Dartmouth offers early decision admission to 547 students

by Hayden Welty | 1/10/20 2:10am

1-10-20-news-mcnutt-adrianrussian

This year saw a slight decrease in the number of early decision applications to Dartmouth.

by Adrian Russian / The Dartmouth

On Dec. 12, the College’s early decision admissions cycle concluded, with a total of 547 students receiving offers to matriculate as part of the Class of 2024 — an acceptance rate of 26.4 percent.

This year, 2,069 students applied, according to vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid Lee Coffin. That number marks a decrease from both last year’s record high of 2,474 applicants and the 2,270 applicants from two years ago — the first year the College received over 2,000 ED applicants. 

Coffin said that he attributes the decrease in ED applicants to several factors, including this year’s college admissions scandal and an overall decrease in the international applicants pool. There was a significant decrease in applicants from Asia, China in particular. Coffin said that peer institutions also experienced an overall contraction in early decision applicants this year, mirroring the changes in Dartmouth’s application pool.  

Overall, Coffin said that he has observed a steady trend in the number of applications.

“If you look at six years of ED, we get about 2,000 a year,” he said.  

As a result of an increased number of early decision applicants choosing to take a gap year before matriculating, Coffin said that he expects the early decision cohort to make up approximately 46 percent of the overall class. The Class of 2023’s ED contingent constituted around 48 percent of the overall class.

The group of accepted students includes 21 students who applied through QuestBridge, a nonprofit organization that connects low-income students with institutions of higher learning. More than 20 percent of early decision students are expected to be the valedictorian or salutatorian of their graduating class, while a quarter of the class will be composed of recruited athletes. Fifteen percent of the ED cohort are first-generation students, 12 percent are international students and 35 percent are students of color — all record highs. Fourteen percent of the students are eligible for Pell Grants, and the average financial aid package is estimated to be $55,900. 

Coffin said that this early decision pool is different than the “much more East Coast, more affluent” pool of a decade ago.

“What was so striking to me was that when we looked at the group, we were able to hit all these new highs for Dartmouth,” he said. “Geography, race, socioeconomic status and the academic profile all kind of hit new marks for Dartmouth.”

Coffin said that he was excited about this early decision cohort and that he thinks this round of applications sets up a great next step for the regular decision application cycle. 

“The students applying were really vividly on the page with us,” he said. “It was a palpable, dramatic example of ‘I see myself here,’ which is great.”

Coffin said that he approaches early decision as a way for people whose first choice is Dartmouth to hear back early — not a strategic tool to game admissions odds. Overall, he said the admissions office tries to prevent half the class or more from being early.

Sylvie Lamontagne ’24, an ED accepted student from Lakewood, CO, said that after visiting campus twice, she “felt like it was the place I wanted to be.” 

Lamontagne said no other school gave her that feeling, adding that the tight-knit community seemed like a perfect fit for her. She said she is still in shock about her acceptance and is excited to study linguistics and participate in the Dartmouth Outing Club.

Aidan Adams ’24, who intends to study a combination of computer science, mathematics and statistics, said he was interested in Dartmouth because of the flexible liberal arts background and strong sense of community. 

Adams, who is from Trinidad and Tobago, decided to reapply to Dartmouth this admissions cycle after being waitlisted last year. He said he is looking forward to combine his interests into one course of study at the College and be surrounded by people who are passionate about what they do.

Madeline Morris ’24, who hails from Texas, echoed many of these sentiments. She said that she intends to join the DOC and is excited to combine her interests in her studies.  

“I honestly really didn’t expect it,” Morris said. “The shock still hasn’t worn off yet that I’m going to be going to Dartmouth.”

Morris said she is excited to experience other aspects of the Dartmouth experience, including the D-Plan and gluten-free bakery options. 

Undoubtedly like all the admitted students, Adams, Lamontagne and Morris all said they are excited to start school next fall.

“When I saw that everybody loves it so much, I knew I had to be a part of that environment,” Adams said. 

Advertise your student group in The Dartmouth for free!