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The Wesleyan Argus | Class of 2026 Admissions Results: University Records Lowest Acceptance Rate Ever

c/o Sam Hilton, Associate Editor

After evaluating 14,521 students, the largest pool of applicants in the University’s history, the Admissions Office released the Regular Decision (RD) results on Saturday, March 26. , an acceptance rate of 13.9% for the incoming freshman class. The 5.5% decrease from the Class of 2025 not only signifies the largest drop in the acceptance rate in one year on record, but also marks the Universitys the lowest admission rate ever.

The Admissions Office hope to register a total of 750 to 770 students in the class of 2026, including the 473 who had already committed before RD. This means that there are 277 to 297 places open for admitted DR students for the University to meet its target. The University also aims to bring 25 to 35 transfer students to campus in the fall.

According to the Office of Institutional Research, which has admissions data going back to the Class of 1977 (the 1972-1973 admissions cycle), the acceptance rate for the Class of 2026 is now the most selective on record. This new low point comes on the heels of the two the recent pressure of over-enrolment about the University community and a long-standing trend increasingly competitive admissions cycles.

Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Amin Gonzalez ’96 explained that many measures and metrics usually present in the college admissions process have returned due to the waning nature of the pandemic.

“The pandemic and its variants have impacted the admissions cycle this year, but not as significantly as in 2020-21,” Gonzalez wrote in an email to The Argus. “Most students have returned to in-person school, college campuses have been opened to visitors, standardized testing is more widely available, and extracurricular activities have resumed in varying capacities.”

Gonzalez also noted that the University’s COVID-19 vaccine and safety protocols have allowed more on-campus admissions initiatives to return, though off-campus programs have yet to fully rebound.

“While the pandemic and its variants have continued to pose challenges, this year has been [a] a bit more of a “back to normal” in that we were able to welcome vaccinated and boosted visitors to campus for in-person visits,” Gonzalez wrote. “Admissions deans have not, however, resumed large-scale travel and outreach beyond Middletown.”

While fortunate enough to retain staff throughout the 2020-2021 school year, the Admissions Office has experienced some staff turnover during the 2021-2022 cycle. The University hired a handful of new Admissions Deans, all of whom required some form of acclimatization to the Office of Admissions. While a period adjustment is normal for any group of new hires, its overlap with the increased volume of applications posed an additional challenge.

“While we were pleased to welcome several new admissions and financial aid colleagues this year, the hiring and training processes were difficult as they did not align with previous timelines. , but were instead staggered and overlapped with standard day-to-day operations throughout the cycle,” Gonzalez wrote.

c/o Sam Hilton, Associate Editor

Despite this, the Admissions Office successfully assessed the largest number of applicants in the University’s history. While there are no exact numbers for the class until decisions on enrollment offers are due on Sunday, May 1, demographics and data on admitted students can provide insight into how the class might form.

Of those admitted to the class of 2026, 48% applied for need-based financial aid, 48% identified as national students of color, 10% are international citizens and 16% would be the first in their families to attend to a four-year university. These areas have all experienced growth relative to students admitted for the class of 2025most notable being among National Students of Color – 42% of admissions in the class of 2025, 6% lower than the class of 2026.

In terms of academic preparation, 87% of admitted students have completed mathematics through calculus, 82% have taken courses in the three laboratory sciences (biology, chemistry and physics) and 78% have a four-year master’s degree in a single foreign language.

In addition, 60% of admitted students chose to have their standardized test results taken into account. The median ACT score was 34, the median SAT evidence-based reading and writing score was 750, and the median SAT math score was 770. These numbers are very similar to those for the class of 2025, with a slight increase in the midsection of the math SAT score (750 for admissions in the class of 2025, 770 for admissions in the class of 2026).

As those accepted into the Class of 2026 weigh their college options, the Admissions Office turns its attention to the enrollment drive. The highlight of the Bureau’s admitted student programming is WesFest, which is typically a three-day program for admitted students to explore the University’s offerings. This academic year, WestFest will move away from its usual structure to accommodate admitted and current students.

c/o Sam Hilton, Associate Editor

c/o Sam Hilton, Associate Editor

“To provide admitted students and families with flexibility as well as to keep our community safe, we have decided to host WesFest on three consecutive Fridays in April rather than three consecutive days in the middle of the month,” Gonzalez wrote.

WesFest for the Class of 2026 will take place in person on April 8, April 15 and April 22, with a cap of 250 attendees per day for 125 admitted students and their plus-ones, all of whom must be fully vaccinated and boosted.

This year’s WestFest itinerary will include opening hours for University departments, a club fair hosted by the Office of Student Involvement, several panels for incoming students and parents, a handful of mock classes, live chemistry demonstrations, Shabbat services and many other opportunities for admitted students to connect with the campus community.

The Admissions Office has also planned various virtual events throughout April to reach and connect with admitted students who may not be able to attend WestFest, including “chill and chat” with current students, Q&A sessions with trustees and several alumni panels.

Sam Hilton can be reached at [email protected]

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