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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Middlebury Admits Class of 2023, First Class Born in 21st Century

The college offered admission to 1,175 regular decision applicants, it announced on March 23, bringing the overall acceptance rate for this admissions cycle to 15.8 %. Prospective students were chosen from a pool of 9,750 applications, the largest in the college’s history.

This year’s rate is the lowest in several years’ — last year saw a rate of 18.4% and the year before saw a rate of 19.7% — but Dean of Admissions Greg Buckles noted that the rate may rise a percentage point after May 1, when the school accepts students off the waitlist.

With recruitment efforts broadening, those accepted to the Middlebury Class of 2023 represent all 50 states and Washington, D.C., as well as 82 countries. Recently, the Admissions Office has made an effort to recruit students from Florida and other Southern states. These efforts have yielded results; Florida is among the top five states for most students admitted in this cycle.

“Simply stated, that’s where the people are,” Buckles said when asked about the college’s efforts to admit more students from the South. He noted that the number of high school graduates in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic is declining, a change which could have significant ramifications for a school like Middlebury that draws heavily from these regions.

“Most of the demographic growth in the U.S. is coming in the southern and western states. While we’ve had a solid presence in the West for some time now, we’ve not had the same presence in the South.”

The most admits from the class of 2023 hail from California, followed by New York and Massachusetts.

Efforts to expand Middlebury’s reach has come in multiple forms. School visits, partnerships with community-based organizations, and connections with local alumni are some ways in which Middlebury recruits students in new areas. This focus becomes especially important as the number of high school graduates in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic decreases.

Middlebury takes a personalized approach to admissions outreach. Michelle Nelson, an admissions counselor responsible for managing recruitment efforts in Florida, recently reached out to current students who hail from that state. She attempts to connect prospective students from Florida with those who currently attend Middlebury.

College admissions was a hot topic in the news this year, following the scandal that resulted in the prosecution of 16 wealthy families earlier this week. Buckles said that the scandal did not influence the college’s admission process, since the story broke after the committee had already made its decisions, but said that it did review its databases to guarantee integrity.

Buckles also noted that the Class of 2023 differs from other years in a unique way.

“This is one of the first classes where virtually all of the applicants will have been born in the 21st century, which is interesting to think about,” he said. “They have no physical connection to the previous century, which is reflected in a number of ways: how they interact with each other and society at large, how they think about the future, their perspective on politics, diversity, inclusion and access.”

The Office of Admissions is now turning its attention to Preview Days, which provide prospective students an opportunity to explore campus and partake in a variety of activities, all while acquainting them with students and faculty. Preview Days will be held April 15-17.

Becca Amen

Becca Amen '22 is the Senior Local Editor.

She previously served as a Local editor, a staff writer and a copy editor.

Amen is a joint major in English and American Literatures and Philosophy.

During the summer of 2021, she interned at New England Review, where  she recorded and produced an episode of their literary podcast. Her past  stories include coverage on Ruth Hardy's run for Vermont State Senator  and a report on the town of Middlebury's 2019 climate strike.

In addition to her work at The Campus, Amen hosts a radio show on  WRMC, Middlebury's college radio, and serves as an editor for  Middlebury's Blackbird art and literary journal.