172 Enter Class of 2019 Through Early Decision
Issue   |   Sun, 02/01/2015 - 12:55
Photo courtesy of Matthew Chow '18
Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Katie Fretwell said that the college met an estimated 36 percent of its targeted enrollment for the class of 2019 through Early Decision.

Amherst has admitted 172 out of 482 Early Decision applicants to the class of 2019, the Office of Admission reported last week. The college received a total of 8,549 applications for the class of 2019, an increase from last year’s 8,460.

This year’s Early Decision pool was the second largest in the college’s history, with the record being 490 applications received in 2012. The college received six more Early Decision applications this year than last year.

Of the 492 candidates, 187 were deferred to the Regular Decision round, and 123 were rejected.

The college requires the same application materials from Early and Regular Decision applicants, and the admission committee carries out the same process of deliberation for both groups. The deferred applicants will be reviewed again in the spring with their updated academic results and any additional information they provide to the Admission Office.

Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Katie Fretwell praised the diversity of the class of 2019 thus far. Of the accepted students, 51 percent are women and 49 percent are men. Forty-nine identify as students of color: eight African-Americans, 13 Asian-Americans, 20 Hispanic-Americans and eight multiracial students.

Furthermore, 15 accepted Early Decision candidates are non-U.S. citizens. These students come from Canada, China, Ethiopia, Greece, Jamaica, Kenya, Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, Turkey and the United Kingdom. An additional 18 students are dual citizens of the U.S. and another country.

Fretwell also said that there were six students accepted through QuestBridge, an organization that matches academically accomplished students from low-income families to distinguished U.S. colleges and scholarship opportunities. One QuestBridge program is National College Match, in which applicants submit different, QuestBridge-designed applications and are notified if they are matched to any institutions in early December. If the applicants are not matched to one of QuestBridge’s 35 partner schools, some may choose to convert their QuestBridge application to an Early Decision or Early Action application.

Four students were matched to Amherst through National College Match. Two students converted their QuestBridge application to Early Decision and were accepted.

The SAT and ACT composite scores of this year’s accepted Early Decision students continue to demonstrate the strong academic performances of the college’s students. This year’s average SAT scores for the accepted Early Decision candidates are 715 for Reading, 721 for Writing and 720 for Mathematics. The average ACT score is 32.

“The college continues to give candidates the option to submit the SAT I along with two SAT IIs of their choice or to submit the ACT. We do not have a preference, but are interested to note that ACT submitters are a growing portion of our pool,” Fretwell said.

Moreover, an estimated 35 percent of the accepted ED students will receive financial aid.

The college also received 95 applications for spring transfer admission and accepted 10 transfer students. Of the 10 students, seven have chosen to enroll at Amherst. Five of the new transfer students are coming from community colleges.

Although last year the Common Application generated technical problems for the college as well as for applicants and secondary schools, this year’s process has so far been free from major technical glitches. This is the second year that the college has used a completely paperless application process.

The Office of Admission chooses applicants by first dividing the world into 35 geographic regions and assigning two members of the admission staff as readers to each region.

“Ideally, at least one of them has had the opportunity to visit schools in the region, has relationships with guidance counselors at many of the schools within the region and has some expertise about the unique features of that market,” Fretwell said.

The regional readers are also responsible for going through their respective pools of applicants and making decisions about which candidates will advance to the large committee for discussion. Once the regional readers have carefully pared down the regional pools, the larger committee makes the decisions through a majority vote process.

“With the ambition to build the most academically talented and diverse class possible, we are attentive to unique passions, achievements and attributes that candidates offer,” Fretwell said. “We are careful to consider the context in which a student has lived and learned, what opportunities the student has had available and how he or she has utilized them. We also solicit professional assessments from various campus constituencies regarding specialized artistic, musical, dance, theatrical and athletic talents.”

The college met an estimated 36 percent of its targeted enrollment for the class of 2019 through Early Decision. The remaining members of the class will be chosen by the first week of April.

“I am proud that our staff’s recruitment efforts yielded a strong pool, once again, and that we have confirmed such a strong foundation for the class of 2019 with this Early Decision group,” Fretwell said.