March 30, 2011

Admissions Rate Drops for Class of 2015

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The Class of 2015 faced the most competitive admissions cycle yet, but its newly-admitted members can now celebrate their acceptance to the University’s sesquicentennial class.

Following the most competitive admissions cycle in Cornell’s history — with a record high of 36,392 applications — 5,306 students received their regular admissions acceptance Wednesday to the sesquicentennial class of 2015, the University’s 150th freshman class. The admissions rate decreased yet again this year, with an overall admit rate of 18.0 percent, while the number of applications shot up six percent from the Class of 2013.

“We’re extremely pleased with the quality of admitted students,” said Barbara Knuth, vice provost and dean of the graduate school. Calling the University’s 150th anniversary a “landmark in Cornell’s history,” Knuth said the Class of 2015 “will have the opportunity to participate in the ceremony leading up to the sesquicentennial celebration over the next four years.”

Along with the 1,228 students who were admitted early in December, the 5,306 admitted regular decision applicants comprise a total of 6,534 accepted students, 49.8 percent of whom are female.

The admitted students represent diverse backgrounds, coming from all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as well as 69 countries worldwide. Like last year, the highest number of students in the U.S. hail from New York, California and New Jersey, while the majority of international students come from China, the Republic of Korea and Canada.

This year, the percentage of self-identified underrepresented minorities increased. 22.3 percent of the Class of 2015 identified themselves as Hispanic, African American, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander or Native American, in comparison to 20.9 percent in 2010.

Academically, the admitted students’ median SAT I scores remain the same as the Class of 2014, with a critical reading score of 710 and a math score of 740.

24,671 applicants were denied admission, and 2,988 were offered a spot on the waitlist. The smaller class and greater number of waitlisted students was a strategy to better manage the size of the enrolling class — especially in regard to first-year housing, Knuth said.

Accepted students from both near and far expressed excitement and relief at their admission.

“I’m really thrilled to be accepted into Cornell,” said Marina Santos, a student from New York. “It was definitely one of my top choices, and I can’t wait to meet awesome people who love math as much as I do.”

Min Jae Lee, a student from Singapore, said he shouted when he saw his acceptance letter.

“I’m just really happy and relieved. I really wasn’t expecting it,” Lee said.

Original Author: Akane Otani