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2013 Winter Issue 1 (January 18, 2013)

First Round of Early Decision Admissions Start Rolling In

January 22, 2013
By J.M. Hanley

Eager high school students worked frantically to finish their applications to Carleton as the last deadline for submission passed this week.  While these students will spend the next couple months anxiously awaiting a response, many students have already experienced the excitement of opening their letter of acceptance.

More than 140 high school seniors were accepted to the class of 2017 on Dec. 15 in Carleton’s first round of early decision admissions.  Only 39 percent of students were admitted from a pool that has increased by nearly 25 percent over last year’s batch.

“We love that students declare their love for us,” said Paul Thiboutot, Carleton’s Dean of Admissions, about reading early decision applications.

Students may only apply to one school early decision and must pledge to matriculate if they are accepted.  Consequently, in the eyes of admissions officers, early decision applicants tend to have higher levels of institutional loyalty as well as pockets deep enough to pay tuition regardless of financial aid.

Carleton offers two rounds of early decision.  Students who apply “ED Two” must submit their materials by Jan. 15, the regular decision deadline, but receive notification a month and a half before “RD” applicants.  The school selects 40 percent of its freshman class from early decision, two-thirds of which come from ED One.

According to Thiboutot, the new Carls look largely the same on paper as enrolled students.  There are, however, a few differences.

In terms of geographic distribution, the admitted ED One students are “a little more Midwestern” with some thirty-three states represented, he said.  In the full class of 2016, students come from forty-five different states.  He also noted that there was a larger percentage of athletes admitted early decision than in the class as a whole.

Median standardized test scores were lower, Thiboutot acknowledged, but added that “typically for ED groups they are.  And they weren’t dramatically lower.”

The diversity of the admitted candidates is also noteworthy: nearly twenty-eight percent self-identify as students of color, a school record.  In the class of 2016, 22 percent of all admitted applicants were minorities.
“The ED group we admitted ended up being more diverse than any we’ve had before,” said Thiboutot.

Roughly nine percent are international students, a figure on par with previous rounds of early decision and with Carleton students as a whole.  The median family income of the new Carls is also more or less equivalent to that of their future classmates.

Perhaps most remarkable is the increase in the number of early decision applicants.  According to Thiboutot, that portends a more competitive RD season as well, following a trend in which admission to Carleton is becoming increasingly difficult.

“We’ll see a five to fifteen percent growth in applications this year.   We think we’re going over six thousand applicants,” he said.

Such statistics, however, seem far from the minds of the new members of the class of 2017.  

As a blogger on the popular college admissions website College Confidential wrote, “I found a beautiful, white envelope in my mailbox today!  See you all September 10.”

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