Dartmouth Accepts 494 Early Decision Applicants

The College today offered 494 students a chance to become the first members of the Class of 2020, drawing from the largest number of students to apply for early decision in Dartmouth’s history.

Prospective students get a tour of campus. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

The 1,927 applicants represent a 3.6 percent increase over last year’s early decision pool.

“The students we’ve admitted are a strong base for the Class of 2020,” says Paul Sunde, interim dean of admissions and financial aid. “Their talents and wide range of perspectives and prior experiences will enrich our entire campus, from our classrooms, libraries, and laboratories to studios and performance spaces, Dartmouth’s new house communities, and beyond. We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome them to Dartmouth.”

The students learned of their acceptances at 4 p.m. today by signing on to a secure website.

Sunde says the admitted group is the most diverse group to be accepted early at Dartmouth in a number of years. “This year’s applicant pool is extraordinary in its academic strength and diversity,” he says.

Of the accepted students, 30 percent are students of color, up from 26 percent last year, and 11.5 percent will be the first in their families to attend college, up from 9 percent last year, the largest percentage since the College began tracking this information. Almost 9 percent are international students, up from 8 percent last year, and represent 20 countries. The accepted students come from 46 states and Washington, D.C.

Among the accepted students who attend schools that report rank, 90 percent rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class. The group has a mean SAT score of 2156 (out of 2400), and mean ACT score of 32 (out of 36). Public high school students represent 48 percent of admitted students, with 37 percent from private schools, and 15 percent from parochial schools. The daughters and sons of Dartmouth graduates make up 19 percent of the accepted students. Forty-eight percent of the admitted group applied for financial aid.

In applying through the early decision program, the applicants made Dartmouth their first choice over all other institutions and agreed to attend if admitted. Sunde says he expects that when the ’20s arrive in the fall, early decision students will make up about 44 percent of the incoming class.

This year, for the first time, Dartmouth is working with the Posse Foundation, an organization that supports U.S. military veterans who are seeking a college education. Later this month, Dartmouth will select 10 veterans from the foundation’s Posse Veterans Program.

“We are excited to be working with the Posse Foundation to increase the presence of military veterans at Dartmouth and strengthen our veterans’ community,” says Sunde.

He says a key to Dartmouth’s ability to enroll an increasingly diverse and talented group of students is the College’s need-based financial aid program, meeting 100 percent of students’ demonstrated need for all four years.

For the 2016-17 academic year, the College will dedicate more than $80 million in scholarship funds to make sure Dartmouth is accessible to all students, regardless of their family’s financial circumstances. Students from families with total income below $100,000 receive free tuition, with loans not included in their financial aid awards. The average annual scholarship for Dartmouth students is $46,315. For students who take out loans, the average indebtedness at graduation is $16,339—roughly half the national average.

“Keeping Dartmouth affordable—offering generous scholarships and maintaining low levels of student debt—is critical to our ability to attract and enroll the most talented and promising students from throughout the United States and around the world,” says Sunde.