Class of 2023 Smallest in Recent History


The 2023 graduating class will be the smallest in recent history with fewer than 400 graduating as part of the class. Elizabeth White Hurst, Registrar, said that currently there are 335 people graduating in May 2023, though the number of students graduating will continue to fluctuate in the coming weeks until final grades are submitted.

Of those students, just 264 enrolled at Dickinson in the Fall 2019.

The Class of 2023 was smaller than previous classes from the outset. Dickinson accepted students at a lower rate in 2019 due to what was then the largest application pool in college history, but the rate of enrollment did not match expectations. This led to a lower starting size for the current graduating class. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has also impacted the size of the class, with many students choosing to take a leave of absence or transfer from the institution due to the decision to continue with primarily online instruction during the 2020-2021 academic year. 

However, the class size is still below other recent classes since the pandemic. The Class of 2021 had 486 students and the Class of 2022 had 509 students. While those were both down from pre-pandemic averages of around 520 or 530 students per graduating class in the years prior to the pandemic, neither of the previous two class years were as small as the current graduating class.

The return of larger class sizes is already being felt on campus through the housing lottery. A larger group of incoming seniors lead to increased demand for apartments, singles, and other popular housing options. Juniors and sophomores had fewer options outside of traditional residence halls.