The college released its admissions decisions for the class of 2025 on March 29, admitting eight percent of a record-breaking 14,000 applications, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Matthew McGann told The Student. The number of applicants for the 2020-21 admissions cycle increased by 32 percent compared to last year’s pool of 10,601, and the admit rate decreased by four percentage points. Decisions were released at 18:21 (i.e. 6:21 p.m.) Eastern Standard Time, a nod to Amherst’s founding in 1821.
The 2020-21 admission cycle was unique in many ways, owing to changes prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic. On April 6, 2020, the college decided to go test-optional and halted the consideration of SAT Subject Tests, joining Williams, Middlebury, Hamilton and Tufts, which all adopted similar policies. Other NESCAC schools like Bowdoin and Connecticut College were already test-optional prior to this admissions cycle. Thirty-seven percent of admitted students took advantage of the test-optional policy and chose not to submit their test scores.
The nation’s top schools saw a record number of early applications, according to CNBC, and a plummeting of acceptance rates. Interestingly, the squeeze on selectivity at elite U.S. universities corresponds to a 4 percent decrease in undergraduate enrollment nationwide, according to data from National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Evidently, the Covid-19 pandemic has made getting into the nation’s most elite schools more difficult than ever, and Amherst is no exception.
The admitted students are just as diverse as the class of 2024, with 60 percent of the admitted students identifying as domestic students of color. The admitted students hail from 891 secondary schools in 50 countries around the world, including 48 U.S. states, plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands, McGann said.
A significant number of admitted students, 22 percent, will be first-generation college students. Ten percent are international students, which is typical for the college.
The college plans to enroll a typical class size of around 470 students, which brings the yield rate to about 42 percent. Additionally, McGann noted that approximately 40 students who deferred their admission last year are expected to enroll in the class of 2025.