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Waitlist Use Up for Class of 2011

While we are on the topic of waitlists, I may as well report on some numbers I have recently heard from senior members of the administration about the use of Cornell's waitlist this year.

This would be expected, due to last year's rather large over-enrollment problem. As a result, Cornell utilized a fairly conservative admissions policy and places many students on the waitlist for the Class of 2011. Last year, the University over-enrolled by 240 students, and it would much rather hit its target of 3,050 undergraduates than scramble to have to find extra beds on North Campus for a lot of additional students.

Consequently, five out of the seven undergraduate colleges will utilize their waitlists this year. Only ILR and AAP have already filled their incoming classes without resorting to the waitlist. Combined, Engineering and Arts will probably take well over 100 students off the waitlist.

All said, expect Cornell to take roughly 200 students off the waitlist in 2007, similar to 2005 and 2004. This would reflect an actual yield rate of roughly 46-47%, whereas the University had an "expected" yield rate of 48-49%. For comparison purposes, last year the University expected a yield rate of 43-4% and experienced an actual yield rate of 46-47%. (See more here.)

There's a fairly active thread of high school seniors celebrating their waitlist "acceptances" over at College Confidential.

Of course, variance in the use of the waitlist really tells us nothing about student quality, admissions selectivity, or the relative popularity of a school. Enrollment management is pretty hard to master, especially at a school as large and as diverse as Cornell.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on May 18, 2007 (#)

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