236th Admitted Class Represents Lowest Andover Admit Rate

On March 9, 402 students in 38 states and territories and 33 countries received envelopes containing coveted acceptances to Andover.

The 236th admitted class represents 13 percent of the applicant pool, the lowest admittance rate in Andover history, according to Jim Ventre, Dean of Admission.

This year saw a decrease in the number of applications, with 3,029 completed applications compared to last year’s 3,106 completed applications, out of which 444 applicants were admitted, wrote Ventre in an e-mail to The Phillipian.

Ventre said that the decrease in admits will prevent housing shortage, a problem Andover faced last year with an unprecedented 84 percent yield rate, according to a previous article in The Phillipian. Paul Murphy, Dean of Students, Temba Maqubela, Dean of Faculty, and John Rogers, Dean of Studies, scrambled last spring to manage class sizes and find additional housing and classroom space for the 38 additional enrollments.

Ventre attributed the lower admittance rate to the new electronic admission application and online reading system, which allowed faculty members easier access to admission applications, as before this year, they had to walk to Shuman Admissions Office to read applications. As the faculty had unlimited access to the electronic applications, they were able to more rigorously assess the candidates, according to Ventre.

In addition, the paperless application allowed the Admission team to assess the strength of an individual applicant earlier, sometimes even before the application was completed.

“As a result of the electronic submission of application materials, we were able to assess general admission criteria earlier. Subsequently, we advised a higher percentage of students not to complete their application this year and to consider other options. The effort was purposeful and helpful so that we did not drive applications higher and thereby further lower the admit rate. With a lower and lower admit rate, non-traditional boarding school families begin to wonder who gets admitted and that runs counter culture to our effort to recruit youth from every quarter,” wrote Ventre.

Ventre also explained that changes in the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) content and scoring resulted in lower-than-expected test results for many students, so these students may have withdrawn their applications or decided not to apply to Andover.

“Throughout the fall and winter, Team Shuman has fielded numerous calls from feeder schools and families who are concerned about lower-than-expected test results. Most importantly, it is clear that some families are electing not to apply to Andover simply based on test scores that they perceive to be ‘below the bar’ for admission. When we have engaged families who call to withdraw their applications or cancel their interview appointments, we have learned that they are opting to do so for exactly because of SSAT results,” wrote Ventre.

The Admissions Office awarded the total amount of $5,515,330 in financial aid to 148 students, according to the website.

Next year, 47 percent of the student body is projected to be on scholarship, with 13 percent on full scholarship, according to the Andover website.

Fifty-two percent of the admitted students identify as White or Caucasian. 24 percent identify as Asian, Asian American or Biracial Asian. 16 percent identify as Native American, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino or Biracial, according to the Andover website.

These percentages represent a slight increase from last year, according to Ventre, because the Admission Office admitted approximately the same number of underrepresented students of color as last year despite the decrease in total number of admitted students.

This admitted pool also represents a 200 percent increase of admitted students from South Dakota and Kentucky, a 300 percent increase of students from Arizona, and a 100 percent increase of admitted students from Albania, Dominica and Syria. The admission team also admitted several students from unusual places such as Bermuda, Kazakhstan, Syria and Morocco due to expanded recruitment efforts, according to Ventre.