How to Get Into Fordham University: Admissions Data and Strategies

March 16, 2022

Fordham University differs from many in its peer group of selective, academically strong schools located in the Northeast who have seen their acceptance rates plummet over the last decade. In fact, Fordham, a Jesuit Catholic university on a beautiful 85-acre campus in the Bronx has seen their acceptance rate spike as high as 58% in recent years after dipping into the mid-40s periodically throughout the 2000s.

Given that Fordham remains a very selective institution, it is important for prospective Fordham students to have:

  1. An understanding of the big-picture of Fordham admissions.
  2. Data to help you assess your chances of admission with more accuracy.
  3. An idea of what the Fordham admissions committee looks for and strategies to improve your admissions chances.

To accomplish these goals we will touch on the following topics:

  • Fordham University’s Class of 2025 acceptance rate
  • Fordham University’s ED acceptance rate
  • SAT, ACT, GPA, and class rank of accepted Fordham students
  • Admissions trends at Fordham
  • The demographics of current Fordham undergraduates
  • Fordham University’s yield rate
  • How Fordham University’s admissions officers evaluate candidates
  • Tips for applying to Fordham University
  • How to assess whether applying to Fordham is even worth the $70 application fee (for you)

Many students applying to Fordham may also find the following blogs to be of interest:

Let’s begin with an examination of the most recent admissions data.

Fordham University’s: Overall Acceptance Rate – Class of 2025

Fordham received 46,160 applications for a place in the Class of 2025 and accepted 26,925 from that group. This acceptance rate of 58% was a touch higher than the Class of 2024 mark of 53%.

Fordham Early Decision Acceptance Rate

Fordham has not yet released their ED numbers for the Class of 2025, but for the Class of 2024, ED applicants were accepted at a 58% clip compared to 49% for the general pool. In that cycle, of the 364 ED applicants, 201 were admitted.

Fordham Admissions – SAT, ACT, GPA, and Class Rank

Those who were admitted into the Fordham Class of 2025 sported mid-50% SAT scores of 1340-1480 and mid-50% ACT scores of 30-34. The average GPA for an admitted students was 3.77 and 48% were in the top 10% of their high school class; 84% placed in the top quartile.

Moving on to enrolled students (those actually attending Fordham), the SAT range was a still impressive 1320-1450 and the ACT range was 30-33. The average enrolled student’s GPA was 3.67 and 32% placed in the top decile while 71% earned a spot in the top 25%.

Admissions Trends & Notes

  • Fordham is test-optional through the fall of 2023.
  • 23% of the Class of 2025 were first-generation college students.
  • 5% of the 2021-22 freshman class identifies as having a disability.
  • 21% of the Class of 2025 were residents of NYC’s Five Boroughs
  • 60% of those who were admitted last cycle did not submit an ACT or SAT result with their application.

Who Gets Into Fordham University?

Let’s look at the demographics of current Fordham undergraduates, beginning with the U.S. states with the greatest representation in the Class of 2025:

  1. The Tri-State Area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut)
  2. California
  3. Florida
  4. Illinois
  5. Maryland
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Texas
  9. Washington

As at any selective university, competition is toughest among those hailing from states with endless streams of qualified applicants (the entire Northeast & the West Coast). If you reside in a less populated state like Idaho, Wyoming, or Alaska, your location is more likely to provide a boost to your admissions chances.

Looking at ethnic identity, the breakdown of members of the Class of 2025 was as follows:

  • Asian American: 14%
  • Hispanic: 18%
  • African American: 7%
  • White: 49%
  • Two or more races: 5%
  • International: 6%

The religious identity among members of the Class of 2025 was as follows:

  • Buddhist: 1%
  • Catholic: 39%
  • Jewish: 3%
  • Hindu: 3%
  • Muslim: 5%
  • Protestant: 17%

Students in the Class of 2025 attended the following types of high schools:

  • Public: 52%
  • Private: 32%
  • Jesuit 4%
  • Unknown: 16%

The breakdown by gender in the Class of 2025 is notably split in favor of women:

  • Male: 35%
  • Female: 65%

Due to the rather large gender gap, male applicants are generally admitted at a roughly 10% higher clip than female applicants.

International students make up 6% of Fordham’s 2021-22 freshman class. The greatest number of students hail from the following countries:

  1. Brazil
  2. Canada
  3. China
  4. India
  5. Italy
  6. Mexico
  7. Spain
  8. Vietnam

Yield Rate

Fordham University’s yield rate—the percentage of accepted students who elect to enroll, divided by the total number of students who are admitted was an extremely low 11% last year. This is due, in part, to the fact that Fordham is competing with the same pool of students as many elite institutions in the Northeast. For comparison, other private institutions have the following yield rates: American University (21%), Georgetown (44%), and Boston University (24%).

How Fordham Rates Applicants

Fordham ranks only two factors as being “very important” to their admissions process: rigor of secondary school record and GPA. There are seven additional factors that Fordham considers “important” to their evaluation: the application essay, recommendations, character/personal qualities, talent/ability, extracurricular activities, paid work, and volunteer work.

Straight from the Fordham admissions staff:

  • “We honor your school and community context, referencing information provided by your counselor and school profile.”
  • “Our goal is to find people who aren’t going to sit on the sidelines. Have you been involved in anti-racism work, or in identifying and dismantling anti-Black racism in your school or community (e.g. Black Lives Matter)? Have you been involved in other social causes around the environment or climate change? Have you taken on additional family responsibility in the midst of the pandemic? Do you have a part-time job to help out with expenses?”
  • “We look at you as a whole person (cura personalis), taking into account your personal characteristics and lived experience, as well as your academic experience and qualifications.”

Additional Tips for Applying to Fordham University

If you plan on joining the almost 47,000+ Fordham applicants in the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

  • There are no evaluative interviews offered at Fordham, so you will need to find other ways to make a personal connection through your essays and recommendations.
  • Fordham does consider “demonstrated interest” in the admissions process. Therefore, you will be judged on whether or not you made a campus visit (in non-pandemic times) contacted an admissions officer, follow them on social media, etc.
  • A teacher recommendation is required. For tips on requesting a letter of recommendation check out this blog.
  • Make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the optional supplemental essay required by Fordham. In the 2021-22 cycle, students are invited to submit one optional essay (that you should definitely submit). The prompt is as follows:

Optional: At Fordham, we expect students to care for and engage with their communities. Please share a specific instance in which you challenged yourself or stepped out of your comfort zone in order to impact your community (for example, your family, friend group, high school, or town). Or, share a way you hope to do so at Fordham. (150 words)

Should I Apply to Fordham University?

Fordham is a selective school, but does not have as cutthroat of an admissions process as many of its competitors. Test scores around the 90th percentile and grades that are a mix of A’s and B’s in a rigorous schedule of courses makes you a viable applicant. Regardless, unless you have stats that will blow away the admissions committee, make sure to also have a rock-solid backup plan. All applicants need to make sure that they formulate an appropriate college list, containing a complement of “target” and “safety” schools. You’ll definitely want to do this in conjunction with an admissions professional.