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Columbia University Class of 2007

2007admitrateEARLY DECISION

Amid a national controversy over early decision admissions programs, Columbia received a record number of early decision applications this year.

Columbia College received 1,785 applications, an 11 percent jump from last year's early decision total. The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science received 216 applications, a 16 percent increase from last year. The College has experienced an application increase every year over the past decade. But applications to SEAS decreased in 2001, making this year's jump especially notable.

The resurgence of SEAS applications can be attributed to a coordinated recruiting effort by the admissions office in conjunction with SEAS Dean Zvi Galil's office. The two offices moved recruiting events from the fall to the summer and developed a new brochure for prospective SEAS students.

The record-high totals indicate that this year's applicants were undeterred by the controversy that has been stewing since last December, when Yale University President Richard Levin publicly criticized early decision programs.

Columbia College admitted 463 students--or about 46 percent of its incoming class--out of 1805 early applicants. The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science admitted 109 students--or about 35 percent of its incoming class--out of 217 who applied early. These numbers are down from last year's early decision totals of 490 admitted students in the College and 120 admitted students in SEAS.

Columbia received a high number of applications from California after seeing a slight decrease from that state last year.

Barnard experienced a 10 percent increase in early applications. Among other Ivy League schools, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College, and Yale also experienced application increases.

Recently, Yale and Stanford Universities announced that they will abandon early decision starting next year. Columbia has remained committed to early decision, even as some observers have criticized the College for filling an excessive portion of its incoming classes with early decision applicants.

The high number of applications to Columbia mean that the acceptance rates for the College and SEAS will likely fall even lower than last year's rates of 11.6 and 30.8 percent. But applicants to Columbia may have another reason to worry: the admissions office plans to send out decision letters on or around Dec. 13, which, as luck would have it, is Friday the 13th.


The acceptance rates for Columbia College, the Engineering School, and Barnard College all dropped to record-low levels this year. Solidifying its reputation as one of the nation's most selective schools, the College saw its acceptance rate dip to 10.8 percent from 11.6 percent last year.

Among the other Ivy League schools, only Harvard and Princeton Universities, with rates of 9.8 and 9.9 percent respectively, were more selective this year.

A record-high 14,662 students applied to the College and 1,578 were accepted. Columbia sent out e-mail notices and decision letters to regular decision applicants at the beginning of the month.

The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science also reached a new level of selectivity with an acceptance rate of 25.0 percent, down substantially from 30.8 percent last year. Five hundred fifty-six students were accepted out of a record 2,219 total applicants.

The College and SEAS also experienced an increase in average SAT scores. The average SAT score for accepted College students was 1431, up from 1428 last year. The average score for the accepted students in SEAS is 1469, up from 1440.

Forty-eight states and 48 countries are represented in Columbia's accepted class of 2007. Forty-three percent of all accepted students identify themselves as African-American, Asian, or Hispanic.

Barnard's admissions trends mirrored those of Columbia. Out of 4,034 total applicants, 1,208 were accepted, for an acceptance rate of 30.0 percent. The median SAT score for the accepted students is 1390, up from last year's score of 1360. Forty-eight different states and 29 foreign countries are represented, and 41 percent of the accepted students are students of color.