Members of the class of 2013 might be walking a bit taller these days. Out of a record-high 10,068 applicants—a 22 percent increase from last year—2,204 were admitted to the University. These numbers yielded a 22 percent admissions rate, which translates to the most selective class in the University’s history.
Nearly half of this year’s incoming class applied early—the percentage of matriculants who applied Early Decision increased to 46 percent this year, after hovering around 39 percent for the past four years.
Despite greater selectivity for the class of 2013, however, its profile is consistent with that of previous years.
For the fourth year in a row, the percentage of enrolled students identifying themselves as Asian or Asian-American remained at 15 percent, and those identifying themselves as Latino or Hispanic hovered at 9 percent. Ten percent of the class of 2013 identified themselves as Black and African-American, which is a 2 percent increase from last year.
The members of the incoming class are as geographically diverse as previous classes—82 percent of enrolled students live outside of New England, which is a three percent increase from the class of 2012. The number of international students, which has risen one percent each year for the past three years, saw a two percent decline this year. This change can be partially attributed to cutbacks to the Freeman Asian Scholars Program following the collapse of the American International Group, as The Argus reported in “AIG Collapse Leads to Fifty Percent Reduction in Freeman Scholarships,” published on May 1, 2009. In the past, the program granted 22 full scholarships each year to students from 11 participating countries for study at Wesleyan. Due to reductions in funding, however, the program will only accommodate for one student per country this year.
Forty-two percent of the class of 2013 received financial aid from the University, a two percent increase from last year and the highest level of any class in the past four years. According to Senior Dean of Admissions Gregory Pyke, the dismal economy contributed to the University’s decision to offer greater financial aid to the incoming class and returning students.
“More money was set aside for financial aid because we anticipated that our returning students might very well require more financial aid because of the economic climate,” he said.
The median SAT test scores—700 for each section—were on par with recent past classes, while the median ACT test score increased by one point to 32. Out of the 44 percent of enrolled students who reported their class rank, 71 percent ranked in the top 10 percent of their class.
Seventy-nine percent of the class took a fourth year of one foreign language, and 77 percent took biology, chemistry and physics—both of which reflect last year’s statistics. Eighty-one percent of incoming freshmen took calculus, representing a 7 percent increase from last year.
Although the University’s academic rigor, commitment to diversity and increased selectivity will undoubtedly entice applicants in the coming years, it’s Wesleyan’s unique quirks that still seem to attract students.
“Someone told me Wesleyan has a Quidditch team,” said Daphna Spivack ’13. “I’m not sure if that’s true, but if it is, I’m joining.