The Office of Admissions sent letters to the 510 Early Decision I (ED I) applicants on Thursday, the culmination of the ED I process.
The total number of applications was up 3.2 percent from last year's figure. Out of the ED I pool, 184 students were accepted, 143 were deferred to regular decision, 180 were denied admission, and three applications were incomplete, yielding a total of 510 applications, and an acceptance rate of 36 percent.
According to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Scott Meiklejohn, this year's regional distribution of accepted students is very similar to last year's, with 60 percent of the Class of 2013 coming from outside of New England.
Meiklejohn added that the number of students from private, parochial, and public schools remained relatively stable, as did the ratio of men to women.
The number of students admitted through ED I is up compared to the four year average, 161, as are the academic credentials of the entire ED I pool, said Meiklejohn.
"The credentials of the students that we don't admit are staggering," he said. For Meiklejohn, this year's "stronger pool" of applicants is "good news" for the Office of Admissions, as it indicates that the College is attracting some of the brightest and most capable students.
Among the students admitted through the ED I process, 35 are of color, compared to a four-year average of 24. Additionally, 23 accepted students hail from Maine, compared to a four-year average of 16. Eight international students (those holding foreign passports) were accepted, compared to the four-year average of six.
"We don't go into it with a number in mind...but at a certain point the discussions start to get harder," said Meiklejohn. If the Admissions Committee is unsure that an applicant would be accepted if he or she applied in the regular decision pool, the applicant is likely to be deferred.
The effect of the increase in ED I acceptances on the second round of early decision remains to be seen, but usually the amount of students accepted through ED II is smaller than that of ED I.
An additional factor contributing to projections of lower ED II acceptances is the College's effort to prevent a housing crunch on campus.
Because of the housing crunch, Meiklejohn said that it is likely that the Class of 2014 will be slightly smaller than the Class of 2013, which is composed of 494 students.
The music department reported that the ED I pool included "by far the most talented group of musicians they had seen in ED I," said Meiklejohn.
The high caliber of musicians applying to Bowdoin reflects the department's notable faculty and high-quality facilities, which include the recently built Studzinski Recital Hall, according to Meiklejohn.
Meiklejohn said that a very important number to consider is the amount of high schools represented in the applicant pool.
"Ten years ago we had applications from 1,800 schools. Last year, out of 6,000 applications, 2,600 high schools were represented," he said.
For Meiklejohn, who previously served as the College's vice president for institutional advancement, the increasing number of high schools represented is "a measure of Bowdoin's success."
According to him, the steady increase in applications from different high schools reflects that the College is moving toward its goal of "having Bowdoin be a place that is better known, so that students from different communities and backgrounds all over the country will apply," he said.
If he had one wish for Bowdoin, Meiklejohn said he would "want the College to be as well-known and appreciated in Dublin, as in Phoenix, and in Tampa, Florida," reflecting Bowdoin's goal of expanding its reputation to diverse parts of the country and all around the world.
"There is a lot of evidence that we are doing well in that area," said Meiklejohn.
With the total number of applications up and an incredibly strong pool of candidates, he said he feels that things are going well for the Office of Admissions.
"It's hard to ask for anything else," said Meiklejohn.