Spike in Apps for Class of ’09



Margaret Powers

The Office of Admissions will be busy reading applications and making decisions about the Colgate Class of 2009 throughout the month of March. This year, the office has received a total of 8,000 applications, significantly breaking the overall record of 6,848 set in 1996 for the class of 2000. Of these 8,000 applicants, a class size is targeted at 730, similar to previous years. “The fact that Colgate’s applications for the Class of 2009 rose over the course of one year more than 22 percent is a great sign that should make everyone at Colgate feel very proud,” Dean of Admissions Gary Ross said. “It sends a signal that a very large number of the brightest college-bound students have strong interest in the outstanding opportunities offered as part of a Colgate education.” In addition to the increase in numbers, applicants of 2009 also embodied higher academic standards. “Based on our initial measurements, we have been able to determine that most applicants to the Class of 2009 are enormously talented young men and women who have earned records of distinction both in and out of the classroom,” Ross said. “Because Colgate has a record breaking number of applicants this year, the decision making process will take place over the course of many weeks as the competition for admission will be extremely intense.” According to Ross, Colgate’s current first-year class has been labeled the strongest in the University’s history, but once the Class of 2009 is decided upon, that honor may be passed on to them. Currently, the Office of Admissions staff is nearing the end of the decision process. All applications have been read at least once, most applications several times. “We have conducted evaluations on almost every application, but there are still a tremendous amount of application appraisals remaining,” Ross said. “Each day this week, there have been virtually nonstop committee deliberations on applicants. The Committee work will continue into next week as well.” Colgate has a unique Early Decision program, with two separate stages of Early decision: ED I and ED II. Early Decision I has been completed, while Early Decision II is still in progress. The Admissions staff plans to make the majority of its decisions by the middle of March, although Ross says that the process may last up to the final day before acceptance letters are mailed on March 30. Only a few statistics have been compiled for this year’s applicant pool, as the admissions process is not yet complete. In terms of applicants, there were 1449 more this year than in 2004. The female/male ratio of total applicants has also changed. In 2004 (class of 2008), the female/male ratio was 51/49. This year, the Class of 2009’s female/male ratio is 53/47. With diversity becoming a larger and more heated issue this school year, evidenced by the creation of the Diversity Council and other programs designed to raise awareness of diversity, Colgate remains committed to enhancing the diversity – racial, ethnic, geographical and intellectual – of the campus through the admissions process. “Colgate has been fortunate to achieve very significant increases in the multicultural diversity of its most recent entering classes,” Ross said. “This is very important for Colgate since diversity is of great concern to almost all of our applicants.” According to Ross, this year, Admissions has had an all-time record number of applications from applicants who have self-identified as coming from a multicultural background. “[This] leaves us very optimistic that the Class of 2009 will also be a class that has significant representation from those ethnic groups that have been traditionally under represented in higher education,” he said. Besides racial diversity, geographic diversity was strongly considered this year. Applicants of 2009 came from all over the world and many states experienced significant increases in applicants to Colgate. Within the United States, for those states that send more than 100 applications to Colgate, this year the state of Washington showed the largest change with a 58.4 percent increase. “Everyone who is a part of the Colgate community should be very pleased that a place in the Class of 2009 is in such great demand,” Ross said.