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The Carletonian

Admission Rate Rises Following Slight Drop in Applications

<son for prospective student visits.

Last month, Carleton offered admission to 1436 applicants from the school’s second-largest application pool in history. The acceptance rate for the class of 2018 was 23 percent, as compared to 22 percent for the class of 2017. The slight drop in applications—about 10 percent—was “more or less consistent” with the experience of peer institutions, said Dean of Admissions Paul Thiboutot.

According to Thiboutot, the geographic spread of accepted students is similar to what it has been in recent years. “There are more admits from southern states and the west coast generally and a slight increase in international student acceptances.”

The class of 2018 is also on par academically with admitted students in recent years. “It was a very competitive year and the academic credentials represented in our admitted group are as outstanding as they have been for the past few years,” said Thiboutot.

While Thiboutot and his staff await a target 505 deposits, many of which have already been supplied by early decision admits, students accepted through regular decision have one final opportunity to determine whether Carleton is where they would like to spend the next four years of their lives. All admitted students are invited to participate in Accepted Student Days, which are held Thursday night through Saturday morning for two consecutive weekends in April.

“The overall goal [of ASD] is to expose admitted students to what Carleton academics and Carleton life is like. We’re a little unusual in that I’m not sure that many colleges invite students to stay for two nights, or even a Friday evening,” Thiboutot said.

Thiboutot explained that this is intentional. “There’s a reason why we kind of do it beginning on Thursday evening through Saturday morning. We give students a chance to gain a sense of life at Carleton on a Friday night… that’s all purposeful. We really want to give students a chance to experience classes, meet faculty, meet with a variety of students, and partake in activities.”

Thursday night opens with a welcome dinner attended by faculty from a wide variety of departments. Admissions personnel try to seat prospective students with faculty that match their interests. President Poskanzer then addresses the crowd, and musical entertainment follows.

Every prospective student is hosted by a current Carl. ASD participants are able to attend panels on a variety of topics related to the Carleton experience—studying abroad, intercultural life, financial aid—among others. Participants are also encouraged to attend classes and faculty office hours.

In deciding which applicants to admit, Thiboutot and his staff selected those who would “fit” in the Carleton community. ASD reverses roles between the college and attendees, who have already been accepted and must now weigh Carleton against their other options.

This is evident on the class of 2018’s Facebook page, where admitted students have publicly analyzed their choices for next year, calling upon current Carleton students to offer words of advice.

Thiboutot hopes that students who attend ASD will “walk away knowing that this is a wonderful community of intellectually curious individuals that are vibrant and energetic and interested in a whole variety of things.”

Approximately 150 prospective students are expected on campus for the 1st ASD, April 10-12, and 165 for the 2nd ASD, April 17-19.

“We have crossed our fingers that yield will remain similar to our experience of the past few years,” said Thiboutot. “Not high but on target. It is too early to tell anything about yield but we are excited by the students to whom we have offered admission… and hoping that just the right number will say yes to our offers.”

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