April 9, 2003

Applications Slip

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Last week, the Cornell Undergraduate Admissions Office (UAO) informed prospective high school students of their acceptance or rejection to Cornell University. Cornell, along with many of its colleagues in the Ivy League and other competing schools, first informed students of their status by means of a secure Internet web site and then by letter, allowing students a swift end to what was for many a very lengthy process.

Cornell received 20,442 applications for admission for the Class of 2007. 2,730 of the applicants applied Early Decision and 17,712 students applied Regular Decision. The overall University acceptance rate was 31percent this year.

The “total applications received (20,442) represents a decline of five percent from last year. We denied admission to 50 percent of the students who applied and we wait listed 13 percent of the applicants,” said Doris Davis, associate provost of admissions and enrollment.

While there was a drop in the total number of applications, there was a two-percent increase in the number of Early Decision applications.

Applications were down in four of the seven undergraduate colleges this year, including the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and the College of Human Ecology. Applications were up in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning and in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

One feature that applicants enjoyed this year was the use of an Internet web site to check their application status, instead of having to wait for thick or thin envelopes in the mail.

“We have a self-service web site that allows applicants to check on the status of their applications and it allows the students to learn of their admissions decision. Each applicant was given the opportunity to establish a self-service account, complete with their own unique password. The system worked very well,” Davis said.

“At first it was painful because most of the web sites didn’t work and I was really nervous,” recalled Arielle Nagler, an applicant and high school senior from New York City. “At the same time, it was nice that everyone could find out at the same time. I was glad to be done with the process. But it was strange that this process that has consumed me for years was done in minutes.”

Students accepted to the University are invited to visit between April 10th and 21st for Cornell Days, which has special programs organized by current students to familiarize and hopefully attract future Cornellians. For some students, Cornell Days are very beneficial in helping them make the decision to come to Cornell. For others, the time is not as useful.

“It wasn’t that helpful because they didn’t match me up well with a current Cornell student,” said Nicole Greenfield ’06. “But I came to Cornell anyway.”

The official reply date to reserve one’s spot in the Class of 2007 is May 1st, at which point students must either accept or reject their acceptance to the University. Once the UAO has determined how many places it has available in the next freshman class, it can offer acceptances to students on the wait list.

Because the deadline is not until May 1st, demographics of the Class of 2007 are not yet available.

“We do not yet have statistics with regard to gender, race or geographic region,” Davis said.

Archived article by Erica Temel

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