UMD Remains Top Choice Despite Selectivity

by Connor Pugh ’24

The University of Maryland, College Park has long had a reputation among Sherwood students as the go-to place for many seniors when looking for college. According to Naviance data for this academic year, 216 current seniors at Sherwood applied to UMD, meaning half of all 424 students in the graduating class applied to the university. Because of the high rates in applications, Sherwood has consistently provided a steady stream of graduated students attending UMD.

“I think UMD will always be desirable because it is our flagship university,” explained College & Career Information Coordinator Jenny Davis. “We are lucky to have such a reputable state school with amazing programs and great higher-level learning opportunities for students.”

A variety of factors have contributed to UMD’s status as a top school to apply to for Sherwood students. Close proximity to Sherwood itself allows students to commute to college for classes instead of having to pay extra to get housing on campus or nearby, thereby making the college more financially available to many. UMD also has connections to the wider DMV area, with a Metro station in College Park (and another being built on campus) as well as many programs and opportunities for students to work in DC and the surrounding area. The close proximity between Sherwood and UMD also connects the former to the campus culture, with Terrapin logos and merchandise being a common appearance all over the Sherwood area.

At the same time, the acceptance rate for the university has been steadily declining and becoming more selective. According to the UMD 2023-2024 undergraduate catalog, “We typically receive over 58,000 applications for a fall freshman class of approximately 4,750. As a result, we are unable to offer admission to all students who have the ability to be academically successful at the university.” Undergraduate freshman acceptance rates declined from 52.2 percent to 45 percent from 2021 to 2023, indicating a turn in a more selective direction for the university.

“It’s unfortunate that admissions requirements have become more rigorous and Maryland residents are being turned away from their state school,” remarked Davis.

With the previous go-to State School becoming more and more selective, Sherwood students may choose to seek other colleges. Other state schools such as UMBC and Towson University may become more popular, or there could be a greater number of out of state students as people begin looking elsewhere for colleges. Still, UMD likely will continue to be the university to which the most Sherwood students apply. In fact, of the 170 students to complete a survey for this Senior Issue of The Warrior, more than 100 applied to UMD.