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Eric Furda
EARLY INTEREST: The admissions office received approximately 6 percent more applications for early decision than last year, continuing a trend toward a bigger and better applicant pool.

Of the 1,159 applications received, 426 were offered to join the College’s Class of 2003, which is expected to total about 955 students. Another 20 percent were deferred to the spring deliberation sessions. Roughly 45 percent of the Class of 2003 will be comprised of early decision candidates, the same percentage as in the Class of 2002.

Prospective students may apply in the fall to one school for an early decision. If they are accepted and decide to come, they must withdraw their applications from other schools.

Early decision applications in 1997 were up 23 percent from the previous year and have risen steadily over the past five years.

“The benefit is that these students have investigated and are choosing us as their first choice,” said Director of Admissions Eric Furda. He said Columbia has received significant positive national publicity recently and attributed the rise in applicants to the school’s curriculum and location. He indicated that the quality of applicants, measured by GPAs and SAT scores, has been steadily on the rise as well.

The admissions office expects another 10,000 to 11,000 applications in the spring to fill the remaining 55 percent of the incoming class.