It’s that time of year again. Spring is in the air, tour guides lead hordes of excited high school seniors across the campuses, and the acceptance rates tell the same tale: It is getting harder to get into the Claremont Colleges. At the same time, colleges reported increases in geographic, socioeconomic, and ethnic diversity in the pool of students admitted to the class of 2018.
Of the 5Cs, Scripps College saw the largest drop in its admission rate, from 36 percent to 27 percent, according to Vice President for Enrollment Victoria Romero.
The college had its largest applicant pool this year, 16 percent larger than the previous year, Romero explained. She added that Scripps admitted 758 students this year, compared to last year’s 847. Last year, 272 students enrolled although only 250 were expected to, so the college decreased the number of students it admitted this year to ensure adequate housing.
At Pomona College, the admission rate dropped from 13.9 percent to 12.1 percent, and there was an 8 percent increase in applicants, according to Senior Associate Dean and Director of Admissions Art Rodriguez.
“The Pomona applicant pool has traditionally been very self-selective, meaning that students who are applying to Pomona are looking for a high-caliber academic institution where they have resources available to them to be able to meet their academic interests and to provide a strong foundation for whatever they might want to do in the future,” Rodriguez said.
Pitzer College reported a similar decrease in admission rates, from 14.5 percent last year of 4,115 applicants to 13 percent of 4,324 applicants this year, according to Angel Perez, vice president and dean of admission and financial aid at Pitzer. Perez wrote in an email to TSL that he is “extremely excited about the class of 2018.”
“It is one of the most diverse, accomplished and values-driven classes we have admitted to the College in our history,” he added.
Peter Osgood, director of admissions at Harvey Mudd College, wrote in an email to TSL that he was struck by the “larger number than before who had made minor patents, apps for mobile devices that were already well received by the public, and generally had demonstrated persistence and ingenuity.”
“We feel we were able to identify a greater number of students who had distinguished themselves on a national and international level,” Osgood wrote, mentioning that there were several admitted students who had participated in international olympiads in science fields.
HMC had an acceptance rate of 13.9 percent, according to an article in The Washington Post.
Osgood noted that HMC sought a very particular applicant pool for the class of 2018.
“We were actively seeking students who embraced the kind of community HMC fosters: students who prefer collaboration over competition, students who express an active desire to take a substantial education in fields outside of STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math], and we kept a close watch for those who have a lot of potential for further growth,” Osgood wrote.
Rodriguez cited a change in the demographics of applicants to Pomona, including a 45 percent increase in applicants from Southern states and a 30 percent increase in applicants from Northern states. He also cited a growth in international applicants.
“Hopefully … it represents as much diversity that we would like it to—geographically, ethnically—but also diversity of academic interests,” Rodriguez said.
Of the students admitted to Pitzer’s class of 2018, 9.4 percent are from other countries. Perez cited a growth in the number of “Third-Culture” students, which he said were “students who hold American passports but have lived most of their lives abroad.”
Slightly more than 40 percent of students admitted to Pitzer identify as students of color, according to Perez. The female-to-male ratio is 59-to-41, and 43 percent of the class is from California.
Romero reported that the makeup of the group of students admitted to the Scripps class of 2018 is more socioeconomically and ethnically diverse than in previous years.
The Claremont McKenna College admissions department could not be reached for comment.