It’s no secret that Carleton, ranked sixth among liberal arts colleges by U.S. News, is competitive, but this year admissions got a little bit tougher, as a record number of students applied for admission to Carleton.
The Carleton admissions office received 5866 applications for the class of 2016, a seventeen and a half percent increase since last year alone. As a result, the admissions rate for the incoming class was twenty-five and a half percent, down from thirty-one percent last year. This figure is also the lowest admissions rate Carleton has ever recorded.
“In terms of grades and test scores, this is the highest quality class in [our] history,” said Paul Thiboutot, VP and Dean of Admissions, noting that, although the entering class is not finalized, the office of admissions expects between 515 and 525 freshmen for the class of 2016. “This was a pretty good year,” he said, adding that the expected number of freshmen was “right on target” with the class size that admissions had hoped for.
This figure is especially significant because for the first time in several years, some elite colleges have been reporting either a slowing down or drop in applications for freshman after years of record increases. After applicant increases of up to 30 percent in previous years, schools such as Columbia and MIT recorded only small increases, while Penn reported a decrease in applicants. Thus, the fact that Carleton reported such a significant increase stands out among the trends.
The incoming class is comprised of approximately forty-seven percent males and fifty-three percent females, and approximately nine percent of the incoming freshmen are international. Out of the entire entering class, approximately forty-two percent of the entering class consisted of Early Decision candidates. This year, the college received approximately 540 ED applicants, representing a twenty-five percent increase overall.
Thiboutot also noted that out of all of the enrolled incoming freshmen, nearly eighty-percent visited campus. “That’s a pretty important figure,” he said, because it means that “[our students] must have made a good impression on visitors.”