More than 60 percent of this year’s admitted applicants have already accepted their offers for New College, leading to an unprecedented incoming class of more than 600 students – effectively doubling the size of the college overnight. Last year the Admissions Office accepted 1,013 of the 1,717 applicants, but following in line with the patterns of previous years only 279 students accepted and enrolled.
This year, the college hoped to increase the incoming class by just over 10 percent and was aiming for an incoming cohort of 290. However, in the past month since sending out acceptance packages, more than 600 students have already accepted their offers and paid deposits. The Admissions Office has ordered a halt to accepting any more applicants, but already the school is wondering what it will do with the tidal wave of first-years heading for campus next fall.
“We’re not really sure what happened,” Admissions Coordinator Deirdre Carmicheal said. “We suspect it has something to do with our increasing prevalence in top college rankings, as well as our remarkable STARs, but we really had no reason to expect enrollment rates at this level.”
The college legally cannot rescind its acceptance offers, leading to panic within the administration about how to best handle the situation. Housing has become a major issue over the past few days.
“We’ll obviously be letting a lot more students live off campus next semester to open up rooms for the incoming first-years who are required to live on campus,” Mark Stier, associate dean for student affairs, said. “However, we’ve also come up with a creative solution. We’ll be turning the field behind Dort into a wilderness living learning community and renting out plots for students to set up camp on. This should satisfy the students who prefer on campus housing for transportation reasons.”