Save for Dartmouth, UChicago saw the biggest drop in applications (-9.5%) this year in comparison to its peers. Most schools stayed roughly level (e.g. Columbia, Harvard, Duke), Penn had a big increase (+14%), and only Dartmouth saw a large decrease (-14%).
UChicago spokespeople say that common app glitches adversely affected the numbers, but this is an unconvincing explanation. UChicago accepted apps for LONGER than most of its peers (until mid-January), and most of its peers did not experience any significant drop off in apps.
Any thoughts about the significant decrease in apps? Not sure exactly what is at play here but, for Nondorf and his mission to drum up as many apps as is feasible, this is a disappointing year. Yield may go up this year, but in the big numbers app game UChicago plays, they lost significant ground to Northwestern, Columbia, Harvard, Penn, etc. - all the schools with well more than 30,000+ apps.
As an interesting note - for some reason, UChicago really struggles to get regular decision applications. Columbia, Brown, NU, etc. all get about 30,000 regular decision apps each, but UChicago only receives ~17,000-20,000 RD apps, and lots of EA apps. With an EA pool of 11,000, it'd seem reasonable for UChicago to pull in another 25,000 RD apps, and have ~33000-35000 apps total. Again, from the hard numbers perspective, this will be a disappointing year in UChicago's admissions office (an office, by the way, that is one of the largest and most well-funded [for mailings, at least] offices of its kind in the country).