Applications to Oxy Set New Record
Occidental College received almost 13 applications for every opening in the Class of 2012, setting a new record for the number of applications received.
Some 5,789 students submitted applications to Occidental for 455 spaces this year, an increase of 10 percent over last year’s total and up a remarkable 127 percent over the past decade. Of those who applied to Occidental, 39 percent were offered admission, the most selective admission rate in more than 60 years.
“The record volume and quality of applicants are testament to a heightened awareness of Oxy's unusual strengths,” said Dean of Admissions Vince Cuseo. “Students are attracted to a kind of ‘perfect storm’ in their college search -- a rigorous education at arguably the nation's most diverse liberal arts college set in a leading-edge urban environment.”
Of those students offered admission, 69 percent of those reporting school rank graduated in the top 10 percent of their class. The median SAT score for admitted students is 2010, with identical 670 median subscores in the math, verbal, and writing portions of the test. The median ACT score is 30.
Half of admitted students are from outside California, living in 46 states and Washington D.C. in big cities and small towns like Plum City, Wisconsin (population 547) and Arrowsic, Maine (population 477). New York and Massachusetts are now among the top five states for admitted students, together with Washington and Oregon. Seven percent of admitted students are international or dual citizens, representing 46 different countries. Men make up 41 percent of the total group.
Among those admitted is the largest number of students of color and underrepresented students in Occidental history. Students of color from the United States make up 37 percent of admitted students, while underrepresented students – African-Americans, Latino/as, and Native Americans/Native Hawaiians – make up 20 percent of the group. Fifteen percent will be the first person in their family to attend college.
SAT scores and senior class rankings are only two of the factors considered in the holistic process Occidental uses to assess student applicants. Others include the rigor of the student’s academic program, grades in academic solids, out-of-class contributions and extracurricular involvement, personal character, letters of recommendation, and essays.