College admits first '18s via early decision

by Roshan Dutta | 1/6/14 12:38am

Dartmouth admitted 469 students to the Class of 2018 through the early decision process, the College announced on Dec. 11.The accepted students, selected from 1,678 early applicants, are expected to comprise 40 percent of the Class of 2018.

The early decision numbers reflect a 27.9 percent acceptance rate, a nearly 2 percent decrease from the early admissions rate for the Class of 2017.

Dartmouth received over 6 percent more early applications than last year. Despite a 12.6 percent drop in early applicants last year for the Class of 2017, the number of students admitted through the early decision process has remained relatively consistent over the years.

Dean of admissions and financial aid Maria Laskaris said that the decision to stabilize early decision intake numbers results from projected class sizes and applicant quality.

“Over the past several years, the target size of the incoming class has grown from 1,090 students to 1,120 students,” Laskaris said.

The overall acceptance rate for the Class of 2017 was 10 percent, an increase from 9.4 percent for the Class of 2016.

The College postponed this fall’s early application deadline fromNov. 1 to Nov. 8after prospective students and high school counselors reported problems with the Common Application’s online system.

Laskaris indicated that the difficulties caused by the Common Application did not adversely affect Dartmouth’s early decision review process.

“The one-week delay did not negatively impact our ability to complete the selection process along the timeline we had identified,” she said.

Cornell University, Columbia University, Brown University, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University also decided to postpone the early application deadline. Princeton University allowed applications to be submitted through the Universal College Application.

Technical difficulties with the Common Application also arose on Jan. 1, the regular decision deadline, admissions director Paul Sunde said.

Dartmouth, along with several other institutions, responded to the problems by extending its regular decision deadline to Jan. 10.

Aside from server crashes and application lockouts, many issues for Dartmouth applicants stemmed from confusion surrounding a new policy for submitting peer reviews, Sunde said.

“We added the peer review as part of the Common Application, which was a change from last year,” he said. “A portion of applicants misunderstood the new directions, and while we will still expect the peer review, it can now be submitted after the application.”

Kyle Tarantino ’18 indicated his support for the College’s early decision program.

“Everyone says this, but the first time I stepped on the Green I really did know Dartmouth was the right spot for me,” Tarantino said. “I’m grateful I had the chance to indicate my preference for the College, and I think taking a big portion of the incoming class from early decision helps make sure that the incoming freshman class is excited to be here.”

Rajiv Ramaiah ’18 also said he appreciated the early decision option.

“I felt excited and relieved that I was able to apply and get into my first choice college,” Ramaiah said. “I was grateful that I would actually have a winter break free from writing essays for other colleges.”

The mean SAT score for admitted students is 2156, and the mean ACT is 32.1, according to a College press release. The average SAT score is slightly higher than last year’s mean of 2141 for students admitted through the early decision process.

Among students whose high schools report academic rankings, 34 percent of admitted students to the Class of 2018 are valedictorians, a number consistent with past years.

Ninety-four percent of students are ranked in the top 10 percent of their class, an increase from last year’s 86 percent.

Throughout the Ivy League, early admissions decisions were released to students in mid-December.

Early acceptance rates at Harvard University, Princeton and Yale increased in comparison to those of last year’s class, while acceptance rates at Brown and Cornell decreased.

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