The University’s Admissions Office received 10,486 applications this year, an increase of just over 4.5 percent from last year. On Dec. 13, Admissions sent out electronic acceptance notifications to 248 Early Decision (ED) 1 applicants, comprising the first round of students of the class of 2016. Senior Associate Dean of Admission Gregory Pyke stated that the students were chosen from a group of 507 applicants—a number that has remained fairly constant for early decision, though down 5 percent from last year. The Admissions Office now faces the task of reviewing the remaining 9,979 applications for both early decision 2 and regular decision.
This accepted ED 1 group has a median SAT score of 700 for critical reading, 700 for math, and 710 for writing, and the ACT median is 31. These numbers are exactly the same as those for the class of 2015 and slightly higher than the years before. Pyke stated that, recently, less than half of sending schools report class rank, but that 64 percent of the enrolling ED 1 students who were ranked were in the top ten percent of their class, which is up 10 points from last year.
The ED 1 group also shows a slight increase in the ratio of men to women—53:47—and a rise in the percentage of students of color to 23 percent. Additionally, 19 accepted students are the first in their family to attend college and 18 are from countries other than the United States, including India, Nepal, Turkey, Spain, and France. Pyke added that the number of students from the southern United States is double the number it was last year.
Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Nancy Hargrave Meislahn expressed her enthusiasm at drawing such a diverse pool of students in the first round of the admissions process. Additionally, she commented on the strength of the incoming class.
“When I presented the profile to others on campus—the President and the other cabinet officers—I characterized it as what I think is probably the strongest ED 1 group we have ever admitted,” Meislahn said. “The application number is one thing, but I think that who is admitted to that group is what is really important to Wesleyan.”
Enrollment targets are the same as they have been in the past: 745 freshman and about 60 transfer students. Students who applied in ED 2 will be notified on Feb. 13, while regular decision results are released on Mar. 23.
President Roth said he was very pleased with the result of ED 1 and in particular with the growth from targeted areas such as Pennsylvania and Florida. He also stated that the increase in applications signified a content student body.
“Getting applications is not just about the Admissions Office, but about students being happy and talking to their friends. If their experience is good then more people will want to be part of it,” said Roth. “[We are getting applications] from people who have a good chance of getting in and people who are really qualified.”
The Admissions Office has scheduled WesFest, the University’s annual admitted student weekend, for Apr. 12-14.