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January 2007

Eight Percent Increase in Applications in 2007

Last week, the Sun reported Cornell's application numbers for the entering Class of 2011. Early decision applications were up 6 percent to 3,017, slightly less than regular applications and the overall number of applications, which both rose 7.5 percent to 27,17 and 30,191, respectively.

What does this mean? If the University keeps its target of 3000 incoming freshman, and if last year's yield rate is any indication, the University could have an overall acceptance rate of 21 percent this year -- an all time low for the University and 3 percent lower than last year's rate.

However, I suspect that the University will end up over-enrolling students because they will set the expected yield rate conservatively low -- last year 47 percent of students who were accepted enrolled in the University, whereas the University was only planning on 43 percent. But I suppose it is, after all, better to over-enroll and have more tuition dollars than to under-enroll and lose funding for a couple of assistant professors.

Unfortunately, we're not provided with any interesting applications data on either transfers or the contract colleges. Applications for the contract colleges, you will recall, have been stagnant even as the number of applications the University has received has increased by almost 50 percent in the past couple of years.

Interestingly, the Sun concludes its article with the sentence:

"A change that has recently occurred in Cornell admissions was the switch from a Cornell-specific application to the Common Application with a two-page supplement beginning with applications for the Class of 2009; however, it is unclear if this change directly affected the number of applicants."

Really, what's unclear about it? Cornell follows its competitor's lead and makes it much easier to apply for undergraduate, resulting in a massive infusion of new applicants because all they had to do was check off another box instead of completing a completely different application. And coincidentally, some of those new applicants completely forget to apply for a certain college at Cornell in the process.

Matthew Nagowski | January 29, 2007 (#)

Conflicting Endowment Returns?

Buried in today's Sun article about this weekend Board of Trustee's meeting (and the approval of next year's tuition increase, important in its own right), was an interesting tidbit: In 2006, Cornell's endowment grew by 16.1 percent.

But just last week the National Association of College and University Business Officers released their annual study on university endowments. In their study, Cornell's endowment grew by 14.6 percent. Coincidentally, Cornell now has the 18th largest endowment in the country... it keeps on switching spots with Notre Dame).

Why the difference in reported endowment growth? I suspect that the answer may be pretty straight forward. The Sun's article probably reflects calendar year changes, while the NACUBO study reflects fiscal year (July 2005 - June 2006) growth. Unfortunately, the Sun article doesn't provide the current value of the endowment, but I would place it in the $4.5 billion range, not counting things like the University's pension fund, of course.

Of course, some people are probably asking: "Wait, hasn't the capital campaign already raised over a billion dollars... why isn't all that money reflected in the endowment?" It's easy to forget that most of the capital campaign's capital is going to be going towards physical capital, not financial capital. A lot of money is being poured into projects like the New Life Sciences Building and the West Campus Residential Initiative project.

Matthew Nagowski | January 29, 2007 (#)

Matt Wong '06 Wins MetaEzra Holiday Contest

Because nothing tells your neighbors that your 18 month-old is going to a big, liberal, "Godless University" quite like this bib does.

What does Matt win for submitting the most creative entry? This very bib of course. Kudos to Matt.

Matthew Nagowski | January 11, 2007 (#)

Other Recent Posts

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