School of Engineering Admitted Early Decision Numbers Are Consistent with Past Years

December 20, 2013

The Cooper Union has admitted 36 engineering students from among 110 early decision candidates who completed applications by the December 2 deadline. Two additional decisions are pending. Measured by standardized test scores and grade point averages, the admitted cohort shows aptitude and achievement comparable to previous classes, according to Dean of Admission Mitchell Lipton. The fact that the strength of the admitted cohort was consistent shows promise for the incoming class, said Lipton.

Though the total number of early decision applications submitted was lower than in previous years, the percentage of students fully completing their applications was higher.

“We were not surprised to have a somewhat smaller applicant group for early decision, given the change in our scholarship policy,” said Lipton. “What is essential for us is that we have maintained a critical mass of highly qualified, highly engaged applicants, and we have admitted approximately a third of the incoming engineering class. We are excited to welcome this new group to The Cooper Union, and we will continue to work throughout the next few months to attract the caliber of students we are accustomed to seeing on campus.”

The admitted cohort scored an average of 33 out of 36 on the ACT. Average SAT scores were 660 in critical reading, 766 in mathematics, 767 in the math subject test, 747 in physics, and 757 in chemistry. The mean GPA is 94. Again, while the size of the admitted cohort is smaller than in the past few years, when it ranged between 45 and 50 students, this year’s number is consistent with earlier years, which averaged around 40.

Similar to Engineering, the total of 230 early decision applications for the School of Art represent about half of the peak level of the past few years. Admission decisions will be driven by faculty reviews of submitted work—the so-called “home test” and student portfolios—which will be completed in January. Any qualitative assessment of the early decision cohort will follow that process, Lipton said.

Regarding the overall loss in numbers of early decision applications, Lipton observed that The Cooper Union certainly lost some number of applicants for whom free tuition would have been a primary draw. The announcement of the change in The Cooper Union’s tuition scholarship policy also came late in the spring recruiting cycle, making it difficult to explain its implications to prospective students. The Admissions Office goal has been to sustain the academic strength of the entering class, rather than to generate higher numbers of applications, Lipton said.

About 20 students who completed early-decision applications subsequently informed the admissions office that they had elected to wait for the regular decision process in order to see a firmer financial aid offer.

Early decision applicants who provide family financial information via the College Scholarship Service Profile receive an estimate of their need-based aid upon admission. Final award notices are sent after the student files the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a step that cannot be completed before the new year. Merit awards are made at the time of admission.

Regular decision applications for the schools of Art and Architecture are due January 6. For Engineering, they are due February 3

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.