Kip Lynch ’22
Trinity College recently announced its acceptance of 238 Early Decision applications for the Class of 2025, a marked drop from the previous year which saw the acceptance of 314 Early Decision applicants.
On the Class of 2025, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Adrienne Oddi expressed her admiration, stating that they “showed up in their classrooms this year whether they were virtual, in-person, or experiencing hybrid learning, and they persevered and continue to push through during these difficult times.” She described how “we continue to see more applicants at the top of their high school classes, and they are looking forward to engaging in Trinity’s intellectual community.”
The announcement on Trinity College’s website reported that first-generation college students make up 11% of the Early Decision admittances, down from 13% in 2020 reflecting regional and national trends. Trinity had previously maintained a rate of 14% for three years straight. Minority admittances plateaued with 21% of ED admits being students of color, compared to 20% in 2020, 21% in 2019, 19% in 2018, and 23% in 2017. The announcement noted that “In an unprecedented year in which nearly all colleges and universities went test-optional in response to the pandemic, 88 percent of ED admits chose not to submit standardized test scores.” Trinity College has been test-optional since 2015.
One figure was absent from the announcement: the division of the ED pool by gender. The Tripod spoke to Adrienne Oddi regarding the statistic. Oddi stated that “Similar to 2018 and 2019, the gender breakdown for the Early Decision admits is about 60% men and 40% women. The gender breakdown for athletes admitted in ED rounds as well – about 60% men and 40% women.” Although Early Decision admittances generally lean male, this year’s pool was predominately male compared to previous years. ED admits for the Class of 2021, for example, were 51% men.
While the number of students applying early decision has fallen 4.6% according to an article on Inside Higher Ed, Trinity saw a decline in Early Decision admittances of around 20% compared to the previous year. Oddi commented that “Overall, our applicant pool is down by 4% this year compared to our overall applicant pool last year.”
She stated that the decline in early decision applications “can be attributed to two primary causes.” First, “the financial uncertainty many families are experiencing due to the Covid-19 health pandemic. Since Early Decision applicants are committing to attend Trinity, some students who would have applied Early Decision last year have shifted their applications to Regular Decision so they have greater financial flexibility.” Second, the “dropping of the standardized test score requirement by many of our competitors schools. The changes in admissions requirements has shifted student behavior pretty dramatically. Schools that dropped their test score requirements this year are seeing the largest increases in applications, whereas schools like Trinity, who have been test-optional for years now, are seeing smaller changes to applicant pools in either direction.”