Final figures for Early Decision show applications increased 16.5% compared to last year, and members of the Colgate Office of Admission say the spike did not come from a single area, but across socioeconomic groups, ethnicities, and regions.
Karen Giannino, Senior Associate Dean of Admission, said the pool of applicants was also stronger in the classroom, with better overall GPAs and test scores. Applications for ED increased from 400 in 2011 to 466 this year, with an increase of multicultural applications, from 72 to 107.
“What is most exciting is that we have seen an increase in academically strong students,” Gianinno said. “And, we also have an increase in applications from a wide variety of students from diverse economic backgrounds. With the huge success of the capital campaign, and now having more money to spend on financial aid, it’s perfect timing.”
The recently completed Passion for the Climb raised $480 million for Colgate, with more than $132 million earmarked specifically for financial aid endowment.
Dean of Admission Gary Ross said he believes an increase in students seeking financial aid could be attributed to a struggling global economy and an awareness of Colgate’s fundraising success.
“I think there is a far greater recognition that Colgate has more resources available, thanks to the Passion for the Climb, making the institution more accessible to students who Colgate may not have been able to support in years past,” Ross said. “In my traveling around this Fall, I was delighted to discover that the campaign was noticed by many college counselors and others who follow Colgate’s progress.”
Early Decision applications from international students also increased this year. Katryna A. Swartwout Ryan, Associate Dean of Admission, attributes much of the international application growth to a surging middle class in China.
And while overall ED applications increased, there was a slight decline in New Jersey. Giannino said the dip is likely a direct result of Hurricane Sandy devastating areas traditionally strong for Colgate. Giannino said admission counselors are aware of the difficulties facing many students in areas hardest hit by the storm, and they are willing to work with students impacted.
Regular Decision candidates may convert their applications to ED II by filling out an Early Decision Agreement prior to March 1. The final deadline for all regular applications is January 15.