The yearly yield has averaged slightly over 50 percent over the past decade.
The 50.4 percent yield for the Class of 2019 reflects a “cautious” approach to admissions this year after the larger-than-expected Class of 2018, dean of admissions and financial aid Maria Laskaris said.
This year, 1,115 students have accepted a place in the Class of 2019, compared to the 1,210 students who accepted spots to the Class of 2018. This year’s yield saw a decrease from last year’s 54.5 percent yield. For the past decade, the yearly yield rate has remained around 50 percent, according to a College statement.
Laskaris said that last year was “a real high point” for admissions, but also somewhat of an outlier.
“We were cautious with the number of students admitted regular decision, because we couldn’t afford another super-sized first-year class,” Laskaris said.
Laskaris said that the target class size was 1,120 students. The College admitted fewer students regular decision with the intention of using the waitlist, she said, ultimately admitting 93 students off of the waitlist compared to zero last year.
“It was the first time we intentionally did that,” Laskaris said. “To aim a little lower and use the waitlist to build up to the desired class size.”
She noted that, while the waitlist draws the process out, the College maintains a “deep waitlist” with many students who are eager to wait for a spot.
The announcement of the yield came slightly later than usual because it felt “premature” to announce earlier while the College was still accepting students from the waitlist, she said.
Admissions director Paul Sunde wrote in an email that admissions expects to enroll about 20 transfer students.
Fourteen percent of the Class of 2019 are first-generation college students, an increase from 11.2 percent of the Class of 2018. Sunde wrote that the College has been working with community-based organizations across the U.S. to encourage high-ability, low-income students to consider Dartmouth.
The class is also comprised of the largest proportion of Asian American students ever at 19.6 percent. Sunde wrote that there has been an overall increasing trend in the percentage of Asian American students per class at the College, and this year’s numbers are in line with that trend.
The Class of 2019 also has the largest West Coast contingent ever at 23.6 percent of the class. Sunde wrote that there has been a national demographic shift with more students graduating from high school in the West, which would logically be reflected in the Class of 2019.
Laskaris said that these three increases show “tangible progress” toward building the diversity of students. She noted that the West is “a growing area of interest for Dartmouth.”
Fifty-one percent of the class will be granted need-based financial aid, with 46 percent receiving scholarships and the remainder receiving some combination of loans and work-study. In addition, 14 percent of students qualified for Pell Grants. The average award for the 46 percent of the class receiving scholarships will be $44,161.
Ninety-one percent of the students are in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes, a slight decline from last year’s 94 percent. Mean SAT scores for the class are 717 for critical reading, 722 for math and 722 for writing. About 56 percent of the class went to a public high school, similar to last year’s 55.3 percent, which was an increase from the year before.
More than eight percent of students are international.
Last year’s entering class saw the highest-ever percentage of Latino students and first-generation college students, though the Class of 2019 has surpassed the latter record.
The Dimensions of Dartmouth program, now split into three dates, saw higher attendance than past years, as it did last year when additional dates were first added, Sunde wrote. This year’s on-campus program was similar to last year’s, but more off-campus events were held than in the past and early feedback on those events have been positive, he wrote.
Laskaris noted that Dimensions saw abnormal April weather, including snow, rain and sleet during all three programs.
She said that she finds it exciting that several stories on members of the Class of 2019 have shown up in local and national media. Laskaris noted the National Public Radio feature on Kristen Hannah Perez ’19, a low-income high-achieving student from Celina, Texas, as an example of a “wonderful” story about an incoming student.
Neerja Thakkar ’19, who applied regular decision, said she fell in love with the College after a visit last summer. She noted that her tour guide, in particular, made a positive impression.
Thakkar said that during her Dimensions visit she appreciated the friendliness of students, the academic flexibility of the D-plan and the emphasis professors placed on teaching.
Lisa Genthner ’19, who was admitted off of the waitlist, said that Dartmouth’s academic reputation and sense of community led to her decision to accept the College’s offer. She said that students’ apparent passion “about whatever they were doing” also impressed her.
Genthner said that most outside information on the College has been positive, and that others encouraged her to attend.
Thakkar said that while she had heard some negative information about the College — particularly negative aspects of the Greek system — she finds it encouraging that the College seems to be addressing these issues, unlike some other institutions.
“The negative stuff seems to come from people who don’t actually know that much about Dartmouth,” she said.
Amanda Sload ’19, who applied early decision, said the rural location and size attracted her to the College.
While Sload had visited the College before, as both her parents are alums of the Tuck School of Business and she attended hockey camp at the College, a visit in the fall “erased any doubts” she had about applying early decision.
She said that meeting up with a sophomore friend and talking to a group of students helped solidify her decision.
“I knew I wanted to be surrounded by those kind of people for four years,” Sload said.
About 20,500 students applied to the Class of 2019 and 2,213 were accepted, for an acceptance rate of 10.8 percent. There was a more than 10 percent increase in early decision applications for the Class of 2019 last fall.
The University of Pennsylvania saw a 66 percent yield for its 2019 class, while Harvard University saw an 81 percent yield. Princeton University saw a 68.6 percent yield for its 2019 class, after the yield was lowered from a record-high 69.4 percent yield due to 14 students deferring their admission to the Class of 2020.
Senior staff member Laura Weiss contributed reporting.