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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Second-highest number of applications on record, college plans smaller class of 2027

Photo by Emma Sylvester for The Lafayette
This year, Admissions expects around 700 students in the class of 2027.

The college received 9,866 applications for the class of 2027, the second-highest number of applications on record. The number comes as a slight drop from the class of 2026 when 10,495 applied, yet it still represents a five-year applicant increase of 10 percent.

“Lafayette trends show, historically, we will have a one-year spike to a record level, then a slight regression the next year or two,” Forrest Stuart, vice president of enrollment management, said. “Then, we spike again.” 

3,032 of those students who applied were accepted, marking a 30.7 percent acceptance rate. The acceptance rate is a slight decrease from last year’s rate of 33.6 percent. 

“Lafayette has earned a national reputation for academic and student excellence across the years, and our Admissions team works very hard to build on that and connect with students across the country and beyond about the opportunities here,” President Nicole Hurd wrote in an email. “These application numbers are another sign that many outstanding students want to be part of this hard-working, highly motivated, and very caring community.”

Of the 3,032 accepted students, 363 students were offered admission during the early decision cycle. With about half of the incoming class already finalized in early decision, the college looks to double that class size when deposit day arrives on May 1.

Admissions staff used previous data to lower the number of accepted students in order to combat over-enrollment seen during the class of 2026 admissions season. This year’s anticipated class size is 700 students, far lower than the class of 2025 and 2026, which had 784 and 761 students, respectively.

“[Admissions] looked at the historical five-year yield, we looked at demonstrated need-level, different merit scholarship levels, and we increased our Pell Grant to 12.5 percent this year. With that cost, we were balancing knowing what our past yield has been and what is the limit that we enforce,” Stuart said. 

Marked by COVID-19 and a large number of deferrals, the class of 2024 has 606 students. Due to this, the current classes are heavily uneven – the Admissions office is looking to even them out.

Pre-Covid, we were on a growth plan to take us to 2,900 students total,” Justin Corvino, the chair of the faculty enrollment planning committee, said. “The rising senior class, which started in the fall of 2020, was significantly smaller because students deferred their start at the college. We do have to be mindful of enrollment numbers in part to smooth things out a bit moving forward.”

The decision to enroll a smaller class has been praised by many professors on campus who are eager to have more intimate intro-level classes. During the fall 2022 semester, some first-year seminar professors faced difficulties with larger first-year seminar (FYS) classes due to the large first-year class.

“I do think that having a more realistic estimate of what numbers will be brought in is important because it has a lot to do with the student experience,” anthropology professor William Bissell, who teaches an FYS, said. “It’s not just in classes where it improves lower student-faculty ratios, but it makes sure housing is adequate and people can get the classes they want.” 

For the first time in six years, Lafayette’s accepted students came from all 50 states. 

“There are students from everywhere where we have previously not reached,” Stuart said. “We saw increases in areas where we want to do better in, such as the South and Pacific Northwest.”

The college also saw an increase in international student applications and hopes to have a greater representation of students from foreign countries.

Bissell hopes that this will also contribute to more exciting classroom experiences.

“As an anthropologist who teaches an East African context, if there are, for instance, students from an East African setting, they bring a rich amount of experiences,” Bissell said. “Having students with diverse experiences, racial backgrounds and general geographic diversity will create a much better experience.”

“The application number is a good indicator that Lafayette is attracting the interest of great students of all backgrounds,” Hurd wrote. “But it’s less about big numbers in that regard than enrolling an exceptional class of individuals, and that remains our goal.”

The incoming class will be solidified by May 1, and the new class profile will be available on the website by early summer.

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About the Contributors
Andreas Pelekis
Andreas Pelekis, Assistant News Editor
Tennis addict.
Emma Sylvester
Emma Sylvester, Photo Editor

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  • E

    Eric BeckensteinAug 27, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    Hi: My son just started life as a Pard and we love LC. I just performed a Google search of “Lafayette College.” It seems U.S. News and other sources cite that LC has a 41% acceptance rate – while the past two admission cycles were FAR lower, 33% and more recently 31%. Can anything be done to update or correct the 41% figure?

    Thank you.

    • L

      LouSep 1, 2023 at 1:00 am

      I was wondering the same, Eric. That should be updated, I’m just not sure how to do it.