Applications Drop for the First Time in Years



As accepted college students, it is easy to forget how nauseatingly stress­ful the college application process was. In the past three years, Colgate has spared 43 percent to 48 percent of the incoming class from the April angst with Early Decision admittance. Current students can only speculate as to how many of next year’s first-years are already on the Colgate Bookstore’s website buying Colgate sweatshirts, baseball hats and shot glasses.

Although the Office of Admis­sion will not publish the Class of 2015 profile until June 1 when the class is officially formed, the New York Times has already published statistics claiming that Colgate had a 1.37 percent de­cline in applicants since last year. Associate Dean of Admission Katryna Swartwout Ryan claims that the Times did not have as the numbers continue to change as the Class of 2015 matriculates.

The supposed 1.37 percent ap­plicant decline, which Senior As­sociate Dean of Admissions Karen Giannino dismissed as a “little drop,” could have resulted from the $60 online application fee Colgate implemented this year for all ap­plicants with permanent mailing addresses within the United States.

“We knew that would erode our pool a little bit; frankly, we were surprised it wasn’t more,” Giannino said. Despite the current economic crisis, Colgate has managed to main­tain a consistently increasing appli­cant pool over the past three years.

The applications from students not applying for financial aid has increased. However, fewer students who need financial aid apply, perhaps deterred by what Giannino refers to as the “sticker shock” of Colgate’s tu­ition. Although the university cannot currently offer need-blind admission, they guarantee to meet 100% of dem­onstrated need for accepted students and are dedicated to raising funds to continue increasing the university’s ability to offer financial assistance.

Additionally, declining popu­lation growth rates of college-age students in Colgate’s major North­east markets, as well as exhausting economic conditions threaten to further drain Colgate’s admissions pool. To compensate for potential losses, the Office of Admission has employed a variety of demo­graphic strategies to maintain a large and competitive applicant pool. Strategies include more follow-ups and focused reach­ing out into communities with desirable applicants.