The Office of Admissions received a total of 6,503 applications for admittance to the Class of 2015, an 8 percent increase from last year's applicant pool and an all-time record for the College. Of the 568 Early Decision I (ED I) applications—up 11 percent from last year—189 students were accepted.

The 189 students accepted through ED I, up from 179 students last year, received notification from the admissions office on December 9. The resulting acceptance rate of 33 percent made 2010 the hardest year in history to gain admission to Bowdoin during ED I.

Of the ED I students who enrolled at the College, 104 hail from New England. The accepted students pool also includes 36 students of color, 20 students from Maine, and 13 international students.

All but two of the 189 students accepted through ED I enrolled in the College. The two that declined admission cited financial reasons, saying that the financial aid package offered by Bowdoin would not be sufficient to meet their families' needs.

The admissions office deferred 189 students to regular decision and denied admission to 190 students. Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Scott Meiklejohn said that all of the deferred students offered very strong applications, but acknowledged that it was impossible to admit all of the qualified applicants in the ED I pool.

"We might admit them in March...[but] we have to be cautious in Early Decision because we know that we have 6,000 more applications coming for the January 1 deadline," he said.

Meiklejohn also said that students who applied in the ED I or Early Decision II (ED II) pool did not necessarily have a better chance of getting accepted than a student who applied in the regular decision pool.

"If you're a really good student who we're going to admit in March or January or December, it doesn't really matter when you apply," he said.

While he acknowledged that the admissions office was attempting to finish within a certain range for the number of students admitted through the ED I process, Meiklejohn emphasized that there is never a specific number of students that the office is looking to admit in a given round.

"We don't really have any target admit rates for any group in any round," he said. "I think you have to read each pool of applicants as you get it. "

After the culmination of the ED I process, the office switched its focus to the ED II pool. The Admissions Committee received 248 ED II applications, up from 229 last year. The Committee will meet to make its final decisions on Wednesday and Thursday before mailing letters to all ED II applicants on Friday, February 4.

Although some schools do not offer an ED II-type alternative, Meiklejohn believes that it important to offer students the option.

"I think the theory [behind ED II] is that some students may need an additional six weeks to wind up their college process," he said. "Maybe they got started late, maybe they play a fall sport, maybe they are involved in something else that kept them from...doing all of the things that they wanted to do to have a first decision in the college process."

When the Admissions Committee completes the ED II process, it will quickly turn to the students who applied for regular admission, and Meiklejohn said that the process lasts for about a month.

The target goal for the Class of 2015 is 485 students, and after the difficulty that the admissions office experienced in meeting its target last year, the office is working hard to meet that goal. The target for the Class of 2014 was 485 as well, but a very high yield rate resulted in 510 enrolled students.

"We are putting a lot of brain time into what we will be doing in March," Meiklejohn said. "There is a great story in the high yield, but the college has limited bed space and other space and we have to be very careful about hitting our number this year."

The Office of Admissions is focusing on improving the models it uses to predict yield rates.

"We're putting more of our energy into making our yield modeling more sophisticated...[and] trying to understand more about the behavior of our admitted students," Meiklejohn said.

Overall, Meiklejohn is very pleased with the students who have been admitted to the College thus far.

"Based on most of the things that we track, [the class] looks really strong," he said. "It's a typical Bowdoin pool in that way. It's really interesting and really diverse."