The Forecast for the Class of 2009: Amazing

Interdisciplinary in their academic interests, intellectually engaged, international in both experience and outlook: these are just a few of the descriptors that can be used to characterize the candidates who applied to enter the Kenyon College Class of 2009. "It's a wonderfully diverse and vibrant group," notes Jennifer Delahunty Britz, dean of admissions and financial aid.

The media attention that Kenyon received during the 2004 presidential election seems to have attracted a larger group of students who are politically aware. "We are surprised by the number of students who mention in their applications and interviews that they heard about Kenyon during the election," Britz says.

Not only is the class one of the most interesting to cross admissions officers' desks, it is also the largest and most academically able. Despite a two-week earlier application deadline, 2.5 percent more students applied to Kenyon this year, continuing a five-year trend of increases. (The College has experienced an increase of more than 90 percent in applications during the past five years.) Officers evaluated nearly 3,900 applications for the 435 spots in the first-year class.

Among the most positive developments in the admissions picture, according to Britz, is that applications from students of color increased by 11 percent. The percentage of students of color in Kenyon's applicant pool has increased steadily over the past five years, from 8.4 percent in 2001 to 13.9 percent in 2005.

Kenyon also saw significant growth in Early Decision applications, with an increase of 14 percent over last year. The number of applicants using the Early Decision option has more than doubled over the last five years. Students admitted from the Early Decision pool include residents from across the states, including Alaska and Wyoming. Also admitted from the Early Decision pool was the first recipient of Kenyon's Presidential Book Award, who hails from Philadelphia. "Clearly, Kenyon is more students' first choice," says Britz.

The academic qualifications of this year's applicants have reached a new high. Mean combined SAT scores rose twenty-three points this year, registering a fifty-point rise over the past five years. The percentage of students ranked in the top 10 percent of their class has increased steadily over five years, with 55.4 percent of the current pool having that status.

Applicants heard from the Kenyon admissions office by April 1, 2005, and admitted students were invited to campus during April for special visit programs.