The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy extended acceptances to 95 undergraduate candidates out of a pool of 210 students for the Class of 2023 on Monday. The overall admission rate was 46 percent compared to 42 percent last year.
According to Anne Carter Mulligan, Batten director of undergraduate admissions, the application pool and preliminary offers were “largely consistent” with last year. Batten only saw a slight decrease in the total number of applications — down from 215 applications in 2020. However, Mulligan noted that there was a decrease in the number of students of color that applied. In 2020, students of color represented 32 percent of the applicants, whereas this year they only represented 30 percent of the pool.
Similarly, there was a decrease in representation from first-generation students, who accounted for only 9 percent of the applicant pool in 2021 compared to 12 percent in 2020. Mulligan explained that Batten expected fewer underrepresented and minority students would apply due to the impact of the pandemic. The pandemic has disproportionately affected minority groups in terms of housing dynamics, food insecurity and health factors, among other things.
“This data suggests it is reasonable to assume that the disproportionate effects of the pandemic on people of color and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds are being felt by the student body, and as a result, the BA applicant pool,” Mulligan said in an email to The Cavalier Daily.
For that reason, they made a number of changes to the admissions process in order to compensate for this issue. For example, they eliminated the application fee and encouraged students to choose the credit/general credit/no credit grading option for prerequisites such as microeconomics, social psychology and other classes, in addition to offering information sessions, application workshops and office hours.
While Batten offered a number of resources in order to facilitate the application process during an unprecedented time, Mulligan also highlighted that Batten considered the “fuller context of challenges students are facing as a result of the pandemic as part of the evaluation process.”
Additionally, there was a slight increase in the number of women that were accepted this year — 71 percent compared to 69 percent last year. The percentage of students accepted that identified as white remained the same from 2020 to 2021 at 64 percent. There was an increase in the number of Hispanic and Asian students with these groups representing 8 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
While these numbers do not represent the official class profile given that Batten receives student decisions by March 10, the average cumulative GPA of admitted students was 3.782, with a range from 3.1 to 3.99.
“While these are the numbers, the incoming Class of 2023 represents an extraordinarily rich and diverse set of backgrounds, skills, experiences, policy interests, and perspectives, and we’re very excited to welcome them to Batten!” Mulligan said.
In 2019, 98 percent of students who graduated with a B.A. in Leadership and Public Policy were able to secure a job within six months of graduation, with most graduates working in the private sector, federal government or consulting. The average reported salary is $67,960.
Batten is not the only route for students interested in public policy — within the College, students can also major in political and social thought; political philosophy, policy and law and either government or foreign affairs within the politics department. Applications for political and social thought and political philosophy, policy and law are due March 11 and March 12.
Second-year College student Thomas Dannenfelser, who was recently accepted into Batten, hopes to achieve his leadership and policy goals through this program.
“Here on Grounds, Batten will improve me as Secretary of the Second Year Council, and looking further on, it will prepare me for this summer when I intend to work on finance policy as I intern in the U.S. Senate,” Dannenfelser said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “The courses, mentoring and programming through the Batten school will all be invaluable assets.”
Students decide whether to accept admission by March 10.