May 4, 2001

Admissions for 2005 Much More Competitive

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The admission rate for the Class of 2005 has dropped this year from 30.5 to 25.7 percent across the University’s seven colleges.

“Although the admissions reply deadline was May 1, it is still too early to report on the composition of next year’s freshman class,” said Doris Davis, associate provost for admissions enrollment. She predicted that this information would be available by the middle of May.

However, the admissions office has already tallied figures for those students who have been offered admission.

Avoiding Over-enrollment

The University received 21,518 applications for admission this year, a six and a half percent increase over last year.

“Since we do not want to be over-enrolled this year, we admitted about 600 fewer students even though our applications increased,” Davis said.

“This made admission to Cornell much more competitive,” she added.

Admissions has to keep the yield to 3,000 because of the North Campus Initiative, in which all freshmen will be housed on North Campus beginning this September. North is equipped to house no more than 3,000 freshmen, along with 600 to 700 upperclassmen who will act as resident advisors or live in the program houses located on North.

“We hope admissions does a good job at keeping the number at 3,000,” said Jean Reese, a student services associate who works in the office of student and academic services.

“It’s not an exact science,” she added.

Diverse Demographics

Last year, about 100 more freshmen accepted Cornell’s offer than the admissions office expected. As a result, students were forced to live in residence hall lounges and other spaces.

According to Davis, of the students who were admitted, 30 percent are from New York. About seven percent of the students come from countries outside of the United States.

Thirty percent of the students identified themselves as African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic or American Indian.

“We are being much more proactive with regard to our recruitment of students of color and students from outside New York,” Davis said.

Besides deciding to accept less Regular Decision applicants, one of the major elements of Cornell’s early decision process changed when it decided to deny some early applicants outright. The University had previously either accepted or deferred all of its early decision applicants to the regular decision pool.

Cornell accepted about one third of its freshman class early.

Archived article by Maggie Frank