According to the Office of Admissions, 2,355 students from an applicant pool of 10,033 were granted admission into the Class of 2015. Last year 10,657 applied, and 2,190 were granted admission. Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Nancy Meislahn said that despite the 6.2 percent drop in applicants, she is pleased with the overall 21.6 percent growth in applications since 2008.
“I think the real news is that Wesleyan has reached this level of 10,000 applications and maintained that for the past three years,” Meislahn said. “Historically, lots of places that have seen a big jump like we did three years ago have seen that wane away. Now that we are at this new level, we want to use it as a platform to reach the next level.”
The Office of Admissions reported a 7.5 percent increase in the number of accepted applicants, which grew from 2,190 for the Class of 2014 to 2,355 for the Class of 2015. Meislahn said that this was partially a result of there being more completed applications this year, so the officers were able to respond to more applications than ever before.
Additionally, more Early Decision applicants were accepted this year, partially because of the 5.6 percent increase in early decision applicants from the 869 applicants for the Class of 2014 to 918 applicants for the Class of 2015.
“The strength of the Early Decision pool demonstrates very positive interest in Wesleyan,” Meislahn said. “This is a diverse pool by many measures; it shows an increase in interest in Wesleyan as a first choice.”
Meislahn and Pyke expressed satisfaction with the diversity of the Class of 2015. Of the admitted students, 33 percent are students of color, 14 percent speak English as a second language, 16 percent are first-generation college students and eight percent are international students. In particular, they emphasized the increase of applicants from outside the Northeast, which they believed was largely responsible for the increase in applications over the past five years.
Meislahn said that Admissions Officers have been focusing their recruiting efforts on areas of the country where Wesleyan is less well known.
“We have made it a priority to shift some recruitment time out of New England and New York,” Meislahn said. “These are places were Wesleyan’s very well known and where there are going to be fewer and fewer high school students. We are looking down the road in regards to the shifting American population.”
Despite Wesleyan’s reported decrease in applications, both the admissions officers and President Michael Roth remained optimistic about the incoming class.
“I think the group of people we admitted are exceptionally strong, and I feel really great about the quality of the pool,” Roth said. “The geographic diversity is very impressive and the diversity overall is impressive.”