With 5,407 applications—3.2 percent more than last year—for 485 spots in the Class of 2017, Colby admissions had a record-breaking year. But a look into the details tells an even more impressive story.

Colby’s biggest applicant pool ever produced a class that achieved diversity goals, that boasts a perfect (and rare) 50-50 split between men and women, and whose mean SAT math and writing scores increased 10 points each. The admit rate went down three points to 26 percent (that decline representing increased selectivity on the College’s part), and the yield increased from 32.5 percent to 35.3 percent (meaning more of the students accepted chose to attend Colby). The Class of 2017 will come to Waterville from 42 countries and 34 states, with 56 percent of the class from outside New England. 

Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Terry Cowdrey said June 12 that she expects to see some attrition in the 508 students who made deposits to reserve a space in the first-year class, allowing Colby to come very close to its target of a 485-member class. That summer melt, which had already begun, mainly reflects students who defer enrollment to take a gap year for other education, work, travel, or internships, Cowdrey said.

Twenty-one percent of the class comprises students of color—107 of the 508 students who made deposits. The number of F-visa foreign students in the class doubled from last year, from 34 to 68. Twelve percent of the class is from Maine, and there are 17 Davis United World College Scholars. 

Admission for transfer students was even more selective.

Thirty-nine percent of the class, the same percentage as last year, will receive financial aid grants. This year those grants average $41,074 for a total of $7.96 million.