Class Of 2018 Contains More International Students
After flooding campus with their famous white folders throughout April, the members of the Whitman College admitted class of 2018 have made their decisions. Of the 1,441 admitted first-year students, 381 have already committed to Whitman, and the Office of Admission plans to wait out a few more before admitting students from the waiting list. Transfer students have until May 20 to enroll.
The Office of Admission, fortified with three new members, pulled in a bumper crop of prospective students this year. The record number of applicants to Whitman, 3,791 all told, forced the office to decrease the rate of admission to 39 percent. The office targets a class of around 395 first-year students and 20 transfer students each year. Dean of Admission & Financial Aid Tony Cabasco estimates that four or five students with extended enrollment deadlines will send in deposits and expects the class of 2018 to solidify by the end of May. In the college admissions business, though, there are always some unknowns.
“It’s never finalized until … August, when they arrive,” said Cabasco, “but … by the end of May we’ll have a good indication of what the group is going to look like.”
At present, that picture has already started to form, and it has a few quirks in comparison to previous years. In this class, 116 of the enrolled students—about 30 percent—hail from Washington. This percentage typically clocks in at around 33 percent. The class set a record for international applicants and admittances: the number of international applicants increased to 421 from 298 last year, a 41 percent increase. Nine foreign countries are represented in the class, including students from Bhutan and Uzbekistan, the first-ever students from those nations to attend Whitman. The class also set a record for applications from the states of New York and Hawaii.
The remaining uncertainty comes largely from students who decide at the last minute to defer their admission in order to take gap years. Cabasco estimates that anywhere between 15 and 20 students do this annually. A still smaller number of applicants also change their minds last minute.
All these students open up spaces for waitlisted applicants. Waiting list acceptance therefore varies widely: the class of 2017 accepted around 10 students from the waiting list, but the class of 2016 took none, according to Cabasco.
“The students on the waitlist are students that we think are great,” said Cabasco. “We just couldn’t find room for them. It’s nice to be able to call a few who really are interested in Whitman.”
Enrolled students have already begun to connect with each other and upperclassmen via platforms like the class’s Facebook group. Among them is Christy Carly of Claremont, Calif.
“I look forward to meeting everyone,” she said. “On the Facebook group … it seems like there are a lot of awesome characters.”
As always, a current of excitement runs through the incoming first-years. Emma Bishop of Orinda, Calif. is also optimistic about her upcoming transition.
“I just feel like I’ve been really lucky with where I’ve been placed,” said Bishop. “I can tell already that the incoming class of 2018 is super accepting and supportive and overall excited about learning.”
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