As Babson’s centennial class settles in, admissions statistics are on the rise. Applicants to the Class of 2019 faced the most selective admissions process in the school’s 96-year history.
This cycle, applications jumped 21 percent, from 6,199 in 2014 to 7,515 in 2015. The average SAT score of enrolled students rose 24 points, to 1933. The school awarded $8.9 million in grants and scholarships. And, with 54 percent women, the Class of 2019 is Babson’s first ever majority female class.
Of course, acceptance rate—perhaps the most-watched statistic—dropped, from 28 percent to 26 percent. According to U.S. News & World Report, this places Babson among the 100 most selective schools in the nation. Acceptance rates nationwide have been falling in recent years, thanks to increased international competition, growth in the college-aged population, and applicants’ tendency to apply to more schools.
“There was a huge jump in international applications this year,” Courtney Minden, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, said. “We were drawing more from places like Africa or Southeast Asia.”
Minden also attributes the rise in applications to recent publicity. “There’s a good vibe about Babson all over the world,” Minden said.
Yield rate, the percentage of admitted students who matriculate, has also been trending downwards. This is due in part to Babson’s unique specialization, but also because students now admitted are more academically competitive than ever. They may have their choice among top-tier schools, whereas students ten years ago were likely to choose among more regional schools.
The Office of Undergraduate Admission is tasked with maintaining the school’s standards despite the rise in application volume. The question on every applicant’s mind: what do they look for?
“I think a lot about the conversations that are going to happen at Babson…namely, the conversations that happen in the classroom, that happen in Trim, and that happen in the residence halls,” Minden said. “We’re looking for a diversity of backgrounds.”
Minden says she is “cautiously optimistic” that current trends will continue. Still, she cautions against rampant expectations. “Amongst the students who are appropriate for Babson, we could be the one and only [choice], which by and large we are. But there’s a ceiling there.”