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
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
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
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.