Our mentors for Google Summer of Code 2009 have a busy two weeks ahead of them. As of last Friday's student application deadline, we received nearly 5,900 proposals from just under 3,500 student applicants. Folks who have followed the program over the years will note that the number of student applicants and proposals submitted is a bit down for 2009.

We expected some decrease this year, as we heard from many of our mentoring organizations that past experience had helped them refine their application process and that they'd instituted new requirements for applicants, such as submitting a patch. A quick survey of our mentoring organizations, with 96 out of 150 organizations responding, revealed that 60% of organizations who had participated in past instances of Google Summer of Code received higher quality applications this year, with only 3% responding that application quality had decreased. We'd also heard that the number of completely untargeted applications this year decreased dramatically.

We're pleased to see that we're reaching students in even more locations this year, as we received applications from 93 countries, up from 90 last year. In terms of overall numbers of applicants, our top five countries for this year are the United States (744), India (610), China (202), Canada (138) and Brazil (135). We're looking forward to bringing you more details about our student applicants in the coming weeks. Keep your eye on the Google Summer of Code 2009 site for updates, as we'll be announcing the list of accepted student proposals there on Monday, April 20, 2009.

So what should students be doing over the next two weeks? Keep in contact with your mentors about your proposal and respond to comments on what you've submitted. You can subscribe to updates to your proposal to receive notifications when a mentor asks for more information. You'll also find that the next couple of weeks are a great time to read documentation, fix bugs, and generally show yourself to be the enthusiastic future contributor you plan to be during this Google Summer of Code.