The 5Cs released regular decision admissions results for applicants to the class of 2021 in late March. Applications and admissions statistics varied across the colleges, but some reached or came close to record-low admission rates.
Pomona College admitted 741 of 9,046 applicants during the 2016-17 admissions cycle — a record-low 8.2 percent acceptance rate, down from 9.1 percent for the class of 2020.
“I expect we’ll end up with 415 new first-year students and 20 new transfer students,” Seth Allen, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, wrote in an email to TSL.
Among students that will make up the class of 2021, 187 students were accepted Early Decision. These students were accepted from an ED applicant pool of 891 for an ED admission rate of 21 percent, a slight increase from last year’s admission rate of 19.4 percent.
According to Allen, Pomona’s ED option does not advantage students of higher socioeconomic backgrounds, who are more likely to have resources that prepare them for the college application process.
“We look at every applicant in their own context in evaluating their record of achievement, talent, and potential,” Allen wrote. “We also sponsor fall weekend fly out programs each year geared towards students from less advantaged backgrounds so they can see the campus and the community for themselves and make a decision about whether or not to apply Early Decision or Regular Decision.”
Pomona’s accepted student pool this year consists of 56.7 percent domestic students of color. The pool is 19.4 percent Latino, 15.9 percent Asian, 12.6 percent black, and 7.7 percent mixed race. The class also has three Native Americans and five native Hawaiian students. The accepted student pool is 53 percent female and 47 percent male.
The accepted student pool has 11.4 percent international students and 20.4 percent first-generation college students. Several students were also matched or recruited through college access programs, including 16 from QuestBridge, 22 from the Posse Foundation, and three from Pomona’s Academy for Youth Success program.
Scripps College admitted 949 students, 33.4 percent of the 2841 applications they received. Scripps’ ED admission rate this year was 38 percent, a decrease from last year’s admission rate, according to Vice President for Enrollment Victoria Romero. However, the regular decision admission rate, 33 percent, was 8 percent higher than last year.
The Scripps admitted pool is 23 percent Asian American/Asian, 14 percent Latina, eight percent two or more races, and five percent black students. Nine percent of the admitted students are first-generation college students, and two are Questbridge Scholars.
According to Romero, many students needing financial aid tend not to apply ED.
“If a family wants to compare financial aid processes ,ED is not always the best option,” she said. “Over half of the pool applied for financial aid and nearly half received financial aid.”
Pitzer College saw a slight increase in the acceptance rate from last year. Pitzer accepted 584 of a total of 3,753 applicants, or 15.56 percent, up from 13.4 percent for the class of 2020, according to Vice President for Admission and Financial Aid Yvonne Berumen.
The combined early decision acceptance rate also rose to 34.4 percent for the class of 2021, up from 30.8 percent for the class of 2020, giving ED applicants slightly more than double the chance of being admitted compared to regular decision students.
“ED students are generally students that have shown the most interest; they have toured, interviewed and attended events on campus,” Berumen wrote in an email to TSL. “All applicants are admitted under the same criteria.”
According to Berumen, the class of 2021’s admitted student pool is 13.5 percent Asian, 6.9 percent black, 13.5 percent Hispanic, and 9.6 percent two or more races. 12.8 percent of accepted students are first-generation college students, and 42 percent will receive financial aid. The average financial aid package for the class of 2021 will be $46,388.
Claremont McKenna College received 6,350 applications for the class of 2021, and accepted 657 applicants, or 10.35 percent. According to CMC Vice President for Admission and Financial Aid Jeff Huang, this was the second-largest applicant pool in CMC’s history.
CMC admitted 207 of 667 ED applicants, for an ED admission rate of about 31 percent, slightly down from last year’s 31.9 percent early decision admission rate. CMC admitted 450 applicants in the regular decision admission cycle, amounting to 8 percent of the regular decision applicant pool. This was higher than last year’s 7 percent rate.
“Students admitted through Early Decision are similar to students admitted through Regular Decision,” Huang wrote in an email to TSL. “Our standards remain the same. We have a high proportion of recruited student-athletes who are admitted in ED.”
CMC was unable to provide demographic data about their admission pool to TSL.
Harvey Mudd College accepted 566 of 4,078 applicants for a 13.88 percent acceptance rate. The admission rate was slightly higher for the class of 2021 than for the class of 2020, according to Vice President for Admission and Financial Aid Thyra Biggs.
“We are looking for a slightly larger class” this year, Biggs wrote in an email to TSL.
The early decision rate, however, was relatively consistent. HMC accepted 81 of 503 ED applicants, or 16.1 percent. HMC keeps its ED admissions rate relatively low because the ED applicant pool lacks diversity, Biggs wrote.
Overall, HMC’s accepted student pool is 10.6 percent first-generation college students, 17.1 percent Hispanic/Latino, 20 percent Asian or Asian American, 7 percent black or African American, and 13 percent multiracial. Fifty international applicants were admitted.
According to Biggs, the strength of HMC’s applicants makes selecting which applicants to admit difficult.
“We continue to be humbled by the strength of our applicant pool,” Biggs wrote. “We estimate that almost 80 percent of the students who apply would be great at HMC, and so, like our sister colleges, we have to make some hard decisions. This year’s admitted students are as remarkable as those that came before them.”