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The Dartmouth
June 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

'04 matriculation rate now at 50 percent

The number of applications received for admission to the Class of 2004 may have been slightly down from last year, but next year's freshman class could very well wind up being the College's largest in several years.

The Class of 2004 currently has 1,135 students -- almost 60 more than the desired class size of 1,075 -- as 52 percent of admitted students have chosen to matriculate so far, although the final number may wind up lower as students change plans.

"We have had an unbelievably successful year," Dean of Admissions Karl Furstenberg said yesterday, adding that the high yield is indicative of what he sees as the College's increasing attractiveness.

Although the admission numbers from other Ivy League schools are still not conclusively known, Furstenberg said he expects some of Dartmouth's principal competitors to use their waiting lists -- something that Dartmouth did not have to do again this year.

"We've lost very few students to them, much less than we usually do," Furstenberg said.

The number of minority students have taken a setback from last year -- falling from the record high level of 28.8 percent for the Class of 2003 to 23.2 percent next year.

However, Furstenberg said that next year's freshman class, although not at the record-level, is more diverse than normal classes at Dartmouth. He pointed out that the Latino student percentage is the second-highest in Dartmouth's history at 5.8 percent.

"One thing about admissions is that last year's results become this year's expectations," Furstenberg said.

Next year's class will also have the largest number of foreign students in recent years -- a total of 75, compared to 58 from last year.

Furstenberg said this increase was because the College admitted more international students this year and also because the foreign student yield was higher -- largely a result of the increase in financial aid available to such students. The College will be awarding approximately $8.35 million in scholarships in all, with the average amount approximately $18, 762.

Furstenberg said the financial aid initiative introduced two years ago has been very successful in making Dartmouth more competitive.

"Our financial aid packages were very competitive this year," Furstenberg said. This year, the Financial Aid Office also sent an appeal form with the aid award to every admitted student, allowing them to appeal if they had received a higher need-based award from another College -- something that likely positively affected this year's yield.

"In many ways the real crux of the competition is on the financial aid side," Furstenberg said.

The average SAT Verbal and Math scores for the Class of 2004 are 708 and 714, respectively -- those scores combined are slightly lower than the ones from the last two years.

Furstenberg said one of main concerns incoming students had was regarding the rural setting of the College. He said the Student Life Initiative was not as big of a concern as one might expect, partly because it was first announced more than a year ago.

However, he did say that many students were curious about the future shape of Dartmouth's social life during their years at the College.

Next year's class currently consists of 598 men and 537 women who, combined, represent 48 states. The number of students in the Class of 2004 interested in the Humanities and Social Sciences has also gone up substantially from last year.

The current number of students who have signaled their intent to matriculate at Dartmouth would mean the '04s would be the largest class so far this decade, but Furstenberg said this high number is likely to decrease by as much as 40 or 50 people as some change their college plans over the summer.