Dartmouth has offered admission to its most selective class ever, accepting 8.7 percent of the 22,033 students who applied to the Class of 2022. Undergraduate applications rose 10 percent over last year and represent the largest pool in five years.
The acceptance rate is an all-time low for the College and the 1,925 students offered admission represent the lowest number of accepted students since the early 1990s. The acceptance rate for the Class of 2021 was 10.4 percent and the previous record was the 9.8 percent acceptance rate for the Class of 2016.
“The significant growth in applications is noteworthy,” says Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid. “Prospective students are clearly responding to the incomparable combination at the heart of the Dartmouth experience—the opportunity to receive an outstanding liberal arts education from teacher-scholars who are among the best in the world.”
The larger applicant pool contributed to this year’s increased level of selectivity, but Coffin says the Admissions Committee also accepted fewer students than in recent years because committee members anticipate another strong response to these offers.
“It has been clear from their applications and alumni interviews that the Dartmouth story resonates with them, and that the College is a strong academic and personal match for these talented, curious students and so we adjusted our acceptance rate to reflect that forecast,” he says.
Last year’s percentage of admitted students who enrolled by May 1—known as the yield—was 61 percent, the highest response in at least 25 years. Coffin expects a similar outcome this year.
This year’s accepted students are academically distinguished and represent increases in a number of key areas. Of those from schools that calculate rank or class standing, 97 percent are in the top 10 percent of their high school class, up from 96 percent last year; mean SAT and ACT scores are each up several points to 1497 for SATs and 33 for ACTs. Both are record highs.
First-generation college students make up 15 percent of the accepted students, 11 percent are foreign citizens, and 9 percent are the children of alumni. Students attending a public or charter school represent 59 percent of the accepted class; half of the accepted U.S. citizens and permanent residents are students of color. More than 60 percent have applied for need-based financial aid and early projections are that 17 percent are low-income students who will be eligible for Pell Grants, up 2 percent from last year. Dartmouth expects to offer $28 million in need-based scholarships to the accepted class when financial aid awards are finalized.
The accepted students come from all 50 U.S. states, and from Washington, D.C., American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Mariana Islands. States with the most accepted students are California, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, and Texas, in that order. The largest foreign contingents in the accepted class come from Brazil, Canada, China, India, and the United Kingdom. In all, 65 countries are represented.
The total number of accepted applicants includes the 565 who received word of their acceptance in December through the early decision round, of whom 558 have enrolled. The early cohort includes 25 who applied through the College’s partnership with Quest Bridge, a national access organization that matches high-achieving, low-income students with colleges. An additional 77 Quest Bridge students have been offered admission during the regular decision round.
The admitted students were able to see their admission decisions on March 28 on a secure website hosted by the Office of Admissions. The national candidates’ reply date is May 1.
In the coming weeks the accepted students will have an opportunity to learn more about Dartmouth through the Dimensions of Dartmouth program. The opportunities to meet faculty and visit classes, talk with current students, and tour the campus, are scheduled for April 12-13 and April 23-24. Last year, more than 70 percent of the students attending Dimensions enrolled in the Class of 2021.
Susan Boutwell can be reached at email@example.com.