While their peers stoically wait for April 1, the 1,189 early admitted students for the Class of 2014 are coasting on their acceptance letters.
“Our review process is holistic, which means that we consider all factors in making a decision,” said Doris Davis, associate provost for admissions and enrollment. “We look for the ‘fit and match’ with Cornell. Obviously, all admitted students must be strong students academically, but we look for other unique and interesting qualities that a student will bring to Cornell.”
The University received 3,594 applications this past fall for Early Admission, a 4-percent increase from last year’s crop. Davis classified the application pool as “larger and just as academically strong.” The total application pool for regular and early decision consists of 36,145 Cornell hopefuls, a 5-percent increase from last year.
With the increased applications and possibly fewer acceptances set for April 1, the admissions rate is expected to drop to around 18 percent, compared to last year’s 19 percent.
Across the Ivy League and the country, colleges saw their application number jump. Princeton enjoyed a nearly 20-percent increase in applications, while Harvard saw a similar jump to the University’s five-percent increase. Brown also saw application numbers soar, with a 20-percent increase from last year’s pool.
Yale was the only Ivy League member whose numbers slipped, with a less than one-percent decrease in the number of applications.
The fear from the market crash seems to have made many people believe that they need a college education to succeed in today’s society.
“Even during a recession students and parents still believe that a college education is one of the most important lifelong investments,” Davis told BusinessWeek.
Financial aid offered by colleges provides an impetus for students to apply. The University recently implemented a policy of providing families earning less than $75,000 a year with grant-aid rather than need-based loans, thus encouraging students to apply. Other colleges increased their overall aid budget. Princeton, for instance, is projected to increase its current $103 million aid budget by $10 million for the coming year.