Admissions numbers surge

By Clark Jacobson

Macalester received 41.5 percent more applications for admissions this year than last year, with 6,100 prospective students applying for admission to the college. The admission rate is now 31.7 percent, compared to 42.5 percent last year.”[The admissions rate] pretty striking,” Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Lorne Robinson said. “One of the things that stands out most for me about this group is diversity – 28 percent of the U.S. admits are students of color.”

Just one percentage point above last year’s numbers, there’s a chance that next year’s class could be the most racially and ethnically diverse one in the history of Macalester, provided the enrollment reflects the admissions statistics. This increase in diversity has been a trend for applications in the most recent years.

Robinson noted several other trends as well.

“Last year was the first time California had surpassed Minnesota [in applications] when we admitted one more from California,” said Robinson. “This year, there are 41 more California admits than Minnesotans. My theory is that Californians are becoming bored with all that predictable sunshine and warmth and are attracted to our big piles of dirty snow and below-zero temperatures.”

All joking aside though, the increase in admissions applications represents a larger, nation-wide trend. The vast majority of what the New York Times calls “selective” colleges saw rises in number of applications. Macalester College actually ranks as one of the colleges with the highest jumps in admissions, second only to Trinity in Connecticut (47.38% increase) and Case Western in Ohio (44.51% increase).

“It’s also notable that we have admitted students from all 50 states,” Robinson said. “We often have all 50 represented in the entire student body, but rarely in one admitted class.”

With all the states represented in the accepted applicant pool, it seems that the annual “Spring Samplers,” taking place April 8th-9th and April 15th-16th, will be well attended this year.

“We expect close to 200 students with their parents and other family members on campus this Friday… So, probably close to 500 people,” Robinson said. “The one next week may be even bigger.”

The admissions office seems enthusiastic about the prospective class of 2015.

“As usual, it’s a very talented and extremely successful group of students who have been admitted,” Robinson said. It will be up to the student body during the coming weekends to make their own conclusions about their could-be future classmates.