News | Administration

CC, SEAS applications down nearly 9 percent

Updated Thursday, 2 a.m.

Overall applications to CC and SEAS decreased by 8.9 percent this year, following last year’s record-setting 33.4 percent increase.

Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science received 31,818 applications for the class of 2016, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jessica Marinaccio said in a statement.

If Columbia were to accept the same number of students this year as it did last year, the admit rate would increase from 6.9 percent to about 7.5 percent.

“Columbia has seen increases in application volume in past years and has become increasingly selective as a result. This, however, has never been our primary goal,” Marinaccio said in the statement.

Last year’s record increase was widely attributed to Columbia’s move to the Common Application. Marinaccio noted that in the two years since switching to the Common App, applications increased by 21.5 percent overall, which she said is consistent with the 10 to 25 percent two-year increases seen by other colleges that made the switch.

“Our application numbers this year appear to be normalizing to a size consistent with this trend and at a level that continues to indicate strong student interest,” Marinaccio said.

She added that Harvard University’s and Princeton University’s adoption of early admission programs this year likely contributed to the decrease in applications to Columbia. Early decision applications to CC decreased by seven percent this year, although SEAS saw a 12 percent increase in early applications.

Ethan Edwards, CC ’15, agreed that Harvard and Princeton’s early application programs were likely partially responsible for Columbia’s application decrease. Edwards also speculated that the economy could be a factor, considering Columbia’s high price tag.

“I would guess the decline would be due to the economy, and I think that, as it shows that effect, it’s kind of tragic,” Edwards said.

The only other Ivy League school that has released overall applications numbers this year is the University of Pennsylvania, where applications fell by 1.7 percent, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Several students, though, said that the drop in applications does not say much about Columbia, either positive or negative.

“I don’t care at all about it,” Elias Dagher, CC ’15, said. “Whatever school you go to, if you learn something, it’s good.”

Jeremy Budd and Ben Gittelson contributed reporting.

sammy.roth@columbiaspectator.com

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Anonymous posted on

Early apps? Regular decision apps? The wording is really unclear. 

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ColumbiaSpectator posted on

Thanks for pointing this out--we mean overall applications.  It's been clarified above.

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Anonymous posted on

There many reasons for this including word is out that it is impossible to gain admission to these schools, tuition is very high at these schools, Harvard and Princeton, Columbia's closest peers, each accepted about 800 students that would have also applied to Columbia, and the graduating high school population has been steadily declining in the US since it's peak in 2009.

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Anonymous posted on

Harvard and Princeton attract higher quality students...Only 9% of Harvard-Columbia cross admits choose Columbia and 22% of Princeton-Columbia choose Columbia. Per NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/imagepa...

It seems that big changes to applications to Columbia would stem from changes at Brown and Dartmouth, which are closer in level. 

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Anonymous posted on

In response to the above, please do your research.  That article is from
2006 and uses data from even before then.  Columbia's applicants and
enrolled student body are on par with Harvard and Princeton based on SAT
scores, class standing etc and have been for several admissions cycles
now.  Bringing SCEA back to Harvard and Princeton will impact Columbia
and Yale pretty heavily.

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Anonymous posted on

That is correct. Columbia has had the second highest SAT scores and stats after Harvard for the last couple of years, and has had the admit rates closest to Harvard and lower than Princeton's and Yales the last two years. You will see that Harvard and Princeton's return to early admission will hurt Columbia the most, followed by Yale, as these four schools are on par and compete for the top students. It is the same applicant pool.

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Anonymous posted on

who cares which has the higher SAT scores? it doesn't confer any superiority over schools like yale and princeton with lower average SAT scores... the reality is, columbia still loses most cross-admits to these other schools. plain and simple reality.

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Anonymous posted on

In response to the above, please do your research.  That article is from 2006 and uses data from even before then.  Columbia's applicants and enrolled student body are on par with Harvard and Princeton based on SAT scores, class standing etc and have been for several admissions cycles now.  Bringing SCEA back to Harvard and Princeton will impact Columbia and Yale pretty heavily. 

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Anonymous posted on

It will impact Yale really heavily, and Brown/Dartmouth/Columbia will be affected to some degree. 

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Anonymous posted on

There's a reason it's HYP and not HYPC...Columbia is no better than Dartmouth, Brown, Penn, Duke and Caltech. You need to deal with this reality.

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Anonymous posted on

Reality is in the admissions statistics, admitted students stats, and enrolled student profiles... not some acronym thrown around on college admissions blogs.  I'm not saying any school is "better" than another.  The reality is that Columbia's student body stats overlap with HYP more than any other schools.

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Anonymous posted on

Columbia is not at the same level as HYP or Stanford. All rankings put Columbia behind these schools in any program, Business, engineering, etc. Only some Columbi students believe that Columbia students are at the same level than their peers in Cambridge or Palo Slto

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Anonymous posted on

This is simply not true.  Princeton doesn't even have a business program.  Columbia ranks higher in business than Yale.  Higher in engineering than Yale or Harvard....ranks higher than Stanford in US News for undergraduate education...

Columbia's student body has higher SAT scores than Stanford, higher proportion of students in the top 10% of the class than Harvard, Stanford, and Yale...  an acceptance rate lower than Yale, Princeton, and Stanford last year.

You can't deny hard data.  The reality is that by any objective measure of selectivity as measured by SAT scores, class standing, admissions rates, it is at the same level now. 

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Anonymous posted on

Columbia does rank higher statistically, but in terms of students' top choice and reputation among high school seniors, HYP and Stanford are far higher than Columbia. There's a reason the admissions officer at my tour mentioned that many applicants are waiting during the month of April to hear from "that school up north that begins with an 'H'" before they accept.

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Anonymous posted on

The same could be said for students accepted at Yale, Stanford, or Princeton.  They all may be waiting to hear from the same school in Boston as well.  It doesn't mean that Columbia students are not of the same academic caliber as students at HYP or Stanford as some have suggested, but data disproves.

Also, I wouldn't say the reputation is "far higher."  Columbia has really risen in the last 10 years for a number of reasons, and perception/reputation is catching up with the reality.  For instance, despite switching to the Common App last year, Columbia College maintained its yield and Columbia Engineering yield actually went up a few points. 

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Anonymous posted on

Columbia is an incredible school and nobody denies that. However, it is not on the same reputation or academic level as HYPS.
 Columbia's acceptance rate is lower because a lot of students think they have a chance because it is easier. For example, last year only 10 kids from my school applied to Harvard, but 29 did to Columbia, because they all had a chance and Columbia had accepted kids with pretty mediocre SATs/GPAs from my school. 

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Anonymous posted on

The reputation may not have caught up yet, but the academic quality of the students have. Maybe people in your school thought they had a better chance, but they in fact no longer do. Admissions data can't lie.

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Anonymous posted on

 despite all that, columbia still loses nearly all cross-admits to HYPS. i read that stanford takes about 98% of the stanford-columbia cross-admits. i have a feeling it's a similar situation for HYP.

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Anonymous posted on

This is false.  Where did you read that?

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Anonymous posted on

Wonder what Stanford's stats would look like if it was in the New England/Atlantic area where the others are. Being the only school that competes at this level in the whole wide west offering sand, sun and surf all  year around, it would be pathetic if it did not take a disproportionate share of those who apply to it precisely for those reasons.

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