Largest Applicant Pool in History for MHC's Class of 2004

Mount Holyoke has recorded the largest applicant pool in history for the class of 2004. This year 2,613 high school seniors competed for admission to the nation's oldest institution of higher education for women, surpassing last year's pool of 2,438 at an increase of 7 percent. As of May 16, 552 students have accepted an offer of admission, and 535 are expected to ultimately enroll. "Given the fact that the class will melt a bit," says Diane Anci, director of admission, "we expect to come in right on target."

In addition to exceeding expectations for applications received in 2000, Anci says the applicant pool is also one of the strongest in the College's history. "The acceptance rate has decreased a significant 4 percent," she notes. In contrast with the 59 percent acceptance rate for the class of 2003, the acceptance rate for students matriculating in 2004 has been reduced to 55 percent.
The College continues to experience a strong yield of 38 percent on acceptances (accepted students who decide to come to MHC). Jane Brown, dean of enrollment, says, "our target class of 535 meets the goals we have set for ideal accommodation. We are well equipped for the new pool of students, and we do not anticipate the housing crunch that occupied our summer last year."
Both Brown and Anci attribute the increase in applications to several factors and underscore the successful efforts of the enrollment unit. "Because of the overall high energy and successful initiatives at Mount Holyoke, we're attracting more attention and therefore more students," says Brown. "We also have very strategic communication, admission, and financial aid plans in place. The admission office's personalized approach," says Brown, "has been enhanced by the active participation of numerous Mount Holyoke volunteers--faculty, alumnae, and students, and has been strengthened by a new Senior Fellows program," a program in which Mount Holyoke seniors interview prospective students.
Anci agrees that the College's new and effective admission strategies have made a striking impact. "Mount Holyoke is hot," she says. "So many things are happening here. Across the board we've done a great job of communicating our strengths to women who are potentially great matches for us. We build a class one student at a time." Demographics have changed, too, she says, with more eligible women increasing the applicant pool.
Brown points out that the "strong class of 2004 will complement an already wonderful student body at Mount Holyoke; they will add to the existing pool of academic talent." SAT scores among enrolling students are up this year. The verbal mean is 645 (as compared to 626 for the class of 2003) and the math mean is 613 (previously 602). A diverse group of women from thirty-two countries and forty-four states will be representing the incoming class. International students will constitute 13.5 percent of the class, and African Americans, Latinas, Asian Americans and Native Americans will make up 17.3 percent of the student body. Thirteen percent have legacy connections--mothers, sisters, aunts or other relatives who graduated from Mount Holyoke.