College admits over 200 students for Early Decision Rounds I and II to fill Class of 2024

On Feb. 14 the College’s Early Decision II (ED2) acceptances came out for the incoming class of 2024. The second of Colby’s two Early Decision options (Early Decision 1 acceptances were published in mid-December) saw approximately 285 students enrolling in the Class of 2024 according to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. There are still no official yield statistics that have been published by the College.

Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Matthew Proto, who also serves as the Vice President of Enrollment and Communications, reported that Colby had received over 1,000 applications this year through early rounds of admission. 

Addressing the criticism that early admissions programs are an unfair pathway for students with financial means to apply to elite colleges and universities, Proto said that “the students enrolling through Colby’s early admissions programs more broadly reflect the diversity of our community.” 

Proto indicated that measures were being taken to maintain diversity and provide pathways to Colby for students of all backgrounds. Specifically, he identified online cost estimator programs like MyIntuition that can help provide prospective students with clear and easily understood information regarding the cost of a Colby education. 

These programs are coupled with what Proto termed “new policies” surrounding financial aid that are designed to make the College accessible to students of all financial backgrounds.

Demographically, Proto shared that “for the Class of 2024 admitted through Colby’s early rounds, 41% of students will be receiving financial aid and approximately 19% will be Pell grant recipients. 33% of students self-identify as students of color, and 16% are first generation to college students. Nearly 10% of students are non-US citizens.”

Proto also identified Colby’s past alumni as a core aspect of the College’s continuing mission to attract the most qualified and diverse candidates. 

“Colby has a history of being a daring institution composed of individuals committed to the ideal of shared success. This distinct combination of innovation, collaboration, and intellectual risk taking is at the center of our culture and community, our recent and historic progress, and our impact on the broader world.”

Proto said “with the multiple new investments and initiatives taking shape across the College, there has never been a better time to join the Colby community.”

Colby’s acceptance rate is once again projected to fall for the Class of 2024 if the current trend of growing application numbers continues. Indeed, last year the Class of 2023 had an overall acceptance rate of 9.6% , while the Class of 2022’s was 13% and the Class of 2021’s was a distant 16%. 

Speaking of this trend, Proto remarked that “the demand for a Colby education continues to increase even at a time when many private liberal arts colleges are seeing a decrease in their applicant pools. This year we received more than 13,900 applications for approximately 550 spaces in the first-year class. The size, depth, and composition of our applicant pool will continue to support our admissions efforts to identify, select, and enroll the most talented students from all backgrounds.”

Henry Pohle `24 (brother of Eliza Pohle `22), was one such student accepted in ED2. When asked what drew him to Colby, Pohle said “I have been impressed with Colby ever since I saw it when my sister was visiting on my sophomore year Spring break. I could tell that Colby was a supportive and collaborative community where students could thrive.”

While Pohle did look at the acceptance rate data, even going so far as to see what the ED1 and ED2 individual acceptance rates were, he said that they did not impact his application decision.

“From the beginning of the college search process, I knew in some way that I was probably going to apply to Colby in one of the two ED rounds.”

Pohle remarked that despite Colby’s academic and athletic reputations (which he said “[could] speak for themselves”), what truly inspired him to pursue Colby in a serious manner was the campus culture and closeness to nature.

“Over the past two years, I have seen what a great community and atmosphere Colby has. I also love the Maine wilderness. Like Eliza, I have spent many summers at summer camp in Maine and I did not want to lose that aspect of my life. When I have been on campus, I could really see that connection and presence of the wilderness through clubs and COOT . . . so aside from the outstanding academics, every other aspects of Colby excited, and still excite, me.”

The College’s regular decisions will be published on or before April 1 and seem likely to promise yet another record-shattering year of applications and acceptances.