A record number of students are participating in Cornell's summer college program this year.

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A record number of students are participating in Cornell's summer college program this year.

July 6, 2016

Record-Setting, Diverse Pool of Students Attend Cornell Summer College

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A record 1,320 students from 40 different countries are attending this year’s summer college, a program which allows high school students to take undergraduate courses, according to James Alan Schechter, director of Cornell Summer College.

Explaining the summer college’s rapid expansion, Schecter said courses have become more popular as the scope and effectiveness of the program has increased.

“[The increase in applicants] is due to a number of factors, including the program’s excellent reputation, increased breadth and depth of offerings and deepening partnerships with high schools, donors, organizations and foundations, that support underserved populations,” Schecter said.

Schecter added that the increase in the number of Chinese applicants was especially dramatic, saying that the “uptick of several hundred applicants from China” exceeded last year’s Chinese applicant pool.

With the total increased number of applicants, this year’s pool was one of the most competitive ever, according to Schechter.

“Each year we attempt to absorb talented and ambitious students with a diversity of backgrounds,” he said. “[However,] a number of programs filled to capacity and unfortunately we were not able to extend places to some excellent students.”

Summer college participants live on Cornell’s North Campus and are can enroll in a diverse selection of courses, according to Schechter.

“All students can find academic homes in new courses as diverse as Social Entrepreneurship, Foundations of Law, Green Cities and Inspiring Leadership and such stalwarts as Freedom and Justice, Hotel Management and Introduction to Architecture,” Schechter said.

Many of these courses are taught by leading faculty members, such as Prof. Isaac Kramnick, government, Prof. Ross Brann, near-eastern studies, Prof. Rosemary Avery, policy analysis and management and Prof. Henry Richardson, architecture, according to the University.

Schecter explained that some courses have created additional sections or increased the capacity of the lectures to accommodate the increased number of interested students.

Previous graduates of the summer college include Lisa Kudrow of “Friends,” Marci Klein — a producer of “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live” — and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), according to the University.

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