Because of its largest ever applicant pool, Grinnell’s acceptance rate has dropped below 30 percent, raising the College’s selectivity ranking to its highest level in years.
“We admitted over 1300 students this year for both early decision and regular decision,” said Director of Admission Doug Badger. “Our goal is about 450 for the first-year class. Hopefully we’ll have 50-55 international students, and the rest will be domestic students.”
Accepted students still have until May 1 to postmark a response to the College’s letter. The results of that will determine how many students are admitted from the wait list, leaving Grinnell with the final acceptance numbers for the year.
Grinnell generally enjoys a very diverse geographic representation in the student body, and the Class of 2016 is no exception.
“Although we have terrific students on campus already, we are confident that the next entering class will be a very strong one for the college,” Badger said. “The strength of this year’s admitted pool is the standardized test scores. If you look at them, they are notably stronger than we’ve had in recent years.”
In the international pool, Grinnell admitted 23 students from other countries during early decision this year.
“We are still trying to get 12 percent of each incoming class as non-US citizens. So that means if we look at a class with 450 or so, we are told to bring in 54 international students,” Badger said. “This year we took a handful more students in ED2. So nearly half of the class is already confirmed, which is good for security reasons.”
The College did not anticipate the level of increase of applications from both international and domestic applicants. Last year, approximately 900 international prospective students submitted applications, and around 11 percent were admitted. This year, the number surged from 900 to 1428.
“That’s a huge jump, and most of them are in the regular decision pool,” said Jonathan Edwards, Coordinator of International Admission
Of these 1428 admitted students, 84 students from 36 countries are represented in the regular pool.
“This year is kind of nice because we have a little more variety in Latin America, like Costa Rica, Ecuador,” Edwards said. “We also saw an increase of applicants from India and we accepted more because a number of Indian students are graduating.”
The Admissions Office is trying to keep the number of admitted students from each country representative of the number of applications from each. China is undoubtedly the number one exporter of students to the US, with around 400 applicants for Grinnell. The second is India, which usually has 70-80 applications. Grinnell’s international yield, or number of students who commit to attending, is usually around 38 percent, compared to 28 percent for the domestic pool.
“Because we had more applicants, we could be more selective, since we were selecting higher profile students, so the average test score and GPA will be higher, but what happens when you admit those really high achieving students is that other schools are admitting them too, and they’ll have more options, so the yield might be a little bit lower,” Edwards said.