Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dartmouth sees a decrease in its admissions yield

About 49 percent of admitted students have accepted an offer of admission to the Dartmouth Class of 2013, a drop of over 2 percent compared with the 2008 yield, according to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Maria Laskaris. The admissions office will admit 50 to 60 students from the waitlist for the Class of 2013 to reach the target class size of 1090, Laskaris said in an interview with The Dartmouth.

Dartmouth last year acccepted 38 students off of the waitlist. No students were admitted from the wait list for the Class of 2011, which Laskaris said was “oversubscribed.”

“The yield has gone down a bit, but I think the group we admitted was very academically talented and diverse,” Laskaris said. “[Students not coming to Dartmouth] are going to our peer schools, so I think it was a very competitive year all the way around.”

Laskaris said the decrease in yield was likely caused by greater overlap between people admitted by Dartmouth and its peer institutions.

“I think they were a highly sought-after group,” Laskaris said. “This group had lots of terrific offers from many of our peer institutions, so I think1 we had a little more overlap with our peer schools this year, so our yield this year was a little bit less than we had anticipated.”

The admissions office asks students who declined Dartmouth’s offer of admission to specify the institution they plan to attend, Laskaris said.

“I think we all had in mind several students who just missed being admitted to the class on March 31, so it’s great to have a chance to add a few more students to the class,” Laskaris said.

The admissions office sent e-mails and mailed packets with admissions and financial aid information to 60 students admitted from the waitlist on Friday, Laskaris said. The students have until Friday, May 15 to notify the College of their decision.

“We’ve already heard from several students who e-mailed right back saying, ‘Oh my God, oh my God,’” Laskaris said. “They’re very excited.”

Trevor Ladd, a Westchester, N.Y. student who was admitted from the waitlist on Friday and visited the College this weekend, said he was conflicted about his decision since he had distanced himself from Dartmouth “emotionally and factually” after he was placed on the waitlist. Ladd enrolled at Williams College, but is now torn between the two schools, he said.

“It’s a pretty tough choice because the schools are so close in my eyes,” he said. “It’s the decision I hoped I would never have to make.”

The Class of 2013 currently has slightly more women than men, with the female-to-male ratio currently at 51 percent to 49 percent. Students from public school comprise 61 percent of the class, up from 56 percent for the Class of 2012. Of the students who attend schools that release class rank, 91 percent are in the top 10 percent of their graduating class, and 34 percent are valedictorians.

Almost 39 percent are students of color and 14 percent are first-generation college students, Laskaris said. The Class of 2013 includes a record number of Asian American, Latino and Native American students, according to Laskaris. International students from 40 different countries make up 8 percent of the class, and 11 percent of the students are legacies.

“Right now, the class looks to be the most diverse that will matriculate at Dartmouth,” Laskaris said.

Geographically, the class is similar to previous years, Laskaris said, although there was an increase in the number of students from the South.

The profile of the class will likely change over the next few months, Laskaris said, as the admissions office begins to admit students from the waitlist or students decide to defer matriculation. Laskaris said she thought students might be less likely to take a gap year between high school and college because of the current economic situation, but the students have until July 1 to decide. Students may also choose not to matriculate at Dartmouth if other institutions admit them from their waitlists, Laskaris said.

The admissions office predicts that 50 percent of the matriculating class will receive financial aid. About 47 percent of the current student body receives aid. The average contribution from the College for students receiving financial aid is just under $36,000, up from $33,722 for the Class of 2012.

“We’re really pleased with the group that’s accepted Dartmouth’s offer so far,” Laskaris said. “Their academic talents and their range of experiences and the diversity of backgrounds I think is going to make a terrific first class for [President-elect Jim Yong] Kim.”

Laskaris said that several of the students expressed excitement that they had met Kim at Dimensions weekend on the forms they sent to the College indicating their intention to enroll at Dartmouth.

“They were just very excited about where Dartmouth was going,” Laskaris said.

Laskaris said it does not appear that the economy made students less likely to choose Dartmouth, since the number of students who declined Dartmouth’s offer in favor of attending state schools or other institutions where they would receive merit scholarships did not increase over last year.

“When we look at the preliminary data that we have now, the vast majority of students who have turned us down are at another Ivy League school, Stanford or [the Massachusetts Institute of Technology], so I don’t think that the economy played necessarily as quite as big a role as some of us thought it would,” Laskaris said. “From what we’ve seen so far, it’s a very typical pattern of where students are choosing to go.”

Several other Ivy League institutions are accepting students off of their waitlists, according to various campus publications.

Princeton University saw its yield increase to 59.7 percent and will admit 31 students off of its waitlist.

Harvard University’s yield was steady at 76 percent and the university will admit at least 85 students off the waitlist.

Yale University’s Class of 2013 is oversubscribed with a yield of 68.7 percent.


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