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Cornell Overenrolls by 4%, Yield at 47% for Class of 2012

Cornell's admissions office has released some data points on the entering class of 2012. Readers, no doubt, will remember when we speculated on the yield for the Class of 2012 and whether or not Cornell would have to go to the waitlist.

Well, it appears that Cornell bested its expected yield of 45 percent, posting a 47 percent yield. 3,183 students are slated to begin their academic careers in Ithaca in less than two weeks time. Keep in mind that the university targets an entering class size of 3,050, and that 6,730 students were originally accepted to Cornell, 1,139 of which were accepted early decision. Coincidentally, the final yields are the same as last year, 47 and 37 percent, respectively, for total and regular admits, but Cornell actually underenrolled last year, with 3,010 entering students. If any of Cornell's colleges went to the wait list this year, they probably didn't use them all that heavily.

So Cornell is presently over-enrolled by 4 percent. I suppose it means that some doubles will find themselves converted triples this year. We would also have liked to have known what the number was back in May before all the Harvards and Princetons of the world aggressively started using their waitlists. Of course, this is probably why Cornell has waited so long to release its numbers -- waitlist activity occurred far into the summer this year.

Most interesting to us is how the composition of the entering class differs. Last year, 5.6 percent of entering students were African-American and 9 percent were international. This year? 4 and 10 percent, respectively. It's hard not to wonder how much Cornell's relatively meager financial aid policies have affected these trends. International students, of course, are typically wealthy and do not receive financial aid, while African-American students often come from among the neediest families.

N.B. Special thanks to Mr. Guess for holding down the fort while I was off in California for a Cornellian wedding. Yes. We sang the Alma Mater.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on August 06, 2008 (#)

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