Class of 2012 covers all U.S. states except Delaware, shows more applicants from China, Korea

By Zach Selke

The familiar “Yes Macalester” letters have been sent to the admitted class of 2012 over the past few weeks, with a record 5,040 applicants that the college eventually dwindled down to 480 students. The class covers a wide geographic area including 91 countries, 49 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. Delaware was the only U.S. state that was not represented.This year’s applicant pool varied somewhat from those of the past, including a higher number of applicants from New York and the western United States. Over the past eight years, the number of applicants from the West Coast has tripled. Twenty-four percent of admitted domestic students are students of color.

On the international front, there were significantly more applicants from China and Korea, in addition to the usual countries, like Sweden and Jamaica, which generally have a considerable number of citizens that attend Macalester.

This year’s acceptance rate of 41 percent was slightly higher than last year’s rate of 40.6 percent. However, the acceptance rate for international students was significantly lower than the overall rate at 18.9 percent.

“The admissions rate for international students is significantly lower due to the fact we are more ‘need-aware’ of these applicants,” said Lorne Robinson, dean of Admissions and Financial Aid.

However, the recent $13.5 million gift from Philanthropist Shelby Davis will allow United World College graduates to receive up to $20,000 in financial aid. This has been reflected in the international student pool with about 50 percent of the applicants coming from UWCs around the world.

Macalester’s decision to engage in “need-aware” admissions has continued this year, Robinson said.

With regard to the expected yield, Robinson said, “Our guess on the yield is about as accurate as most people’s NCAA brackets.”

Macalester has admitted between 30 and 60 applicants from the waitlist each year between 2005 and 2007, but only six applicants all together between 2001 and 2004.

The average SAT score for the admitted class was 1410, with an average critical reading score of 720 and average math score of 690, Robinson said.

“This is the nature of Macalester. We have more female applicants, and women tend to do better on the critical reading section nationally,” he said.

The “Macalester Class of 2012” Facebook group already has over 200 members, with future first-years engaging in various topics of discourse, such as boycotting the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. As the letters of admission have been going out, current students have been working with Admissions on phonathons to prospective students.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Franz Meyer ’09, MCSG President and phonathon volunteer, said. “There’s food and you get to talk about Macalester. What more could you ask for?