The Office of Admissions received a record-high 662 Early Decision I (ED I) applications for admission to the the Class of 2019. This marks a 10.7 percent increase from last year’s 598 applications. The deadline was last Saturday, November 15. 

Over the past four years, the number of applications has been fairly consistent. Although 64 more applications does not seem like a large numerical increase, it marks a substantial percentage point increase. 

Although the exact date has not yet been announced, decisions are expected to be sent out between December 10 and 15.

Admissions has made some changes to its fall travel schedule in order to cater to a greater number of high schools, but Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Scott Meiklejohn does not attribute the increase in applications to these scheduling changes. 

“Bowdoin is popular” said Meiklejohn. “Every time I have been asked in all my years why applications are up, I always say the same thing which is, ‘Bowdoin is a great place and more people are finding out about it.’” 

This year’s applicant pool represents a greater number of high schools than last year’s, with 482 schools represented this year, compared to 467 last year.

The number of private school applicants increased slightly more than the number of public school applicants, and while there was an increase in applications from New England, the Mid-Atlantic and the Southwest, the number of applications from other parts of the country—as well as international applications—did not change significantly.

Meiklejohn said that students who apply Early Decision do not have a particular advantage over Regular Decision applicants. 

“It’s an option,” said Meiklejohn. “It’s supposed to be for that person who has absolutely convinced themselves that this is the one school where they want to be.” 

Admissions does not have a fixed number of students it hopes to admit from the ED I pool, but the overall targeted class size is 495-500 students. 

“It depends on how excited we are about what we’re reading,” said Meiklejohn. 

Mieklejohn did not specify whether the College is looking for a particular type of applicant this year. 

“We want to give Bowdoin another collection of 500 wonderful people, so the College’s expectations of us don’t tend to change very much,” he said.

While the number of applications received may increase slightly over the next few days as late applications trickle in, Meiklejohn expects the number to remain close to 662. 

Admissions has already begun the process of reading applications. 

“We’re excited. The number is just a number until you actually open the applications; that’s when it gets more interesting to see who would love to come to Bowdoin,” he said.