The ideal student (for Emory)

The students featured in this video are smart, curious, compassionate, and passionate about their research experience at Emory. In short, they represent the characteristics of an ideal Emory student.

Considerations of what makes the best student body and how to nurture those students once they are here have been on Provost Claire Sterk’s priority list for the fall semester. Sterk asked colleagues from across the university -- including deans and faculty as well as staff in admission, financial aid, and areas that serve students -- to identify students who are a good match for Emory. Making the short list are those who are intellectually curious, academically gifted, ethically engaged, and concerned with community.

"Emory is looking for traits over and above academic credentials," says Sterk. "The students who gain the most from Emory typically have some particular interest, and they care about others and their world."

In addition to individual applicants, Sterk’s attention encompasses the overall student body. The Office of Admission -- a unit of the Office of the Provost led by John Latting -- is charged with not only making introductions of Emory's academic programs to prospective candidates but also with shaping the applicant pool and final class. Along the way, a host of people -- from deans, academic administrators, faculty, and alumni to peers, parents, and high school counselors -- influence students' interests in Emory. Admission decisions expand beyond test scores and credentials to consider interests and programs in which Emory offers distinct strengths, such as debate and music. Throughout the process, admission officers maintain a focus on how an applicant would benefit from an Emory education and how that student could contribute to the campus community.

In 2013, Emory attracted 17,705 undergraduate applicants, extending 4,690 (27 percent) offers of admission and admitting 1,354 of those offers (29 percent). To date, numbers of applicants to Emory for the 2014-2015 academic year are trending up, as are early decisions.

In the future, Sterk hopes to continue broad conversations about the ideal Emory student body not only for undergraduate admission but also for those in the graduate and professional schools.