News in Brief: Class of 2024 formed with higher acceptance rate, lower yield, greater racial and economic diversity

By Adil Alvi

Roughly double the usual number of first years opted to take a gap year and join the Class of 2025. (Van Barth)

Middlebury College welcomed 602 first-year students this fall, with 553 on campus and 49 studying remotely. This is a slight decrease from the initial 640 reported in May, as students decided to take gap years or defer until February. While some students may change their plans, the college anticipates a larger Feb class than the average of 100 students, although the final number won’t be known until January. 

Students were required to give an update on their enrollment intentions for the spring by Nov. 10. 

With an acceptance rate of 24%, the college saw a significant uptick in the number of students admitted this year compared to the previous admissions cycle, which had the lowest rate in recent years at 15.8%. The yield for the Class of 2024 and 2024.5 fell by about 9% from last year to 32%. This was impacted both by the Covid-19 pandemic and by the increase in students who requested a gap year.

Among those that matriculated this fall, 30% of the class are students of color, compared to 27% of the Class of 2023 and 2023.5 — a 3% increase. The college enrolled its largest class of students eligible for a Pell Grant — those who demonstrate exceptional financial needs — with 18.9% of all students receiving the grant, compared to 15% last year.

This “demonstrates success in our work in increasing the socioeconomic diversity of the class,” Dean of Admissions Nicole Curvin said. 

Many students decided to defer enrollment and join the Class of 2025. Sixty students opted to take a gap year and join Middlebury in fall 2021 — a much higher number than the average gap year approvals of 3035 each year, according to Curvin. 

“[International students] faced added challenges with enrolling at Middlebury including travel, health and visa restrictions,” Curvin said. The number of incoming international students, which averaged around 11% of students, fell below previous years, comprising only 9% of the fall 2020 incoming class. Curvin expects more international students to join Middlebury in the Feb class and for fall 2021.