1182 students admitted to Class of 2016; acceptance rate drops

The Office of Admission recently admitted 1182 students to the Class of 2016 out of the 7076 who applied. This year’s total marks the second-highest number of applicants for any one class in the College’s history. This year’s 16.7-percent acceptance rate is a drop from the 17.1-percent acceptance rate for the Class of 2015.

The target class size for the Class of 2016 is 550 students, as it was for the Class of 2015. This year, 235 students were admitted early-decision and will comprise 43 percent of the incoming class.

According to Dick Nesbitt, director of admission, this year saw “perhaps the strongest [applicant] pool of students of color ever” in terms of both the overall number of applicants of color and their academic credentials.

“A lot of the credit goes to the members of the [admissions] staff in coordinating diversity recruitment … even in June, to reach out to about 4000 students, make those contacts early, maintain contact with those students who could not come to campus and encourage them to apply,” Nesbitt said.

Of the admitted students, 163 identify as African American, 229 as Asian, 164 as Latino and 14 as Native American. In addition, 94 students are non-U.S. citizens and 193 are first-generation students. Eleven percent of the Class of 2016 are international students.

In terms of geographic diversity, the top 10 states represented by the admitted students are New York, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, Connecticut, Texas, Pennsylvania and Maryland, in that order.

Nesbitt explained that depending on the yield, California and Massachusetts may switch places in this order, because “proximity has an influence on yield.”

Nesbitt believes that admissions is on track to hit the target yield based on calculations and recent trends. “If our calculations are correct, our idea is to come up just short of the target, so 540 or 545, and then draw a few from the waitlist, which is what we did last year,” he explained, adding that last year, admissions pulled 12 students from the waitlist for the Class of 2015. Admissions accepted 609 women and 573 men to the Class of 2016.

“What was remarkable to me was that [this year’s admitted students were] very similar to last year’s group,” Nesbitt said. “If you look at this year’s group, one thing was stronger testing.”

The average verbal SAT score for admitted students is 731 and the average for math is 722, a significant increase from last year’s averages of 720 and 715, respectively. Fifty-four percent of admitted students who submitted their high school rank are expected to be valedictorians or to graduate in the top 1 percent of their class.

Nesbitt also spoke to the diverse extracurricular and academic interests of this year’s admitted students: Nine percent of admitted students are exceptional dancers, thespians, studio artists or musicians. Thirty-one students are interested in pursuing a non-science Ph.D., and 173 are interested in pursing a Ph.D. in science or math.

Forty-three applicants demonstrated outstanding community service backgrounds, 306 were noted for “intellectual vitality,” 33 received national recognition for their writing talent and 49 were classified as “bridge-builders,” committing theselves to activities that span racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, cultural and religious backgrounds.

Ninety-three admitted students have an alumni parent. Eighty-three are Questbridge Scholars, and 11 of these students are Questbridge Match Scholars.

Students have until May 1 to decide whether to enroll at the College. Nearly 400 admitted students are expected to attend the College’s Previews program, which will host programming next Monday and Tuesday.

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