The largest incoming classes in 21 years recently arrived at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and the campus is once again a flurry of boxes, duffles and 18- to 21-year-olds. All together on campus, the Classes of 2010 will easily win any shout-out of the four classes, carrying more numbers than any incoming classes since 1985. It’s no wonder, considering they come from an increased applicant pool for both regular and early decision admissions.
“In eight of the past nine years, we’ve experienced an increase in applications,” says Don Emmons, vice president for enrollments and dean of admissions. This year, there were 3,516 applications to the Colleges. “We also saw a significant increase in the number of early decision applications and these increases allowed us to admit an even more accomplished group of students.”
HWS received 230 early decision applications this year, an eight percent increase over last year. This is the second consecutive year the Colleges have received more than 200 applications for early decision.
The Classes of 2010 total 601 students; 54 percent — 322 students — are women attending William Smith and 46 percent — 279 students — are men attending Hobart.
“While this promises to be one of the largest incoming classes in recent years, it is also one of the best prepared academically,” says President Mark D. Gearan.
Of the entering first-years, 41 percent graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class, compared to 20 percent just seven years ago and 32 percent last year. Compared to last year, there was a 40-percent increase in students accepting the Colleges’ offer of a Trustee Scholarship (given to the top academic students in the pool) and double the number of first years accepting the HWS Presidential Leadership Award.
The classes, representing 32 U.S. states and 10 countries, include 200 students who were captains of their respective athletic teams; 30 editors of major school publications (newspapers, yearbooks or literary magazines); and 188 who were in the National Honor Society. This year also sees the largest enrollment of HEOP students in eight years.
The 2006-07 total enrollment at HWS is now 1,895. The Colleges are expanding the residential opportunities open to students by renting a building near the Colleges’ campus. Additionally, the Colleges are committed to maintaining the 11:1 student to faculty ratio, so the number of faculty will increase. The Classes of 2010 will also be among the first to benefit from the Katherine D. Elliott Studio Arts Building, soon to open.