Economy may hurt admission rate

By David Hertz

About 500 fewer students applied to Macalester College this year, a 10 percent decrease from 2008, according to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Lorne Robinson.This marks only the second time in 10 years that the number of applicants has decreased, he said in an email statement.

Director of Admissions Robert Colee expected the drop. “That’s not surprising in this economic environment,” said Colee. “We’re hearing through the grapevine that a lot of peer colleges [application pools] have decreased.”

Analysis of the potential applicants that passed on Macalester this year will be done this summer. Colee emphasized the difficulties of predicting how big an impact the economy actually had on applications, but speculated that, “some families may decide that private education might be out of their reach [this year].”

The percent of admitted students who attend Macalester in the fall could also decrease due to families looking for cheaper education, he added. As a result, the acceptance rate would increase.

It is not clear yet what new steps, if any, will be taken in response to the drop in applications. Robinson said that Macalester will continue to meet the full demonstrated financial aid needs of students admitted this year.