Cassie Follman ’20
Grecourt Gate reported last Friday that Smith College received a record number of applicants for the class of 2022 .
The Gate’s report read, “‘For the [eleventh] year in a row, applications to Smith reached a record high,’ says Audrey Smith, the college’s vice president for enrollment. Smith’s Class of 2022 will be chosen from a record 5,780 applicants—a [six] percent increase over last year and a 31 percent increase over 2013.”
For the past several years, Smith College has seen consistent increases in their application pool, with more students from diverse backgrounds.
The report continued that there were major increases in applications from students of color, international students, legacies and those seeking early decision. Further, applicants from 49 states and District Columbia were represented.
“The word ‘feminist’ has regained acceptance in the hearts and minds of young women,” said Deb Shaver, dean of admission. “Students have told us that they’re interested in attending a college that respects and empowers women. And Smith certainly does that!”
She believes a major reason for the rise in applicants is a resurgence for interest in women’s colleges in general. This can be seen in the increased number of applicants in many women’s colleges across the country.
Rising interest in women’s colleges is one factor, but The Boston Globe presented another important figure to consider with this year’s new statistics: more women than men are enrolling in college than ever.
The article reads, “Women accounted for 55 percent of undergraduates enrolled at four-year colleges in the United States as of fall 2014, according to the most recent data available from the federal education department.”
It continued, “Women tend to earn higher grades and drop out less frequently than men. Also, men are more likely to enter the military or start working full-time right after high school, in lieu of college, studies have found,” and that, “as labor market barriers to women have been lowered, the benefits of a college education grew more for women than men.”
The increase in applicants demonstrates the new demand for an elite institution that pushes itself to advance in a fast-changing world, yet also continue its historic practices that gave the school its reputation.