Total applications for the Columbia Class of 2015 rose 32 percent from last year, increasing from 26,179 to 34,587 applications.
A month ago, Columbia accepted a record-low 19.6 percent of early decision applicants from a pool of 3,229 early applications. That record total marked a 7.2 percent increase from last year's early pool of 2,983.
Now with this year's tidal wave of regular applications, which likely can be attributed in large part to Columbia's decision to switch to the Common Application, I think it's fair to say that Columbia's admission rate, 9.16 percent last year, will hit another all-time low. Wow.
Other Ivy League schools are reporting similar spikes in the number of applications, though none are as drastic as Columbia's surge. Harvard's application pool increased 15 percent from 30,489 to almost 35,000 this year. The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that Penn received a record 30,956 applications, up from nearly 27,000 last year. Dartmouth's applications increased from 18,778 to 21,700. No word yet from Brown, Princeton, Cornell, or Yale.
UPDATE (6:33 pm): Statement from Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jessica Marinaccio.
“Columbia University has received a record 34,587 applications for the Class of 2015, a 32 percent increase over last year’s application total.
We attribute this continued and growing interest in Columbia to a variety of factors, including our commitment to communication and outreach to communities which have been historically under-served or under-resourced educationally, an increase in global awareness of Columbia’s reputation, the continued desirability of New York City, and greater ease of and access to our application process by virtue of our first-year membership with The Common Application.
Columbia prides itself on having a holistic, committee-based admissions process. When making a decision, we consider a variety of factors beyond grades and test scores, such as a student's academic history, extracurricular interests, intellectual achievements, and personal background. Having prepared in advance for the possibility of an increase in application volume by increasing staff and improving technologies, we remain committed to this approach for the Class of 2015 and all future applicant pools. As always, we will focus on identifying students who would be most likely to thrive both academically and personally at Columbia, as well as seek those applicants who will further enrich our already vibrant community.”