Olin College Receives Record Breaking Number of Applications

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A total of 1,293 applications flooded into Olin College of Engineering’s Office of Admission and Financial Aid this year, an increase of 20 percent over last year.

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We noticed this year, in particular, the applicant pool is attracted to the college’s vision and mission, which includes expanding the STEM pipeline to students of all backgrounds and transforming engineering education.”

A total of 1,293 applications flooded into Olin College of Engineering’s Office of Admission and Financial Aid this year, an increase of 20 percent over last year. The students are applying for just 64 open spots in the Class of 2020.

Of particular note, the number of women choosing to apply to Olin jumped by 33 percent. Over the past four years, applications from female students have risen 88 percent.

The applicant pool for the Class of 2020 is also more racially and ethnically diverse than in previous years, with the largest percentage increase coming from African-American students. The number of applicants who identified as African-American more than doubled, while the number of applications from students who identified as Hispanic increased by 50 percent. This is particularly significant because the number of women and minorities applying to engineering schools in the United States has been, historically, quite low.

In the past year, according to Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Emily Roper-Doten, the Olin Admission team has made a concerted effort to reach a racially and geographically more diverse applicant pool. Roper-Doten and her team, reached out to charter and STEM magnet schools, increased domestic travel to a wider variety of states, and attended college nights at MIT for MITES, the Women in Technology program, E2 and MOSTEC which introduced Olin to hundreds of students considering engineering and technology, many from diverse backgrounds.

“We have worked very hard to reach new communities of students who may not otherwise have considered applying to Olin,” said Roper-Doten. “Students are always drawn to our people-centered style of engineering, project-based curriculum, and close-knit community. We noticed this year, in particular, the applicant pool is attracted to the college’s vision and mission, which includes expanding the STEM pipeline to students of all backgrounds and transforming engineering education.”

Roper-Doten emphasized that the outreach efforts are focused on the quality and range of the students’ backgrounds and experiences.

The applicant pool this year also reflects increased geographical diversity. Students from 47 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, applied to Olin. California, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Texas continue to be the states with the largest number of students in the applicant pool. A total of 43 countries are represented including China, India, Korea, Brazil, Canada, Ghana, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates among others.

At Olin there is a unique two-stage admissions process. All applications must be in by January 1 at which time the admission team and an extended group of faculty and staff, review the submissions over the course of the month. Invitations are then extended to a select number of applicants to attend one of three Candidates’ Weekends over the course of February and March.

Final decisions for the Class of 2020 will be made in March of 2016

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Anne-Marie Dorning
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