Colby has received a record number of applications for the Class of 2017—the class that will matriculate this September.

A total of 5,401 applications were received from students vying to enter as first-time freshmen in the fall of 2013, according to Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid Terry Cowdrey. That is a 3-percent increase over last year, when 5,241 applications were received, and it marks the third year running that Colby has set a new all-time record.

Overall academic quality of the pool is stronger, based on SAT scores and high school class rank of applicants, Cowdrey reported. The mean composite SAT score increased 39 points over last year’s average. 

The pool also is diverse. Applications from students of color increased 10.5 percent to 961, which is 18 percent of the applicant pool. Those applications include increases in every racial classification. International applications are also up 11 percent. 

Early Decision applications are slightly ahead of last year, comprising nearly 10 percent of applicants.

(updated Feb. 12, 2013)