Amherst admitted 1,149 of the 8,397 applicants this year for an acceptance rate of 13.7 percent, according to the office of admission. The applicant pool, which includes regular decision, early decision and Questbridge Match candidates, was smaller than last year’s record-breaking pool of 8,566.
The admissions office predicts that 40 percent of admittees will enroll at Amherst. This would allow the admission office to admit around 20 students from the waitlist to meet the total enrollment target of 472 students for the class.
Thirty-eight percent of admitted students to the class of 2020 had applied via early decision, up from 36 percent for the class of 2019. Regular decision students have until May 1 to commit.
According to dean of admission and financial aid Katie Fretwell, the incoming class is expected to be highly diverse once again, with 54 percent identifying as American students of color. The college admitted six students who identified as Native American and 33 who identified as multi-racial with Native heritage.
Eight percent of students are children of Amherst alumni. Sixty-nine percent intend to apply for financial aid, and nine percent applied via Questbridge Match, a program designed to match students from low-income families to 37 selective partner colleges and universities, including Amherst.
The admitted students come from a wide geographic range. All states are represented except for Mississippi and Delaware, as are Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam. Additionally, nine percent of students are citizens of 50 countries other than the U.S.. Three admitted applicants are stateless.
This year’s applicant pool was highly qualified, making the admission process challenging. The incoming class has a record-breaking average SAT score of 2221.
“We need to identify the truly unique ways a student might contribute to the classroom, to the intellectual life of the campus and how they might make contributions to the community outside the classroom,” Fretwell said. “As always, we try to attract students who can make a difference in multiple ways, so it should come as no surprise that so many Amherst students are active in significant and diverse ways on campus.”
According to Fretwell, the admission office also employed new policies to help retain highly qualified students. All regular decision applicants were informed of their admission status one week earlier than last year’s applicants. Some regular decision applicants were offered admission in March.
“This year we offered admission to a larger number of exceptional regular decision candidates, our ‘early writes,’ in early March, in advance of the traditional notification date,” Fretwell said. “These 163 candidates are particularly difficult to yield, as they will have so many options available, and our hope is that by giving them more time to consider Amherst, we improve the chances of their selecting Amherst.”
Approximately one-third of the admitted class is expected to attend the April on-campus events. A one-day open house program will be held on Monday, April 11, and a longer program will run from Saturday, April 16 through Monday, April 18.