Applications to Occidental Reach Record High for Third Consecutive Year
Applications from high school seniors for admission to the Occidental’s new freshman class this fall are up at least 10 percent over last year, ensuring a record number of applicants for the third consecutive year.
As of Feb. 12, some 3,587 students had submitted applications to Occidental, an increase of 10 percent over last year’s record total of 3,275, according to Bill Tingley, vice president of admission and financial aid. This year’s total is expected to rise even higher as the admission staff continues to tally applications.
Occidental plans to enroll 440 students in its fall 2001 freshman class.
“All of our numbers are up,” said Tingley. “Applications to Occidental have doubled over the past four years, the number of families touring the campus is up dramatically, and high school counselors from across the country tell us more and more students are asking about Oxy. We are clearly a college on the move.”
While by comparison the number of early decision applications, due by Nov. 15, was a relatively modest total of 103, that represents a 66 percent increase over the previous year. For the second year in a row, every applicant offered admission under the early decision program has accepted, Tingley said.
Transfer student applications for fall 2001 are not due until March 15. Transfer applications also have increased significantly in recent years, and Tingley said he expects the upward trend to continue this year.
While college enrollments are expected to climb during the next decade as the children of baby boomers reach traditional college age, the increase in applications at Occidental far exceeds the current growth in the high school population, which in California this year will grow an estimated 2.5 percent.
Occidental’s top-tier ranking, the diversity of its student body and its status as one of the country’s few liberal arts colleges in an urban setting all play a role in its recruiting success, particularly in light of the recent upswing of interest in urban campuses, Tingley said.
This year’s 498-member freshman class is one of the most accomplished and diverse in Occidental’s 114-year history. Eighty-four percent of the freshmen were ranked in the top quarter of their graduating high school class; their numbers include 43 African-Americans and 78 Latinos, the largest-ever combined total for these two underrepresented groups.