Applications for Columbia and NYU reached new highs this year. NYU Local reports that NYU received “exactly 42,242 freshman applications this year, topping last year’s record by 11 percent.” The New York Post says that changes in the application process brought “the Morningside Heights school’s applicant pool to 34,587.” If all of the applicants were accepted to their schools of choice, there would be 76,829 new freshman walking (slowly) around the streets of NYC.
The bump at NYU, once heralded as “America’s number one dream school,” is not all that surprising. Everyone wants to be a little faux-hipster-ish downtown-y student. But what about the rise at Columbia, what’s the deal with the 32% increase in their applications?
It’s because Columbia finally joined the Common Application. The “Common App,” as high school counselors and students refer to it, is God’s gift to high school seniors. Instead of filling out everything on paper and mailing your separate applications in large yellow envelopes (so as not to bend any corner!), you now fill out all your basic information online. Some schools require supplements, but the Common App tells you what you still have to do to complete that application. You just click send and you’re all done. It makes a simple process out of a horrible, complicted one.
The Post quotes John Pryor, director of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at UCLA as saying, “Usually schools that join the common application see a 15 to 20 percent bump in the sheer numbers of students applying.”
Columbia is expected to take about 2,400 applicants (based on last year’s data) and NYU is expected to take on 4,800 (twice as many as Columbia) new freshman next year. Here’s to breaking 69,629 dreams in one year!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 25, 2011