MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? The record 7,188 prospective students who applied to Middlebury College for approximately 600 spots in the class of 2011 will have access to more financial aid than their predecessors. In an effort to make a Middlebury education more affordable ? a goal stated in the college's 2006 strategic plan ? Middlebury has implemented a new policy that will reduce the loan portion of a student's financial aid package by up to $10,000 by graduation beginning with the class of 2011. On March 30, the admissions office will mail letters to students regarding whether or not they have been accepted, and the information will also be available online beginning at 8 a.m. on March 31.
Along with a 38 percent jump in applicants since 2005, the college has experienced during the same period a 72 percent rise in the number of applicants who identify themselves as students of color.
"We're thrilled that so many highly qualified students are interested in Middlebury and we're very glad to be able to offer additional financial assistance to those who need it," said Middlebury College Dean of Admissions Robert Clagett, who is available for comment.
According to Kim Downs, director of student financial services, the increase in the size of the grants allows students to graduate with less debt. "We want graduates to be free to pursue the careers of their choice, including work for nonprofits, without having to consider their post-college debt. We want to broaden the group of students who are eligible for financial aid and encourage socio-economic diversity among our student body as well."
Manuel Carballo, associate director of admissions and coordinator of multicultural recruitment, attributes the increase in applications from students of color in part to the college's efforts to work with organizations across the country such as New York City-based Prep for Prep. Prep for Prep identifies talented students from multicultural backgrounds, prepares them for placement in independent schools, and provides peer support as the students advance through school and on to college. "Building a relationship with these organizations and communicating what Middlebury has to offer increases the chance that these talented groups of student leaders might consider attending the college," said Carballo.
Commenting on what might have contributed to the overall increase in applications, Clagett said, "Our commitment to programs such as environmental studies, the sciences, international studies and foreign languages continues to resonate deeply with students across the country and throughout the world right now."
2007 Middlebury College Admissions Statistics:
. A record 7,188 students applied to Middlebury College for approximately 600 spots in the class of 2011.
. The number of applicants has jumped 38 percent since 2005; there was a 16 percent increase over last year and an 18 percent increase in 2006 over 2005.
. Middlebury has decreased the loan portion of a student's financial aid package by up to $10,000 by graduation beginning with the class of 2011.
. The number of applicants who identify themselves as students of color has risen 72 percent since 2005; there was a 37 percent increase over last year.
. The number of international student applicants increased 27 percent.
. The acceptance rate is 23 percent.
. 78 percent of applicants used the electronic application.
Middlebury College Dean of Admissions Robert Clagett is available for interviews. More information about Clagett is available here.
Middlebury College Associate Director of Admissions and Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment Manuel Carballo is also available for comment.