The numbers are in for Dartmouth’s Early Decision Class of 2020. No, not the number of students who’ve been admitted. Only the number of students who submitted applications to the College on the Hill. Dartmouth experienced a 2% increase for the Class of 2020 from last year’s total for Early Decision applications. And last year’s Early Decision pool, for the Class of 2019, was the largest in the history of Dartmouth College.
As referenced in “The Dartmouth,” “Students admitted through the early decision process comprised 41 percent of the Class of 2019. While a decade ago this figure was about 35 percent, it has been closer to 40 percent for the past several years. The number of early decision applications has increased every year since 2006, with the exception of a 12.6 percent drop in the number of early applications for the Class of 2017. Over this time, the number of applicants has increased from 1,287 to 1,859.”
There were some scares a couple of years ago when applications dipped for the Class of 2017, but these sorts of things happen every now and then. Yale’s Early Action applications are down this year. But only marginally. As we’ve long said on the pages of this blog and to every Ivy League newspaper, slight dips such as these are no reason for colleges to get bent out of shape and start second guessing their recruiting tactics. But there was no slight dip at Dartmouth this year. Rather, there was indeed a slight application uptick.
But does more applications mean it’ll be more competitive? Not necessary. Think about it this way: Does a C student with a 26 ACT score applying to Dartmouth make it more difficult for students to get in? No. Not in the least. So application numbers don’t tell the full story. They never have. But that doesn’t mean colleges don’t want to see those application numbers go up every year. They sure do — no matter what it is the colleges may say.