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Cornell Medical College Offers Deal to Pare Down Entering Class

August 13, 1996

NEW YORK (AP) _ Scrambling to avoid fights over a limited number of microscopes and cadavers, Cornell University Medical College is offering its incoming students a year’s tuition if they agree to defer enrollment.

The New York City medical school found itself in dire straits after mailing acceptance letters to 249 applicants, The New York Times reported in Tuesday’s editions.

In past years, that number has yielded no more than the 104 students the school has room for. This year, 119 said they’re coming to Cornell.

Admissions chairman Gordon F. Fairclough Jr. sent the 119 students a letter offering the free year _ worth $34,000 _ to the first 15 students who agree to delay their medical training until September 1997.

Some students told The Times they were even offered student housing until then, at about $500 a month, as long as they didn’t enroll.

``This is a unique approach,″ Richard Randlett of the Association American Medical Colleges, which administers medical-school entrance tests, told the newspaper. ``Overbooking is always a serious situation.″

A message left Monday night at the office of Paul Macielek, the school’s vice provost for public affairs, was not immediately returned.

So far, five students have taken the deal, Cornell said. But one first-year student, who spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity, said students would ultimately lose money on the deal.

``Tuition goes up one or two grand a year,″ the student said. ``By the time the third and fourth years of school roll around four and five years from now, students would be paying almost $6,000 or $8,000 more in tuition.″

Perhaps, Cornell needs to sweeten the deal.

``If they offered me two years of no tuition,″ the student said, ``I might take it.″

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