Applications to Oxy Set New Record
Occidental College received 12 applications for every opening in the Class of 2010, setting a new record for the eighth consecutive year.
Some 5,307 students submitted applications to Occidental for 445 spaces this year, an increase of 4 percent over last year’s total and up a remarkable 185 percent over the past nine years (as compared to 1,865 applications in 1997). Of those who applied for admission, 2,200, or 41 percent, were offered admission, a rate similar to last year’s.
Occidental now receives more applications than three-quarters of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges, as reported in U.S. News & World Report. While most peer institutions also have seen increases in applications, the magnitude of Occidental’s increase stands out.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve been in admissions for more than 40 years,” said Bill Tingley, Occidental’s vice president for admission and financial aid. “We expect hundreds of admitted students to visit campus this month, and we’re looking forward to welcoming one of the most impressive and talented groups we’ve ever had.”
Of the 2,200 students offered admission into the Class of 2010, 90 percent were ranked in the top 20 percent of their high school class, up from 86 percent last year. The median SAT score for admitted students is 1980, which includes the new writing portion of the test. The median verbal score is 660, compared to 670 last year, and the median mathematics score is 670, equal to last year.
Fifty-two percent of admitted students are from outside California, living in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 42 countries from Canada to Australia, Brazil to the People’s Republic of China. Women make up 59 percent of those admitted, a slight increase over last year. Fifty-three percent of students come from public schools.
Students of color make up 35 percent of the class for the second consecutive year. Under-represented students – African-Americans, Latino/as, and Native Americans/Native Hawaiians – make up 19 percent of admitted students, again identical to last year.
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, trends in academic performance, letters of recommendation, and essays.