Colgate has a record number of applications for the Class of 2000 -- more than 6,800 students, an increase of (you guessed it) 13% from last year. Included in this group are a record number of students of color and 24% more Early Decision applicants. At the end of our rolling ED process we will have admitted close to 200 students. Such enthusiasm for Colgate is gratifying, and continues the trend of the past two years in which increased applications have afforded increased selectivity in admission. Needless to say, it keeps our staff very busy as well.
Concurrent with our success, many of our peer institutions are also seeing an increase in applications. The national cohort of 18-year-olds is on the rise, but a further explanation of the rising interest in selective colleges is that high school seniors seem to be filing more applications. Intensified recruitment and marketing efforts across the board have led top students to expand their list of colleges. We have a "buyers' market" and Colgate must continue to work hard to secure the strongest share possible.
This year in particular I share a concern with admission colleagues that many students are aiming a bit higher and applying to more colleges as a "reach" or a longshot. Our chief concern is that some students and families may not fully understand the impact of recentering on College Board exams taken since spring 1995. While test results truly are just one part of our evaluations, SATs are the most ready form of comparative assessment by the public, hence our concern for accurate interpretation of the current tests. I'd like to keep our alumni volunteers as informed as possible on this point.
The typical Colgate candidate for the Class of 2000 who took the SAT in the spring or fall of 1995 will have test results as much as 80 points stronger than last year (especially on the verbal side) for a comparable performance on the exam -- simply due to recentering. "Recentering" shifts the score for an average performance back to 500/500 (the midpoint of the test scale) from about 425/480; accordingly, better than average scores shift upward. The middle range of scores for students admitted to Colgate will be roughly 630 to 700 for both verbal and math (previous average ranges: 560-640 verbal, 630-710 math). We hope this change will not be too misleading for students who may have applied to a college based, in part, on a comparison of their test results with average scores from previous years.
Applicants to Colgate are strong achievers in school, averaging in the top 15% of their class. They present a delightful range of personal talents and accomplishments, which makes it all the more difficult to choose only a portion of them for admission. We expect to admit slightly less than 40% when decision letters are mailed on March 27. By May we hope to enroll a class of 725. To help us achieve that goal, we will host two open house programs for admitted students April 9-10 and 16-17. Please encourage admitted students to attend one of these exciting and highly informative events. The enthusiasm and academic challenge that epitomizes Colgate is so evident throughout these programs.
Believe it or not, we are already looking ahead to recruiting the Class of 2001. Our staff will be on the road in the Southeast and West Coast this spring, plus covering our "home base" in the North-east. We are excited about our prospects, and welcome your continued support as we spread the word on the excellence of Colgate.
MARY F. HILL '83