Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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This Isn’t Forward Progress
Our prize-winning Alumni Magazine consistently contains nuggets of somewhat subversive, or at least revisionist, information about the College and its history. Look at this side-by-side comparison of the profiles of the Classes of 1966 and 2016. Quite a contradiction to the received wisdom that the College has left behind the supposed bad old days in favor of a modern, progressive present:
Admissions figures show that we have to work a lot harder today to fill the freshman class. Though the number of applicants is much greater now, we aren’t so sure that the people we accept actually have a particular desire to come to Hanover. That’s why only 16.6% of the Class of 1966 was accepted early decision (ED), as opposed to 41% of the Class of 2016.
In order to fill the slots of students not admitted ED, for the Class of 1966 Admissions had to accept another 1,159 students, of whom 58.6% decided to come to Hanover. For the Class of 2016, Admissions let in 1,801 students in the regular pool, so that 648 would fill out the freshman class. That’s a yield of only 36.0%.
There were a few more legacies in the old days: 16.8% of the Class of 1966; and 14.1% of the Class of 2016. But the recent class had 40% of its members from prep schools versus only 24.8% in the supposed preppy days of yore. That’s a surprise, no? (Longtime readers will recall that the percentage of students from private schools jumped from the low-30%’s to 40% as part of the Kim administration’s attempt to ramp up tuition revenue. The number dropped sharply for the Class of 2019.)
Finally, look at the financial figures. Tuition (that’s tuition alone; no room and board and fees) soared from $1,800 for the Class of 1966 to $49,998 for the Class of 2016. Had tuition increased in line with inflation, the ‘16’s would have paid only $13,391.
The endowment grew remarkably, too: from $129 million in 1966 to $4.7 billion in 2016. Had the endowment only grown with inflation, it would just be $958 million today. That latter statistic bears thought: even though the endowment has grown almost five times faster than inflation — an extraordinary performance, considering that the College draws out about 5% from it each year to fund operations — we still have had to have super-inflationary tuition increases because the extra income from the endowment has not been enough to fund our bloated cost structure.
Addendum: A close observer of the College writes in:
In the class of 1966, the typical Dartmouth student had probably applied to two or three other colleges. Today, members of the class of 2016 averaged between ten and twenty applications to various colleges. That is one reason historical comparisons of the exponential increase in applicants for the College’s available seats are an “apples to oranges” exercise. Ideally, there would be a way to factor in how many other schools each prospective student applied to, effectively “discounting” the value of today’s applications.
The increase in private school-background matriculants is not a surprise, either. Public high school education quality has steadily declined, particularly outside of select, high-end enclaves (such as Hanover) where the adult community is highly educated and relatively affluent, with commensurate expectations and resources accelerating their youthful gene pool and comparatively solid family contexts that would help the kids excel in almost any school system.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
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- The Indian Wars
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