Admissions decisions for the Class of 2020 were released on March 18, with the College’s admit rate hitting a record low. The Admissions Office sent out 687 acceptance letters, admitting 14.3 percent of total applicants—down 0.2 percentage points from the previous record low for the Class of 2017 and down 0.6 percentage points from last year’s rate.

According to Dean of Admissions Scott Meiklejohn, slightly more than half the places in the Class of 2020 were filled via early decision acceptances, QuestBridge (a program for low-income students) and students returning from gap years. Eighteen students in the Class of 2020 deferred for a year, a much larger number than normal.

Although competition for spots in the class was especially intense, the College did not see a record high number of applicants. The Admissions Office relies on its admissions yield model to deliver a class of around 500 students each year, and anticipates slightly lower yield than usual this year.

“We predict [yield] within a decent range, but I just feel like it’s going to be off a tick,” said Meiklejohn. “We’ve been expecting each year for the last couple of years to use the waitlist and maybe this will be the year.”

Meiklejohn says that he does not believe the “tequila” party and subsequent media coverage had a significant effect on applications and does not anticipate it strongly impacting yield this year.

“Some of the students who were here in the fall for the Explore Bowdoin programs have been in touch with us about what they saw... and some of those people have written really good and positive messages about their decision to apply, having been on campus when those events have happened. So I don’t have too much to report yet,” he said.

Additionally, in February, admissions launched a new online tour feature on its homepage. Meiklejohn hopes the improved digital tour will allow applicants who are unable to visit in person to better explore the campus.

“We made a pretty significant investment in replacing what was a really weak online tour,” he said. “We have a much more dynamic online tour now with still photography, 360s, videos, narration.”