By Katy Petershack
The number of applicants for the class of 2012 has not been finalized, but has already broken records as it climbs past 5,000, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Lorne Robinson said in an e-mail.At the Feb. 13 faculty meeting, President Brian Rosenberg noted a decrease in male and international applicants. He also mentioned an increase in applications from students of color. These applications, he said, rose by about three percent. Rosenberg credited the decline of international students to two factors: increasing prominence of competitive universities in Australia, England and China, as well as what he called a “reluctance of international students to study in the U.S.” The number of applicants to Macalester has been steadily rising over the past few years. In 2005 the number hit 4,316. 2006 saw 4,826 applicants, and the 2007 count totaled 4,967. The number of this year’s applicants is estimated to be 5,008.According to Robinson, the biggest geographical increase this year has been from New England, the number of applicants has increased by 14 percent. The number of applications from domestic students of color is also at record high, more than tripling in the past decade. In 1998, Macalester received applications from 223 students of color. So far in 2008, the number has reached 822.”Reasons for increases in applications from year to year are always hard to pinpoint,” Robinson said. “[But]. it’s fair to say that the reputations of the college continues to grow and the place is becoming better known all the time.