Dickinson Sees Rise in Applications for Class of 2025

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, many students have chosen to defer their enrollment to the 2021-22 school year. As a result, college acceptance rates for Fall 2020 increased significantly in an attempt to maintain adequate enrollment for the school year. This in turn means admissions may end up being more competitive for the class of 2025.

According to the statistics released yearly by the college, Dickinson experienced a decline in admission rates.. The acceptance rate for Fall 2019 admission at Dickinson was 49%, for Fall 2020 admission however, it dropped by 9% to 40%. 

Many people have been faced with financial and emotional hardships as a result of the ongoing pandemic. In order to assure a fair evaluation of students’ applications, the college made the decision to go test blind for the current admissions cycle.

“Health and safety have been our guiding decision-making principle since the start of the pandemic. As a test-optional school since 1995, it made complete sense to go test-blind (now called test-free) for this recruitment cycle,” said Cathy Davenport, Dean of Admissions. “We did not want prospective students and their families to put themselves at risk in seeking out standardized testing. Tests have been difficult to find, as many high schools (which serve as SAT and ACT ‘test centers’ on Saturdays) were not open, severely limiting the number of seats available to test students.”

When asked how the decision was made and if this policy will continue, Davenport said,“We brought the proposal to go test-free to the all-college committee on Enrollment and Student Life for discussion, to the President’s staff, and then to the full faculty meeting. We will re-evaluate in June whether we will remain test-free for the next cycle or revert to our test-optional policy.”

Since most students have been unable to attend in person visits and tours, the college has resorted to utilizing technology to provide students with information regarding the college. “Since March 2020, the Enrollment division and athletic coaches have been hosting virtual meetings, information sessions and interviews to assist students and families at a time when campus visits were not available. In July 2020, we began hosting campus tours that were limited to one family per guide so all could be socially distanced and masked while on campus,” said Davenport.

Davenport said that “while face-to-face time was limited to a small number of tours, the Marketing and Communications team created an unguided “Mermaid Tour’ where any visitor to campus can scan QR codes on buildings and signs and learn more about that location of campus.” Further, she said, “We also have a virtual campus tour for those who are not able to visit campus, and we have opportunities for personal video tours with a student answering questions.”

These have proved to be beneficial, because the college’s applications have increased from 5333 for Fall 2020 admission, to 6295 for Fall 2021 admission. Davenport also said that through early decision applicants, the college has enrolled 222 students towards the college’s target of 575 first years.