There’s an article in “The New York Times” by Laura Pappano entitled, “Ivy League Ups and (Yes) Downs” that we wanted to share with our readers. In the piece on Ivy League admission rates, Pappano writes how applications to the University of Pennsylvania rose by about 14% this year and fell by about as much at Dartmouth College. Many folks have wondered why Dartmouth’s applications were down this year and this particular piece includes a quote from Dartmouth’s Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid that we thought interesting.
As quoted in the piece on Ivy League admissions stats in “The New York Times,” “‘We are doing some work to understand why,’ says Maria Laskaris, Dartmouth dean of admissions and financial aid. For one, there are fewer applicants from the Northeast and Midwest, mirroring declining pools of high school students in the regions. And with most attending college within 200 miles of home, she says, ‘there are fewer students in our own backyard.’ Dartmouth’s reputation has also taken a hit over charges that it has failed to combat sexual violence on campus, spurring the president last month to propose a new sexual assault disciplinary policy.”
The fact is, though, are fewer applicants from the Northeast applying to colleges shouldn’t just be reflected in Dartmouth’s admissions statistics. If that’s the case, the University of Pennsylvania is in the Northeast as well so why weren’t their admissions statistics reflective of this demographic shift? Their backyard should have fewer students to pull from too and yet their applications were up 14%. As to the other possible causes for the decline in applications to Dartmouth, it could be the issue of sexual violence on campus. It could be the piece in “Rolling Stone” in which a former Dartmouth student sharply criticized the institution through his story of being a member of a Dartmouth fraternity. It could be lots of things. Until data miners mine the admissions data at the school, it’s still all just speculation.