August 22, 2010

Freshmen Descend on the Hill; University Releases Snapshot of Class of 2014

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Lorena Michelen ’14, an incoming freshman born in Puerto Rico to a Dominican-Palestinian family, is one of the 1,070 students of color who make up 33.1 percent of North Campus’s newest residents, the class of 2014.

According to Doris Davis, associate provost for admissions and enrollment, 3,229 students, including 1,607 females and 1,622 males, make up the class of 2014. The number of enrolled freshmen exceeded the University’s goal of 3,150 by 79 students, Davis said. When compared the class of 2013’s numbers from last fall, this total represents an increase of just 8 freshmen.

International students, who make up 8.7 percent of the class, arrived in Ithaca from around the world, including such countries as Croatia, Ecuador, Mexico, Nepal and Saudi Arabia. However, international students are slightly less common in the class of 2014 than they were last year in the class of 2013, where they represented 11 percent of the students.

The class of 2014 exhibits the University’s increasing academic selectivity. Seventy percent of the first-year students scored more than 650 on the critical reading portion of the SAT, while 85.3 percent did the same on the math section. For last fall’s entering class, the percentages of students that scored 650 or above on the critical reading and math sections were 67 and 82, respectively.

Of the 33.1 percent of freshmen who identify themselves as members of a minority group, 14.9 percent said they are Asian American, 10.1 percent Hispanic, 5.3 percent African American and 0.5 percent Native American.

Davis noted that, beginning this year, the University modified the way it reports the racial and ethnic backgrounds of its students due to changes in how the federal government collects data on multicultural enrollment from educational institutions, .

“Cornell will begin reporting data in which students who self-identify as Hispanic only or Hispanic and another racial/ethnic group as Hispanic,” Davis said. Previously, students who identified themselves as Hispanic and another racial group were reported as Bi-Multicultural Under-Represented Minority. Davis stated that because of this change “it will not be possible to make meaningful comparisons of Fall 2010 data for Hispanic and Bi-Multiracial URM students with data compiled in prior years.“

Since she moved into her dorm last Friday, Michelen said she has yet to be impressed by racial diversity on campus. From what she has seen during the first days of Orientation Week, Michelen said she thinks the “world [could] be better represented” up on the hill.

Regarding economic diversity, more than 50 percent of the entering class qualified for need-based financial aid; 47.7 percent of the students were awarded need-based grant aid. The average grant dispensed is approximately $30,682.

Almost seventy percent of the entering class graduated from public schools.

Recruited athletes and legacies make up 6.9 percent and 14.3 percent of the class of 2014, respectively.

After arriving to campus on Friday, the class of 2014 continues its orientation Week activities today. Classes begin on Wednesday.

Original Author: Patricio Martinez