August 16, 2013

Cornell Officials: Class of 2017 Is One of C.U.’s Largest, Most Diverse Freshman Classes Yet

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As the Class of 2017 counts down to its arrival on the Hill, University officials are lauding what they say is among the most diverse freshman classes in Cornell’s history.

“The Class of 2017 enriches Cornell in our pursuit of new knowledge and engagement with the many facets of the world,” said A.T. Miller, associate vice provost for academic diversity.

The 3,282 students make up Cornell’s third largest freshman class ever. They hail from 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 51 countries.

Students of color make up 40.8 percent of the class, according to the University. In comparison, in 2011, they made up 36.4 percent of the freshman class.

The percentage of self-identified African-American students is also up, increasing from last year’s 5.8 percent to 7 percent; meanwhile, the number of biracial, multiracial and non-Hispanic underrepresented minority students increased from 2.2 to 2.4 percent, according to the University.

The Class of 2017 also has a greater percentage of international students than previous classes. This year, 11.3 percent of freshmen are international students, compared to last year’s 9.8 percent.

Miller said the diversity of Cornell’s student body “means everyone at Cornell will benefit from a wider range of life experiences and perspectives on the world.”

“I would say that one of the main reasons anyone goes to a university rather than learn online or read at home is all the dynamic interactions and exchange of ideas with people who think about or know different things,” Miller said.

The University received a record number of applications this year. Vice Provost Barbara Knuth, noting increased competition in Cornell admisisons in recent years, said in a University press release that “the increases in both [the] number of applications and yield are notable, signaling that applicants and admitted students see the value of a Cornell education.”

Caroline Flax is a news editor at The Sun. You can email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at

Original Author: Caroline Flax