In the history of Babson College, the first-year class of 2020 is undoubtedly the biggest cohort that matriculated, with the numbers showing that at 588 students, about 60 more students chose to enroll this year as compared to the previous year.
The acceptance rate, which dropped from 28% to 26% last year, currently stands at 25%–the lowest it has ever been thus affirming that the admissions process has become even more selective. In addition, the yield rate which traditionally stands at 27-28% was higher this year, which means that although the admitted students are academically more competitive and are likely to have other choices among top notch schools, a greater number of the first-years chose to complete their undergraduate degree at Babson.
It is thus upon the Office of Undergraduate Admissions Office to adjust the algorithm used to determine selection and yielding of students because as the Dean of the Undergraduate School, Ian Lapp confirms, “The population growth seen this academic year was unintentional and will not be the class size for future incoming cohorts.”
This year’s large intake does reflect a growing level of interest in Babson and its commitment towards promoting entrepreneurship of all kinds, however, the size of the campus cannot fully support additional students. The population increase has had an impact on the availability of adequate housing on campus with the effect being that several transfer students lacked on-campus housing this year while several rooms in residential houses were subdivided to accommodate more students.
Similarly, despite the warm reception of the new dining services from Chartwells, there has been the tendency of long queues forming during peak hours of the day at both Trim and Reynolds. There has also been limited opportunity to adjust class schedules or take some of the required courses, which prompted the Registrar’s Office to add more sections to certain courses in order to accommodate the increasing numbers. Finding parking spaces in the designated campus areas has become an even greater struggle with students commenting that “I’m trying to find parking or I had to park far away” is currently a valid excuse for being a few minutes late to class.
Nonetheless, Dean Lapp states that there are currently no expansion plans underway for the campus but rather that the school is keen on pursuing alternative means of adjusting to the increased population. As he emphasizes, “This is no crisis just community, with the additional students adding to the intellectual enrichment of the campus.”