Next year’s entering undergraduate class is shaping up to be among the strongest and most diverse in the history of the nation’s second-oldest institution of higher education. The College of William and Mary sent acceptances recently to approximately 4,400 students in anticipation of enrolling a freshman class of 1,450 in the fall. The group of admitted students comes from the largest undergraduate applicant pool in the College’s history. William & Mary received more than 12,800 applicants for the Class of 2015, a record number for the seventh year in a row. The College announced plans earlier this year to modestly increase its number of in-state students and next year’s freshman class will increase by a total of 50 undergraduates.
“We are very pleased with this group of admitted students,” said Henry Broaddus, associate provost for enrollment and dean of admission. “Thanks to another record-setting applicant pool, we admitted a group of students that is one of our most diverse and academically accomplished ever.”
Admission staff have spent the past several months carefully reading each application and shaping this year’s group of admitted students.
Broaddus shared a few highlights of this year’s group:
· 31.6 percent of the admitted students are students of color. This is an increase from last year’s final total of 31.0 percent.
· The percentage of first-generation college students increased from 9.0 percent to 9.6 percent of the admitted students.
· 86.1 percent of admitted students with a high-school rank finished in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. Broaddus noted that only 38.5 percent of admitted students attend a high school that reports class rank, down from 40.2 percent a year ago.
· The percentage of legacies among the admitted students increased from 5.8 percent to 6.1 percent.
· SAT scores were comparably strong to previous years. The middle 50th percentile for the SAT Critical Reading and Math scores was 1300 to 1490, compared to 1300 to 1500 a year ago. The median score was 1400, the same as last year.
Broaddus noted that an increase in class size meant that this year’s admit rate of 34.6 percent is slightly higher than last year’s rate of 31.8 percent. Starting with 50 additional undergraduates this year, William & Mary has agreed to add 150 in-state undergraduates as well as 50 out-of-state students over the next four years. The College is also adding another 20 entering students as part of its new joint degree program with the University of St Andrews. Announced a year ago, the program is one of the few of its kind in the world and allows students to spend two years at each historic institution to complete a joint degree in one of four fields – economics, English, history and international relations. Broaddus added that he expects next year’s incoming class will enable the university to maintain an overall undergraduate enrollment in which 65 percent are in-state students.
Approximately 3,000 visitors are expected to be in town this weekend as part of Saturday’s Day for Admitted Students. Admitted students and their families will visit campus, take part in activities to introduce them to campus and meet and congregate with current students, faculty, staff and administrators.
“Next year’s entering class will be as strong as ever, and these students reflect the extent to which William & Mary continues to be a destination for the best and brightest students across the Commonwealth and around the world,” said Broaddus. “We look forward to welcoming them to the Tribe.”