College boasts talent, diversity in prospective new class

MIDDLEBURY — Describing an especially competitive applicant pool, Middlebury College officials announced early this month that the school had offered admission to 1,700 students for the incoming Class of 2017.
The college admitted students from a pool of 9,112 applicants from 77 countries and all 50 states. It was the largest group of applicants in the college’s history.
Students will choose their college by May 1. In recent years, 23 to 28 percent of the students Middlebury College has accepted have chosen to attend the school.
“We’re in a strong position with a school as popular and selective as Middlebury’s become,” said Dean of Admissions Greg Buckles.
He added that this year’s pool stood out for its size and diversity.
“I would characterize it not as a drastic change but as part of a progression,” Buckles said. “It also represents the largest number of applicants and admits (accepted students) that are international students, students of color, and first-generation students, so we’re pleased about that.”
Applicants and their families were undeterred by a recent 2.7 increase in the college’s comprehensive fee— which includes tuition, room and board, plus a student activities charge — for the 2013-2014 academic year, raising the cost of a year at Middlebury to $57,470.
Middlebury is one of the few colleges in the country that combines ‘need-blind’ admission process along with the guarantee that it will meet the full demonstrated financial need of each student accepted, said Kim Downs-Burns, vice president for Student Financial Services at the college. About 43 percent of Middlebury’s student body receives financial aid.
The college also pays particular attention to Vermont students. Buckles, who estimated that Middlebury receives around 200 applications annually from around the state, said that the Middlebury Admissions Office makes it a priority to visit every high school in the state every two to three years so that all Vermont students are likely to hear about the opportunities that Middlebury offers at some point during their high school career. Around 5 percent of each incoming class comes from Vermont.
“We see some great, great students from Vermont,” Buckles said.
The Vermonters in turn help make Middlebury College what it is.
“Middlebury as a community has an incredibly strong appeal, and I think that is reflected in this class,” Buckles said. “It’s really quite remarkable to be able to attract such a wide range of candidates to a small, rural town. I think more so than a lot of places, the community of Middlebury is very attractive. The spirit and history of Vermont in the town meetings and governance, in the roots that people have here, it’s appealing to those students.” 

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