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Admissions Numbers Analysis

Admits Profile 2014 Comp1.jpgThe Admissions department has released some details regarding the profile of this year’s accepted students, and in analyzing the numbers, we can come to some conclusions regarding the College’s standing in the world:

● 2,220 students were accepted this year with the expectation that they will fill out a class of 1,110 incoming freshmen. However, don’t jump to the conclusion that half of the people accepted to the College choose to attend. 469 students were accepted in the Early Decision round in November, and if past trends hold true, about 97% of them will show up in September: 455 students. As well, 184 legacies were admitted; if the current quota of 14% legacies continues, the class will include about 155 legacies, meaning that 85% of accepted legacies choose to attend the College. Of course, there will be some overlap between these two groups — some legacies applied early, but let’s conservatively assume that 550 members of the incoming class come from these high-yielding groups. The remaining 560 members of the incoming class will come from the 1,659 admitted students who were neither early admits nor legacies: a yield among regular admits of only 33%. The phrase safety school is starting to rear its ugly head.

● The average acceptance rate (students admitted divided by students who applied) in the Ivy League is 8.9%. Here is the breakdown by school: Harvard: 5.9%; Yale: 6.3%; Columbia: 6.9%; Princeton: 7.3%; Brown: 8.6%; Penn: 9.9%; Dartmouth: 11.5%; Cornell 14%. The new motto at the Admissions office in McNutt Hall is, “Thank Heavens for Cornell.” This result is particularly discouraging given that the other Ivies improve year over year with minor variations; however the College’s yield figure in 2013 was 10.4%, and 9.8% in 2012. Results would have been worse had the College not significantly ramped up the number of early decision and legacy admits four years ago. We are moving in the wrong direction, and fast.

● As we noted the other day, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Steve Mandel ‘78 tried to distract us from the precipitous 14% drop in applications by pointing to the fact that “This year’s applicant pool is the highest quality ever (as measured by standardized test scores)…” Let’s look at the details that the Admissions department subsequently released: mean SAT scores in critical reasoning among admitted students were 737 — down from 738 last year; and SAT Math scores were 739, down from 741 last year. This year’s mean ACT score was 32.6, but the Dartmouth Fact Book does not release the mean ACT result year by year. Chairman Steve should focus on the students that the College admits, not the ones who apply. Quality is not improving.

● In trumpeting diversity, the Admissions department revealed some interesting statistics:

Students of Color: 47.9%
International Students: 7.7%
First Generation to College Students: 12.4%
Legacies: 8.3%

S/Total: 76.3%

And inside sources tell Dartblog that recruited athletes make up about 10.0% of admitted students

Total: 86.3%

Of course, there is some overlap in these categories, but one had to surmise that white American high school seniors, whose parents went to college, but not to Dartmouth, and who are not athletes, have a tough time getting into the College. Yet people of this profile comprise over half of all students scoring over 2100 on the SAT. There just isn’t much room left for them in the the freshman class. You may think that there are valid reasons for distributing slots to incoming students in this manner, but if you do, don’t be surprised if the number of applications drops again next year.

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