Six hundred forty-four students have said they plan to enroll in September, with another 107 in February. Photo: Bob Handelman

A record 28 percent of the Middlebury College Class of 2021 (and 2021.5, as the College refers to students starting in February) will be students of color—the highest percentage in the College’s history. The incoming class also showed an increase in students eligible for Pell Grants, to 15 percent, and a slight increase in international students. The College also continues to appeal to first-generation students; 13 percent of the class will be the first in their families to attend college.

Members of the incoming class are from 41 states, Washington, D.C., and 41 countries.

The College will award approximately $14.5 million in financial aid to the incoming class next year, with an average annual grant of $45,000.

“We’re delighted by the fact that Middlebury College continues to attract such a strong and diverse group of students from around the world,” said Greg Buckles, dean of admissions. “Our yield this year was 43 percent, our strongest in the last five years. We’re particularly happy with the positive response from international students given the concerns we have heard about how welcome international students might feel in the country and questions raised by the presidential travel bans issued earlier this year.”

According to Buckles, the admissions landscape becomes more competitive every year, but Middlebury continues to stand out. “The College is fortunate to have an unusually strong reputation, and our office works closely with admitted students and their families to help them appreciate the benefits of a Middlebury education,” he said. “The strongest high school students see the value of acquiring a strong liberal arts education and are attracted to the vibrancy and engagement of our community.”

Buckles noted that record-breaking attendance at Preview Days in April was a positive sign of things to come. Almost 1,500 students and their family members attended Preview Days April 17–19. The event offered admitted students a chance to visit campus, stay overnight, and attend classes and programs designed to help them learn more about Middlebury. Sixty percent of the students who attended part or all of Preview Days made Middlebury their college of choice.

Buckles noted that the final number for the Class of 2021 fall arrivals will come down from the 644 number as some students inform the College about gap year plans and others change their plans over the summer, as happens every year.