EAGLE ROCK, Calif. In an effort to boost its national ranking among liberal arts colleges, Occidental College has preemptively made the decision to admit only one student to the incoming class of 2021, dramatically lowering their acceptance rate to roughly .016 percent. Though relatively well regarded, the small Los Angeles college has felt the pressure of increasingly competitive college admissions statistics.
As many top institutions fight to outrank each other in their selectivity, Occidental’s choice to admit a single student has been both heralded and questioned. Some find the decision to be an innovative step forward in the college’s admissions strategy.
“Occidental has struggled in the last decade to compete with peer institutions like Harvey Mudd and the Claremont schools,” said a spokesman for US News.
“It’s a real example of the ‘critical thinking’ they’re always talking about,” he added, referencing Occidental’s admission of a single student.
In recent years, the college has been prone to over-admit students, frequently leading to a scarcity of on-campus housing.
“I wish they did this my freshman year. Stewie forced triples are inhumane,” one student said.
“I blame my three months of pink eye and two bouts of strep throat on overcrowding during my first year,” another said.
Director of Residential Education and Housing Services Chad Myers breathed a deep sigh of relief after hearing the news, realizing that he will not have to approve anyone in the class of 2021 to live off-campus during their junior year.
Critics question the college’s already small endowment and what the sharp decrease in tuition will mean for the school.
“We will fund literally nothing,” said a representative from ASOC Senate.
Occidental’s admissions team remains concerned with the college falling off the national radar, as “random ass” schools like Lewis and Clark, Soka University and College of the Holy Cross have managed to outrank Occidental.
Following Occidental’s new admission statistics, its US News ranking among Liberal Arts colleges is projected to move from its current rank of No. 44 to No. 2, behind Amherst. In response to Occidental’s anticipated jump, most competing colleges reacted with indifference.
“Occidental? Never heard of it,” a representative from Williams College said.
“Is that a vocational school?” a representative from Middlebury said.
Admission officers at Pitzer and Grinnell were more incensed.
“That’s how we dropped our acceptance rate from 60 percent to 14 percent over the course of ten years,” a representative from Pitzer said.
“How dare those nouveau-riche Californians copy us,” a representative from Grinnell said, adding that “Occidental College has no subtlety.”