Dartmouth accepts 465 students in early decision process
By Felicia Schwartz, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Web Update, last updated on Dec 14 | 6:44 pm
The College offered 465 students early decision admission to the Class of 2016 out of the 1,800 applications received, according to a College press release. This marks a 21-student increase, as 444 students were accepted early into the Class of 2015 from an 1,759-person applicant pool. This rise in accepted students is due to the strength of the early applicant pool, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Maria Laskaris said in an interview with The Dartmouth.
The 465 students, who were informed of their acceptance via an online notification system at 3 p.m. on Dec. 9, will comprise approximately 40 percent of the class. The Class of 2016 will include approximately 1,110 students, which is comparable to size of the Class of 2015, she said
The slightly higher number of admitted students will make selecting the remaining class during the regular decision process more difficult for the Admissions Office, but “was an opportunity to admit through early exceptional students,” Laskaris said.
Approximately 600 students were deferred while roughly 700 were denied admission, Laskaris said.
“We denied a few more students than we have before, as the overall strength and quality of the pool has grown,” Laskaris said. “Because of this we have decided to deny admission more than defer because of the level of competition they will face in the regular pool.”
Admitted students are more diverse than in past years, Laskaris said. Approximately 24 percent of early admits are students of color, compared to 22 percent of early decision admits for the Class of 2015.
“One place where we saw noticeable increase is in terms of international students,” Laskaris said. “There was real strength in this pool. Roughly 8 percent were admitted — last year it was about 5 percent.”
The mean SAT score of admitted students was 2146, marking a slightly higher score than last year’s average, 2144, according to Laskaris. The Class of 2014's mean score was 2150.
“We have a strong group in terms of testing,” she said. “But beyond numerical credentials we were struck by substance.”
Thirty-one percent of accepted students are currently slated to be the valedictorians of their high school class, while 21 percent are slated to be the salutatorians. Eighty-eight percent of students admitted early are in the top 10 percent of their classes. These figures represent a slight uptick from students admitted through the early decision process to the Class of 2015, as 25 percent of students were valedictorians, 9 percent were salutatorians and 87 percent were ranked in top 10 percent of their classes.
Dartmouth experienced a 2.6-percent increase in early decision applications this year. While the rise in applications reflects a five-year growth trend at the College, many other Ivy League schools experienced a decrease in early decision applicants, as Harvard University and Princeton University reinstituted their early admissions programs this year.
Harvard and Princeton’s returning early admissions programs did not affect the number of students Dartmouth chose to admit through early decision, Laskaris said.
“When we approach the early decision process it’s an opportunity to admit and bring to Dartmouth students who we think are exceptional and the kind of students we want to enroll at Dartmouth,” she said. “We need to strike that right balance. We know that the regular decision pool is larger than the early pool. Every year it’s finding that balance point.”
The University of Pennsylvania, which received 1.3 percent fewer early decision applications than last year, admitted a lower percentage of early applicants in order to allow for more flexibility in regular admission, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian. Admissions officers expect that students who applied early to Harvard and Princeton will apply to Penn in the regular decision round, Penn Dean of Admissions Eric Furda said in an interview with The Daily Pennsylvanian.
Early admission statistics for other Ivy League institutions have not yet been released.