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Department of Admissions records

Identifier: A075


Northeastern University's Office of Admissions formed in 1927 under director Milton John Schlagenhauf, replacing a Committee on Admissions. Enrollment increased drastically after World War II, from 3,623 students in 1944 to 10,671 in 1947, and it steadily increased each succeeding year. Northeastern University made a concerted effort to recruit students and provide scholarships to those who could not afford college. In 1960, an Associate Director of Admissions was hired in response to the steady increase in student admissions. In 1964, Northeastern University received a grant from the Ford Foundation to recruit more African American students. In the early 1970s, Northeastern University increased the numbers of minority and female students. In the late 1980s, fewer students were enrolling in colleges across the country, due to a struggling economy and a decreased pool of college-age students. In 1990, Northeastern University suffered a 28% decline in the number of enrolled students from the previous year. To stabilize enrollment, the school began to downsize, adopting a stricter admissions standards for incoming students. Previously, Northeastern University had an almost open undergraduate admissions policy, accepting 90% of freshman applicants. The new standards kept freshman class sizes between 2,500 and 2,800 students, increased the selectivity of the admissions process, and increased financial aid to retain high caliber students. This dramatic shift in admissions policies sustained Northeastern University through its financial crisis and continues to support its initiative to become a top 100 research university.


  • Creation: 1938-1999


Conditions Governing Access:

Brochures, newsletters, and audiovisual materials are unrestricted. Administrative records are closed for 25 years from their date of creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office. Student information (Box 1, Folder 2) is restricted until 2039.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.


2.53 cubic feet (4 containers)



System of Arrangement:

Arranged in one alphabetical sequence.

Physical Location


Finding aid for the Department of Admissions Records
Finding aid prepared by Jennifer Snider and Jeanine Rees
June 2004, August 2004
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Snell Library
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US