Class of '05 receives incentive to defer

by Devin Foxall | 7/3/01 5:00am

Due to an unexpectedly large yield for the incoming Class of 2005, Dartmouth will waive a year's price of room and board -- approximately $5,000 -- for students who defer enrollment for a year.

The Enrollment Committee, in an effort to keep the class size down and ease the swelling housing crunch, decided to persuade incoming '05s to defer, after 86 more '05s accepted the offer of admission than was projected.

"When we realized that the Class of '05 was going to be a bit larger than we had projected ... we figured that we were going to be a little bit tight on housing this fall, and that we might take some steps to reduce the size of the Class of '05," Karl Furstenberg, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, explained.

According to Lynn Rosenblum, Director of Housing, the large incoming class has made the alleviation of the housing crunch an immediate priority.

"We've looked at rooms reserved for the 2005s to see if there's any possibility that perhaps a single is large enough to be a double, or a double is large enough to be a triple," she said.

The possibility of rooming people in lounge spaces is also being looked at, but whether that happens, and who would have to room there, has not yet been decided.

"Those are the kinds of things we've been looking at to see if there's any ways we can expand, and we found a few, but not enough to make a tremendous difference," she explained.

The '05s are not the only ones who may be without housing this Fall term, however. There remain 178 '04s on the waiting list, Rosenblum said.

Set plans for next year's housing are still a few weeks away, Rosenblum said.

"I can't give you many particulars right now. It's not just something that Residential Life is looking at, the whole College is looking at it," she said.

Although the Admissions Office's enrollment projection for the Class of 2005 might have been slightly off, projections in the past few years have been extremely accurate, according to Furstenberg.

For the Class of 2004, the projection was within nine students; and for the Class of 2003, the projection was within six students."We had a much better yield than we've had in quite a number of years," Furstenberg said. The '05 class was projected to be 1075 students, but 1161 accepted the offer of admission, "which is a good thing really, it tells us that people want to come."

Indeed, the percent yield has steadily increased over the past three years from 49.6 for the Class or 2003 to 49.7 percent for the Class of 2004 to 52.3 percent in the Class of 2005.

Letters outlining the College's offer were mailed to those who accepted the offer of admission. Since then, three students have decided to defer, making a total of 26 deferrals so far.

"Each year about 20 or 25 students defer. And most of them do really interesting things. And when they get to Dartmouth, they've had a bit more experience, they have a better sense of what they want to get out of their education," Furstenberg said. "And my suggestion to people was, 'If this is educationally beneficial, maybe we should promote it a little bit more.'"

Despite a potential housing crunch, the larger than expected freshmen enrollment shouldn't have a major effect on the campus, Furstenberg said.

"The total enrollment is only going to be about 50 students over what we projected. It's a very small variance of a population of over 4000. The challenge for Dartmouth is that housing is very tight right now," Furstenberg explained.

Next year, the Admissions Office will try for a smaller class, between 1050 and 1075 students, he said.

Students wishing to defer must inform the College by July 11.