An unprecedented number of Early Decision I (ED I) applications is flooding the Office of Admissions. As of Wednesday afternoon, the College had received 561 ED I applications—over 10 percent more than last year's total—and there are more still to come.

"I expect that number to go up...I'm guessing we'll have around 575 by the time we're done," said Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Scott Meiklejohn. "People who apply regular [decision] are allowed to convert to ED up to a certain date so the number [of ED I applications] will creep up."

Last year, the Office of Admissions reviewed 511 ED I applications for the Class of 2014, a 5 percent increase from the volume of applications for the Class of 2013.

"[The Class of] 2014 was a little bit larger than we had planned, so our instructions from Bowdoin are to be thinking about a class for next September of around 485 [students]," said Meiklejohn.

The College is hoping that the Class of 2015 will be about 25 students smaller than the Class of 2014, which, at 510 students, is Bowdoin's largest first year class to date. Despite the College's request for a smaller first year class size, the Office of Admissions does not have a target number of ED I applicants whom they plan to admit.

"We don't go in thinking about a certain percentage of the class or a number of students," said Meiklejohn. "We just think about how excited we are to admit the people that we see."

Though there is no numerical target for the number of ED I acceptances, Bowdoin historically admits about 40 percent of the incoming class from the ED I and ED II pools.

Approximately 45 percent of the Class of 2014 was admitted through ED I or ED II.

The Office of Admissions will have a sense of the geographic, racial and socioeconomic make-up of the ED I applicant pool as they review applications in the coming weeks.

The Early Decision Committee will meet in two weeks to decide which applicants will become members of the Class of 2015.

"We're hoping to mail our letters on or about the 10th of December, sooner if we can," said Meiklejohn.

After the letters are mailed, the work will be far from over; admissions officers will begin reviewing the applications of Early Decision II and Regular Decision applicants shortly after the January 1 deadline.