Early applicants up
The Admissions Office received 14 percent more early decision applicants this year than last year although statistically the overall applicant pool is relatively similar.
The College received 1,281 early applications, slightly more than 300 of whom will receive acceptance letters by the middle of December, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Karl Furstenberg said.
Furstenberg described this year's applicant pool as "very similar to last year."
But while academic credentials and minority and geographic percentages have stayed about the same, the percentage of female applicants has increased.
Forty eight percent of this year's early applicants (610) are female compared to 43 percent last year (487), according to a comparative profile of the early applicant pools from the last five years.
According to the profile, the academic statistics have remained relatively constant over the past few years.
Average SAT scores of this year's early decision applicants vary little from last year. The SAT verbal mean score is 591 compared to 592 last year and the SAT math mean score is 666, two points greater than last year's mean, according to the profile.
Nine percent of the early decision candidates for the Class of 1999 are valedictorians, six percent are salutatorians and 71 percent are in the top 10 percent of their class, according to the profile
Furstenberg said he expects the regular decision applicant pool to be as competitive as the early decision pool. Although he said there are fewer weak applicants in the early decision pool, few of the truly extraordinary applicants desire to be tied down to a binding early decision acceptance.
Usually a slightly higher percentage of early decision applicants are accepted in comparison to those who apply regular decision, because the admissions committee looks more favorably upon students who pick the College as their top choice, Furstenberg said.
He said the College accepts about 25 percent of the early applicants compared to 20 percent of the regular applicants.
"Admission is by and large an academic decision. We rely most heavily on the student's academic record and recommendations," he said.
"People are beginning to understand that Dartmouth is about more than skiing, snow and men in fraternities," he said.
The admissions committee has about one month to read 1,200 applications for the early decision process.
Later in the year the committee has only two and a half months to read somewhere between 8,000 and 9,000 regular applications, he said.