The United States Naval Academy recently released admissions figures that ranked it among the most elite colleges in the country.
Based on official figures, the Naval Academy turned down nearly 16 of every 17 applicants for this year’s freshman class. The admissions dean of the USNA revealed that it had a record-setting 20,601 applicants. Only 1,392 of these applicants, however, were offered admission this spring.
These figures pegged the Academy’s acceptance rate at 6.8 percent, ranking it as the third most selective school in the country, after Harvard University (5.9 percent) and Stanford University (6.6 percent). Among the top schools that it beat out in terms of selectivity were Yale, Princeton, and University of California, Berkeley.
The U.S. Naval Academy, however, includes in the “applicants” count even those who have not completed an undergraduate application, but have shown interest in the Academy in other ways. This includes anyone who begins an online application or applies for a Navy ROTC scholarship or the school’s weeklong Summer Seminar for high school seniors.
Some experts, however, have raised doubts regarding how the Academy reports its data using standard conventions, such as the Common Data Set. Mike Reilly, the executive director of the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers, described the Academy’s practice as “unconventional and not particularly in-line” with the norm.
Bruce Fleming, an academy English professor and outspoken critic of the school, said: “They need to abide by the industry standard of a definition of an applicant as laid out in the definition of the Common Data Set, as all other reputable schools do.”