With a record number of applications in hand, the Admission Committee has completed the task of deciding who will receive a ticket to join the Class of 2011. And the selection process, always difficult, was made even more formidable this spring by the success of the past two years.
It's a dilemma created by the "incredibly positive" trend in applications, says Monica Inzer, dean of admission and financial aid. "More of the nation's top students are applying to Hamilton," she says.
Applications for the Class of 2011 were received from 4,951 prospective students, a leap of 350 over the previous high of 4,601 set in 2001. That flood of applications is coming from many of the best students. Average SAT scores of enrolling students have soared nearly 100 points since 2001. And in just four years, the proportion of enrolling students who graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class has risen from 60 percent to 74 percent.
"We are delighted with this level of interest," Inzer says. "Hamilton's open but rigorous curriculum, the abundance of undergraduate research opportunities, a strong sense of community and the success of our alumni have all contributed to the increased interest."
The record number of applications follows two of the largest incoming classes in the College's history -- the result, Inzer says, of an unexpectedly high number of students choosing to accept Hamilton's offer of admission. As a consequence, the Admission Committee is seeking to enroll about 33 to 35 fewer students than last year.
This, Inzer believes, will maintain Hamilton's student-faculty ratio and "preserve the individualized nature of a Hamilton education."