May 6, 2004

Admissions Rate Decreases

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Cornell experienced a competitive admissions cycle for the class of 2008, as the pool of applicants increased while the percentage of those accepted decreased since selecting for the class of 2007 last year. Cornell was among a select few of Ivy League universities to decrease its admission rate for the incoming class of 2008.

Only two other Ivies — Columbia and Yale — decreased their admission rates this year. Columbia’s decrease was minuscule from 10.8 percent in 2007 to 10.5 percent in 2008, while Yale’s decrease from 11.4 percent in 2007 to 9.9 percent in 2008 was the largest reduction. The large decrease was somewhat expected, however, as Yale’s admission rate for 2007 was a record high for the university.

This was not the case for Cornell’s admission rate last year. At 31 percent in 2007, the University still experienced a decrease of over two percent to 28.7 percent in 2008 in the number of those accepted — but an increase in overall applications.

“The University saw an increase in overall applications by almost two percent, with the largest increase being for the College of Arts & Sciences,” said Doris Davis, associate provost for admissions and enrollment. “A&S had an increase of just over seven percent. We also saw an increase in applications from students who live in the western U.S., the Mid-Atlantic, the Southwest, as well as from students from New York City.”

Davis predicted that the 2008 class, though smaller in proportion, will be as strong as the previous years. A good indication of the increasing competitiveness of the admissions pool can be seen in the increase in average SAT scores for admitted freshmen in the class of 2008. In addition, Cornell admissions for 2008 differ from the other Ivies by remaining stable in other areas of admissions like diversity of race, gender, and region.

“Diversity as measured by representation of gender, race and geography remained about the same as previous years,” said Jason Locke, director of the undergraduate admissions office. “52 percent of the admitted students are male, and 48 percent are female. 32.6 percent of the admitted students identify themselves as students of color; eight percent are international students.”

Overall, the Ivy League schools have admitted a higher percentage of minority students for the class of 2008, with Harvard setting records for the amount of Latinos and blacks admitted.

Accordingly, for the first time in its history, Harvard admitted more women than men, though by a very small margin of 1,016 women to 1,013 men.

In the 2008 cycle, students from all 50 states were represented in the admission selections at all Ivy schools. Students from a variety of countries and six different continents were admitted, as well.

Archived article by Teah Colson
Sun Staff Writer