North­eastern Uni­ver­sity has received 44,189 appli­ca­tions for the Fall 2012 freshman class, a new record for the university.

Stu­dents applying for the 2,800 seats in next year’s freshman class also exem­plify unprece­dented levels of aca­d­emic achieve­ment. The number of appli­cants with SAT scores above 1400 has dou­bled since five years ago. More than a quarter of the appli­cant pool has a high school GPA of 4.0 or higher.

A recent North­eastern survey of college-​​bound high-​​school stu­dents under­scored the desir­ability of Northeastern’s edu­ca­tional model. Stu­dents ranked “the com­bi­na­tion of rig­orous course­work with real-​​world research and work expe­ri­ence” as the most desired attribute of a col­lege edu­ca­tion. They also expressed a strong interest in global expe­ri­en­tial learning and the oppor­tu­nity to col­lab­o­rate with fac­ulty mem­bers on research.

North­eastern pro­vides stu­dents with a unique com­bi­na­tion of global oppor­tu­ni­ties, access to world-​​class research and an ecosystem of entre­pre­neur­ship — all anchored in our sig­na­ture co-​​op pro­gram,” said Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun. “The com­bi­na­tion gives our stu­dents what I call ‘The North­eastern Advan­tage.’ It is both a pow­erful way to learn and the best prepa­ra­tion for life.”

The new appli­cant pool is more diverse than ever before. Nearly 14 per­cent of the 44,189 appli­cants are inter­na­tional stu­dents, rep­re­senting 148 coun­tries. Thirty per­cent of the appli­cants are stu­dents of color. They also rep­re­sent a domestic geo­graphic expan­sion from pre­vious years, including a sig­nif­i­cant increase of appli­cants from out­side New Eng­land and the Mid-​​Atlantic.

In addi­tion to the out­standing quality and quan­tity of its appli­cants, Northeastern’s momentum is reflected by other key met­rics. Over the past five years, external research awards have increased by 95 per­cent. Over the same period, phil­an­thropic sup­port has dou­bled, and the 2010–2011 aca­d­emic year was the university’s best fundraising year to date.