Record-breaking number of students apply to Macalester
April 15, 2011
Macalester’s Admissions Office processed 6,109 applications from U.S. and international students for the class of 2015, nearly 1,800 applications more than last year and a new record for the college. The college admitted 31.7 percent of the applicant pool this year, a significant decrease from last year's 42.5 percent admission rate.
In a report to the Board of Trustees in March, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Lorne Robinson mentioned more than a dozen likely contributors to the increase. For the first time, the Admissions Office used the Common Application exclusively; revisions were made to the PSAT search strategy; and an additional Search based on AP exam results was implemented. The Admissions Office initiated a new fee-waiver incentive, which waived the $40 application fee if students filled out the first part of the application by Nov. 15. A redesigned Macalester website is more dynamic and interesting to prospective students; print materials have been fully redesigned; and the Admissions logo (a global peeling orange) has become very popular among prospective students. Other factors, from counselor visit programs to wonderfully upbeat, positive, energetic and dedicated student volunteer tour guides, to athletic recruiting to the President’s Day video may have influenced prospective students, parents, and counselors researching colleges.
But one fact is certain: There’s no clear answer. “Reasons for this year’s increase are difficult to identify for several reasons,” Robinson says. “Each year, we continually evaluate and refine our recruitment program—we try new activities and adjust or stop others. Because so many changes are made in a recruitment cycle, it is impossible to determine the cause-and-effect relationships of each activity and its impact.”
Applications to Macalester
U.S. applicants - 4,774
International applicants - 1,335
Total - 6,109
U.S. applicants - 3,504
International applicants - 813
Total - 4,317
U.S. applicants - 2,609
International applicants - 871
Total – 3,480