Tuesday, May 10, 2011

IDS: Graduate applicants level off as economy recovers


The recent economic recession increased the number of students who applied to IU graduate schools, but the continued recovery is beginning to reverse that trend.

Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2011 at 8.8 percent; down from a high of 10.1 percent in October 2009.

Some of IU’s graduate programs are beginning to show a leveling off of applicants for this year as a result.

“With the economy of 2008 and 2009, nationally more people applied — to law school — because they couldn’t get jobs and maybe if they had thought about going to law school, they accelerated their decision and applied,” Ken Turchi, assistant dean for communications and marketing for the Maurer School of Law said. “We could be seeing a reversal of that.”

To date, Maurer School of Law is on track to receive fewer applications for admission than in years past, he said.

The assistant dean of admissions at the Maurer School of Law, Frank Motley, said that while the quantity of applications went down in 2011, the quality went up. Many of the applicants had higher LSAT scores and GPAs.

A poor job market usually encourages people to return to or stay in school, Erika Lee, director of communications for the IU Graduate School said.

Because of the economic recovery currently underway, students will often return to school in order to qualify for more specialized employment, Lee said.

-- J. Edward Calabro