Announcements, News

President Laurie Patton, Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions Nicole Curvin, and General Counsel and Chief of Staff Hannah Ross sent the following message to the Middlebury community on February 7.


Dear Middlebury Community,

The U.S. Supreme Court decision on the use of race in college admissions, delivered June 29, 2023, has brought significant changes to the admissions landscape at colleges and universities nationwide. Middlebury Admissions has been working to align our application review practices with the new law while enhancing efforts to attract diverse and talented students. Our work began well in advance of the court’s decision. Our approach is in alignment with Middlebury’s educational mission: we continue to look for talent everywhere, finding students who are living consequential and creative lives and will be doing so in the future.

In this message we will provide preliminary information about Middlebury’s incoming Class of 2028 and 2028.5 and explain a bit about our comprehensive approach.

As we move forward, there are several headwinds we face even beyond the Supreme Court decision. We are considering the national decline in the number of 18-year-olds graduating from high school in many areas of the nation, especially the Northeast; public skepticism about the value of four-year bachelor’s degrees; and scrutiny of selective admissions processes. While at present Middlebury is not the most dramatically affected by these trends, applicant behavior for highly selective colleges may become more unpredictable as policies and practices shift. We are ready to develop and enhance our recruitment outreach and approach the bumps ahead with support and engagement from across the Middlebury community.

An Early Look at the Incoming Class

The Class of 2028 and 2028.5 is taking shape. Admissions received the third-highest applicant pool in school history from 12,540 students hailing from around the world. Our pool of Middlebury applicants is strong, mission aligned, and highly academically capable.

Early Decision 1 Recap

Early Decision applicant rounds showed increased interest in Middlebury, and we admitted 425 students in the first round of ED. Among our largest ever ED pool, we admitted 43 students who are the first in their families to attend college (compared to 26 for the Class of 2027) plus 33 international admits.

It’s also the second year of Middlebury’s partnership with QuestBridge, a national selective student match program identifying high-achieving, low-income students. Our Admissions staff connected with hundreds of high school juniors last spring through the QuestBridge college prep student programming held on college campuses across the United States. We were pleased to match with seven QuestBridge scholars during the Early Decision round. Middlebury also is a Posse Foundation partner, with cohorts from three cities––Chicago, Los Angeles (STEM), and New York. In December 2023, we selected 30 new Posse Scholars to join us in fall 2024.

Overall Applications

The application pool comprises students from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The top 10 applicant states are New York, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Virginia.

The applicant pool also represents 156 countries, with the top 10 including China (716), Ghana (341), Canada (272), Pakistan (234), India (165), the UK (155), Mongolia (153), Kenya (148), Japan (127), and Kazakhstan (113).

Changes to Our Approach This Past Admissions Season

The most significant change since the Supreme Court ruling is that admissions readers at Middlebury no longer have access to a demographic category of race or ethnicity while reviewing applications. Students may still share personal information related to their cultural and racial identities through written essays and their activities that take place outside the classroom. Admissions reviewed the numerous points of assessment considered in the application review process and identified key areas, including community potential and capacity for intentional engagement in campus life. 

We are also prioritizing ways to increase access to a Middlebury education, ranging from fundraising to developing student success programming to identifying additional resources for student aid. As previously noted, we are preserving the test-optional pilot program for another three years along with developing new partnerships with organizations like College Track that provide comprehensive support to students through high school and college. In addition, we have engaged with faculty and staff in our student service offices to clearly identify keys to success at Middlebury.

Our outreach includes work with Title I high schools and community-based organizations that help us access highly talented students in regions with less familiarity with a Middlebury College experience. We collaborate with students and school counselors to send the strong message that we continue to build a diverse and inclusive community, welcoming students from many different lived experiences. For the first time since before the pandemic, in October 2023 we hosted our in-person Discover Middlebury program for 35 high school students from throughout the United States who could not afford to visit campus on their own. They visited classes, stayed in the dorms, and met with current students, faculty, and staff to learn more about Middlebury. We expect some of these students to apply.

Through its educational mission, Middlebury aims to address the world’s most challenging problems, which include racial inequities, especially in the United States. Middlebury will continue to implement its equity and inclusion plans and to value inclusivity by creating an educational community that embraces talent from every corner of the country and the world. We remain interested in the lived experiences of students applying to Middlebury and appreciate the ways they share with us their resilience and capacity to flourish at a rigorous liberal arts and sciences institution.


Laurie L. Patton

Nicole Curvin
Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions

Hannah Ross
General Counsel and Chief of Staff