1,080 accept offers of admission
By Kelsey Anspach, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Monday, May 7, 2012
A total of 1,080 students accepted Dartmouth’s offer of admission to the Class of 2016 as of the College’s May 1 deadline, representing 49.5 percent of the 2,180 students who were accepted in this year’s admissions cycle, according to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Maria Laskaris. This number is slightly higher than the number of students who had accepted admission offers at this time last year, when 1,071 of 2,179 students had accepted offers of admission to the Class of 2015, according to Laskaris.
“The yield came in pretty much where we expected,” Laskaris said. “We were a little conservative with the number of offers of admission because we don’t have a lot of wiggle room with first-year housing, so we aimed to come in under and use the waitlist to reach our target.”
The Admissions Office anticipates that more students will accept offers of admission in the next several weeks, according to Laskaris.
“As always, a handful of students have requested extensions to have additional time to work out financial aid details, and we certainly want to give students that flexibility, so we have a few students yet to hear from,” Laskaris said.
A total of 1,114 students accepted Dartmouth’s offer of admission to the Class of 2015 last year, representing a 52 percent yield.
The Admissions Office is aiming for a class of 1,100 to 1,110 students, which means they will admit students off the waitlist in the coming months, according to Laskaris.
“In the last four years, we have taken anywhere from 20 to 80 students off the waitlist, so it feels very much like our experience over the past few years,” Laskaris said. “We have a lot of eager students on the waitlist, and it’s nice to have the opportunity to add a few more students to the class.”
Apart from the elevated rate of 55 percent for the Class of 2014 two years ago, Dartmouth’s yield rate has consistently been around 50 percent in recent years, ranging from 48 percent in 2009 to 52 percent in 2007, according to the Dartmouth College Fact Book.
Of the students who have accepted offers of admission, roughly 10 percent are international students, representing an increase in the 8 percent international student yield in past years, according to Laskaris.
“The Admissions Office has been working to increase our presence internationally, and many of our international alumni have been energized to help us recruit,” Laskaris said.
College President Jim Yong Kim’s recent election to the World Bank presidency may have increased international students’ enthusiasm for Dartmouth, according to Laskaris.
“I also have to wonder if it has anything to do with President Kim’s world tour right around the time admissions came out,” Laskaris said. “He visited a lot of places where we have lots of applicants and admitted students.”
Laskaris also said that the media coverage of Kim’s nomination and selection, which also made people aware that Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner ’83 is a Dartmouth alumnus, may have helped students and their families realize that “Dartmouth alumni do really well.”
The media attention surrounding hazing at the College did not seem to affect the yield, although it did draw specific questions from students and parents, Laskaris said.
“I know that students and families read the Rolling Stone article because we got specific questions about it,” Laskaris said.
Tour guides at the Admissions Office said that they also encountered inquiries about hazing.
“I’ve gotten a few questions about hazing, like, ‘Is the Rolling Stone article true?’” tour guide Dennis Zeveloff ’12 said. “One parent asked me if they were going to shut down the Greek system.”
During Dimensions of Dartmouth, the Admissions Office hosted a forum during which they addressed prospective students’ questions about the social life at the College, Laskaris said.
“We want to answer questions forthrightly,” Laskaris said. “We had a program with Dean [of the College Charlotte] Johnson specifically focused on building responsible communities, and we wanted to make sure that students and families had a chance to talk to us and share questions and express concerns so that we could help them make an informed decision.”
The Admissions Office encouraged tour guides and students hosting prospective students over Dimensions to share their personal experiences, according to Laskaris.
“We had a meeting about Dr. Kim’s nomination and the Rolling Stone article at McNutt with some Admissions Office employees,” Zeveloff said. “They didn’t give us a set way to respond to [the Rolling Stone article]. They just told us about some of the actions the school had taken to confront hazing and binge drinking, and told us that we should feel free to share our own experience. That’s pretty similar to how we’re advised to answer questions about the Greek system — describe what it is generally and then add on our own experience if we want.”
The questions about social life, however, have not differed significantly from similar questions in past years, according to Laskaris.
“When choosing among many good options, students look for who offers the best fit and where they see themselves thriving, so the question of social life has always been something that prospective students have wanted to ask,” Laskaris said.
A student’s decision on what college to attend is complicated and depends on several different factors, according to tour guide Anita Naik ’15.
“Something like the Greek scene and the World Bank presidency probably wouldn’t have affected my decision,” she said. “It depends what you’re looking at.”