Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Legacy Admissions

An alumnus interviewer has forwarded me an e-mail he received from the Admissions Office. The alumnus wonders if the increase in legacy admissions is an attempt to placate disgruntled alumni. The e-mail below:

From: Dartmouth Admissions
Sent: Tuesday, April 01
To: [redacted]
Subject: Admissions Results for the Class of 2012!

Dear [redacted]:

THANK YOU again for all of your help interviewing and recruiting the remarkable group of young people who have been admitted to Dartmouth's Class of 2012! If you were assigned an interview through the I-Track online interview assignment tool, you will be able to see the admissions results for your interviewee(s) by logging in at http://itrack.dartmouth.edu/. If you are interested in learning about the decisions of applicants whom were not assigned to you in I-Track, please contact your local District Enrollment Director .

*NOTIFICATION: Applicants learned of their decisions last evening (March 31st) by checking Dartmouth's Online Applicant Services website. Decision letters have have been mailed to all students in North America and to all admitted students regardless of where they live. Waitlisted and denied students who live outside of North America will receive only electronic notification (Sons and daughters of alumni who were denied admission and who live outside of North America will receive a letter from Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Maria Laskaris).

*IVY LEAGUE MORATORIUM: The Ivy League requires that we refrain from initiating contact with students until 6:00 PM (your local time) on Wednesday, April 2nd. Please do not contact students prior to that time. Thanks!

*DIMENSIONS: All students who have been admitted during Regular Decision have been invited to attend the "Dimensions of Dartmouth" program here in Hanover from April 17th - 19th. "Dimensions" provides many opportunities for admitted students to meet faculty and current students and to explore the campus. Students have also received information about visiting campus at times other than during "Dimensions."

*THE NUMBERS: This year's applicant pool of 16,536 was the largest in the College's history and represents a 16.6 percent increase over our previous record total. The rate of admission for the Class of 2012 is 13.2 percent, making this the most competitive year Dartmouth has ever seen for first-year admission. Articles in "The D" and on the college's website (links below) provide many important details about the group that has been admitted. Obviously, these students bring so much more to the College and to their home communities than the statistics can ever show!

One statistic missing from the articles is that the 164 sons and daughters of alumni who have been admitted this year make up the largest group of legacies admitted to the College in at least the last fifteen years and perhaps much longer than that. As is typically the case, the rate of admission for sons and daughters of alumni is more than twice the overall rate of admission.

You can find articles about the group of admitted students at:
and at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~news/releases/2008/03/31.html

*WAITLISTED STUDENTS: You can find our advice to waitlisted students at

Thank you once again for the time and thought that you've invested in interviewing the students who have applied for admission to Dartmouth. As a former Alumni Interviewer, I know that interviewing can be quite a challenge when almost nine out of every ten applicants will not be admitted to the College. As admission to Dartmouth becomes more and more selective, the perspective of interviewers who know the College well can be quite helpful to the Admissions Committee as we wrestle with these very difficult decisions.


Dan Parish '89
Director of Admissions Recruitment and Communication


Anonymous said...

"The alumnus wonders if the increase in legacy admissions is an attempt to placate disgruntled alumni."

Or maybe reward supportive alumni and, thereby, let the others know that support has its rewards.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's even simpler. Harvard and Princeton eliminated early decision. Therefore, all of their people are still in the soup and that means yields will be lower for the other schools. Accepting 50 more legacies may offset some of the decline in yield. What's wrong with that?

Anonymous said...

These kids were born in 1990. Dartmouth reached male/female parity during the 80s. Maybe alumnae have smarter kids than alumni.

Anonymous said...

The numbers change every year. Was last year's low number of legacies a punishment for something? No. The wondering alumnus is reading too much into a small and highly variable statistic.

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