July 19, 2009

As Applicant Pool Grows, Rate Of Admission Hits Record Low

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For the first time in Cornell’s history, the admit rate for the incoming freshman class dropped below 20 percent. After a rise in early admissions applicants in December, Cornell administrators projected an increase in the number of this year’s regular decision applicants, which reached an all time high of 34,381.

A Most Selective Class
The admit rate for the Class of 2013 fell to the unprecedented level of 19.1 percent. While Cornell admitted 36.68 percent of early decision applicants, regular admissions only accepted 17.2 percent of applicants.
Cornell admitted 20.4 percent of applicants into the class of 2012, indicating that the rate dropped 1.3 percent this year. Given the admit rate and the number of applicants reported by the University, The Sun calculated that approximately 6,567 applicants were accepted to comprise the class of 2013.
Due to the economic downturn, Provost Kent Fuchs announced an increase of 100 students this year, raising the usual class size of 3,050 to 3,150. Using these numbers, the Sun calculated a yield rate — the number of students admitted divided by the number of applicants who attend — of 47.97 percent.
With 3,311 potential students placed on a waitlist, there are still many hopefuls awaiting a final decision. Unfortunately, 22,434 applicants were neither accepted nor waitlisted but were rejected by the University. Last year, 6,834 applicants were accepted, 3,432 were placed on a waitlist and 19,305 were denied admission.

Diversity Through Admissions
According to David Harris, deputy provost and vice provost for the social sciences, this year’s incoming class also breaks records in terms of diversity. Enrollment of black freshmen this fall has risen 56 percent over last year, Harris said in June.
Cornell consistently places last among its Ivy League peers regarding the total percentage of its undergraduate enrollment who are minorities, which is 27.5 percent. (Columbia’s 34.1 percent, Brown’s 30.9 percent and Princeton’s 30.8 percent lead the pack.)
Cornell’s percentage of total undergraduate students who are black also ranks lowest in the Ivy League. Last year, the class of 2012 saw a record low black enrollment of only 4.3 percent, or about 137 students.
However, Harris proclaimed that the class of 2013 is the most diverse “probably ever; certainly in last two decades.” Of last fall’s reported 13,846 undergraduate students, 699 are black (5.04 percent), 768 are Hispanic (5.54 percent) and 66 American Indian or Alaskan Native (.04 percent).

Across the Board
Admit rates across the Ivy League make clear that admission to these colleges is becoming increasingly selective.
Harvard admitted a record low 7 percent of students, according to The Harvard Crimson, while Yale admitted 7.5 percent, The Yale Daily News reported. The Brown Daily Herald reported that Brown’s admission rate dropped from 13.3 percent last year to 10.8 percent this year. According to The Dartmouth, the admission rate dropped 1.5 percent from last year, with 12 percent of applicants accepted.
However, the University of Pennsylvania’s admit rate rose to 17.1 percent this year, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian. Princeton’s admit rate rose to 9.79 percent, according to The Daily Princetonian, higher than the last two years. While Columbia College increased admissions rates, its School of Engineering and Applied Science admissions decreased, resulting in a combined 9.82 percent, according to The Columbia Spectator.