College Bound

College Bound

In a fiercely competitive landscape, the Class of 2023 stood out.

In March, a parody in The Daily Princetonian proclaimed that Princeton had denied admission to 100 percent of the students who submitted applications. “It’s a thrill to see our acceptance rate drop head and shoulders below our peer institutions,” said a fictional admissions officer named Saul Ek Tivity. “I feel honored to be part of making this University truly one of the best in the country. Take that, Harvard!”

Of course getting into Princeton or Harvard, or any other highly selective college in 2023, is no joke. This year, as in years past, acceptance rates at the Ivies and other elite institutions were extremely low. For the Class of 2027, Harvard’s acceptance rate was 3.4 percent. Bowdoin College, which accepted 850 students from a pool of 10,966 applicants, had an acceptance rate of just 7.7 percent, the lowest in its history. NYU offered admission to only 8 percent of the nearly 120,000 applicants who applied. Meanwhile, in Boston, Northeastern’s popularity continues to soar. This year the university received 96,327 applications, an increase of nearly 6 percent over last year, and a whopping 49.5 percent increase over the past four years.

Class of 2023 College Sweatshirts

The Class of 2023 poses for the traditional college sweatshirt photo.

“It can be difficult to grasp how competitive some patches of the college landscape are,” says Bruce Wolanin, who directs the College Counseling Office at Pomfret. “Sarah, Art, and I are proud of the Class of 2023’s resolve and results. The pandemic impacted their personal lives, their learning, and higher education, unlike any other time.”

Despite pandemic headwinds and a fiercely competitive landscape, Pomfret’s Class of 2023 gained admission to a strong list of colleges and universities, including Bucknell, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Northeastern, NYU, Purdue, University of Michigan, and Wesleyan, to name just a few. Of the 103 members in the class, three are attending universities outside of the United States and fifteen are recruited student-athletes.

Class of 2023 Harvard Sweatshirts

Derek Smith (right) poses with Mary-Aliya Turay (left) in their Harvard sweatshirts.

“I feel very ready for college,” says Derek Smith, who is one of two Pomfret students attending Harvard University in the fall. “This is largely due to the leadership roles I have taken up and the independent work I have done here.”

At Pomfret, the College Counseling Office encourages students to apply to between nine and fifteen schools. The office also encourages students to apply early. This year, Pomfret students submitted sixty-nine Early Decision 1 applications and four Restrictive Early Action applications. Eighteen students submitted Early Decision 2 applications. About 85 percent of Pomfret students did not submit an ACT or SAT score to any college.

Pomfret College Sweatshirts Small Group

A sampling of the schools our graduates will attend next year.

Zitong "Jessica" Huang ’23, who is headed to Wesleyan, said, “I would not have applied to Wesleyan if it were not for Mr. Horst. I was looking for a small to medium sized liberal arts college, and he told me about Wesleyan. During the process, he helped me stay grounded — identifying my target schools and safety options — and kept me from getting overwhelmed.”

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