With the recent conclusion of the second round of early decision (ED II) applications, approximately 230 students have been admitted to the Class of 2015.
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Scott Meiklejohn reported that a total of 45 applicants were accepted through ED II. The admitted students join the 184 applicants who were accepted in the first round of early decision; together, the two groups make up a large part of the Class of 2015, which Meiklejohn reported would comprise around 485 students.
"With 230 places gone, we're going to have hard decisions to make," said Meiklejohn.
The Office of Admissions is currently wading through the 6,551 applications it received this year to prepare for the regular decision round. Meiklejohn reported that 10 more students were accepted through early decision this year than last year, when 220 spots had been determined for the Class of 2014 following the February ED II mailing.
The Admissions staff is working to ensure that the incoming class is smaller than the Class of 2014, which is the College's largest class ever at 510 students. As such, the acceptance rate for regular decision is likely to decrease from last year's rate of 19.7 percent.
"We're spending most of our brain time thinking about what yield is going to be and trying to project that," said Meiklejohn. "We're probably going to be a bit on the cautious side with our March admits."
Last year's applicant yield was slightly higher than projected, resulting in the large size of the Class of 2014. Admissions has since been working to refine its yield algorithm to better predict how many applicants will accept offers.
"We've been working a lot with the Institutional Research office to add more detail to the yield model that we have had, making it slightly more complex," said Meiklejohn.
"This year, the plan is to use the waitlist," he added. "My expectation is that we will not have a class of 485 on May 1, that we'll be somewhere under that number."
Already, the Class of 2015 is proving to be one of the most diverse. Twenty-one international students from 12 different countries were accepted through early decision, which Meiklejohn noted was a notable increase from previous years. Applications from students of color rose 12.9 percent this year, and 53 were accepted through early decision—more than ever before.
"We have an all-time record number of students of color in the class from ED I," said Meiklejohn, who added that the total number of high schools that sent at least one application to the College also increased.
The College received at least one application from 2,872 high schools this year, a 5.7 percent increase from last year. Measuring the number of high schools that include applicants to Bowdoin is one of the primary ways that Admissions determines the national footprint of the College.
Meiklejohn said that Admissions staff is currently prepping for committee meetings that will decide which students will be accepted to the Class of 2015 through regular decision.
The target date for mailing admission decisions is March 25, and accepted students will have until May 1 to notify the College of whether they will matriculate.