the historic institution well-known for producing leaders the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Spike Lee received more inquires than it saw applicants for its traditional on-campus program last year.

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A view of a billboard truck at Spelman College for #ALLINFORVOTING Get Out The Vote Billboard Campaign on October 31, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for ALL IN: The Fight for Democracy )

Spelman College is largely regarded as the global leader in the education of women of the African diaspora. Spelman’s reputation as the country’s chief producer of Black, female Ph.Ds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is unsurpassed.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Spelman No. 1 among historically Black colleges and universities, the 14th consecutive year the school has received that recognition. It also ranks No. 4 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges and No. 54 among all liberal arts colleges in the country.

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