Class of 2022 stats projection

The Admissions Office at Smith is on a roll (see ).
The implications of 5,780 total applications and 580 ED applications are:
ED Admit rate of ~50% (293/580), working with last years’ ED Admit figure of 293.
RD Admit rate of ~28% [(1731-293)/(5780-580)], working with last years’ total admit figure of 1731.

The wildcard is yield, which moved up 4% between the Class of 2020 to the Class of 2021 (to 37%). Comparing these figures to the historical data (see ) shows an admissions landscape that has changed rapidly at Smith over just the last few years.

2020: 37% acceptance
2021: 32%
2022: ??

Will they crack 30% this year?

@odannyboySF I guesstimate the average accept rate for 2022 will be ~30% [1731/5780], but yes your point is spot on. If Smith’s yield were to rise slightly, then the average accept rate will fall into the high 20s for the first time.

Now go back and pull the Smith CDS from, say, 2009-2010 (the Class of 2013). Just to pick out one indicator, look at the middle 50% ACT scores. Seven years ago, it was 27-30, vs. now it is 30-33. Wow; not in Kansas anymore. Heck, Middlebury’s middle 50% ACT range for the Class of 2021 was 30-34 (just to pick one other fine New England LAC for comparison).

So not only is admissions a higher hurdle, the class itself has a much stronger academic profile than ever before.

When did Smith become test optional 2009 I think?? Not sure if the effect would have been seen that early on. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Applicants that submit test scores today are typically applicants with high test scores which would definitely make the median scores much higher. Smith seems to have definitely become more competitive but I am not sure that’s the right indicator. I would think more access to common app so more people applying in general as a reason it is more competitive. Also that it is such a highly ranked LAC that does offer merit potential for top applicants helps too. Very few top 20 LACs offer any.

@Veryapparent Test optional does not change the story line. The CDSs show that Smith is very careful to make sure that they admit 85% of the class with scores. Do you suppose they are aware that USNews would penalize their ranking if they admitted only 84% of the class with scores? Pshaw.

No, Smith admissions did a complete, frame-off overhaul over the last few years. Impressive.

So they are test score optional but 85% of the people they admit have submitted test scores? Am I getting that right?

Summarizing, from the Common Data Sets:

“FYE” is First Year Enrollment
“SAT” is # and % of FYE submitting SAT scores
“ACT” is # and % of FYE submitting ACT scores

2017-2018 CDS:

FYE: 639

SAT: 317 50%
ACT: 229 36%
total: 546 86%

2016-2017 CDS:
FYE: 654
SAT: 359 55%
ACT: 198 30%
total: 557 85%

2015-2016 CDS:
FYE: 609

SAT: 327 54%
ACT: 154 25%
total: 481 79%

2014-2015 CDS:
FYE: 616
SAT: 366 59%
ACT: 144 23%
total: 510 82%

2013-2014 CDS:
FYE: 643
SAT: 422 66%
ACT: 134 21%
total: 556 87%

2012-2013 CDS:
FYE: 651
SAT: 403 62%
ACT: 147 23%
total: 550 85%

2011-2012 CDS:
FYE: 694
SAT: 472 68%
ACT: 170 25%
total: 642 93%

2010-2011 CDS:
FYE: 631
SAT: 437 69%
ACT: 137 22%
total: 574 91%

2009-2010 CDS:
FYE: 665
SAT: 440 66%
ACt: 152 23%
total: 592 89%

So looking across this data set, I think Smith’s tacit admissions policy is to shoot for ~85% score coverage in the incoming class. Occasionally Admissions really boots it (e.g., 2015-2016). Also, in the post above I was mistaken about the USNews test optional college test score submission penalty threshold. It’s 75% of students submitting test scores, not 85%

(link: ).

So, by setting their tacit policy at 85% score coverage, Smith is giving themselves a little bit of a cushion if they are wrong on yield (see 2015-2016 and 2014-2015). Note they fixed whatever was wrong in their yield forecasting and are now dialed in for both 2016-2017 and 2017-2018. They even got the 4% yield shift right in the most recent CDS (2017-2018) and had to go to the waitlist for 19 students. That is, they were expecting an even larger yield shift! These guys could give the advanced seminar on yield management.

@RustyTrowel Thanks for sharing this info. What really baffles me is at the Smith Admissions presentation they really stressed test scores are optional. My D actually came away from the session almost ashamed by her good scores. Smith is actually one of her top choices and I understand this is a business but it seems a bit disingenuous to me. Seems what they are selling isn’t quite what they are buying.

The CDS statistics are for enrolled students. You could argue that it’s more than likely students who didn’t submit scores have a higher yield; consequently, the percentage of admitted students who submitted scores is > than 85%.

I think the CDS data makes it very clear that, when the dust settles, there are two groups of first year enrollees at Smith:
~ the ~85% of students who supplied scores, and
~ the ~15% of students who did not supply scores.

As for why the disconnect, take a look through this thoroughly depressing report from Brookings .
Referring specifically to the distribution of SAT Math scores, Brookings concludes: “We estimate that in the entire country last year at most 2,200 black and 4,900 Latino test-takers scored above a 700.”

Now replay in your mind what you heard from Admissions. Then, ask yourself why does Smith’s Math department run remedial math courses like these in the fall term:

  • MTH 101 Math Skills Studio
  • MTH 102 Elementary Functions

    Hmm…twenty nine (29) enrollees between those two courses last fall ( What fraction of those 29 students do you think did not supply scores for admission? Do you really need to see the crosstab of score-suppliers & score-non-suppliers, in #s and %, by math class–or have you been able to intuit what is going on by this point?

I do. Thanks for all the info and humoring a slow learner :slight_smile:


I certainly understand why you feel as you do. What many overlook is Smith’s mission:

Students who are in the aforementioned category historically have lower ACT/SAT scores than more advantaged students. Smith had an altruistic motive to stress that test scores are optional.

Edit: Cross-posted with RustyTrowel. Nice post btw!

Interesting observations @RustyTrowel. I also thought this quote from the article you linked was interesting.


What you will see if you visit:
– Faculty is not hiding in their offices; they:
(a) are eager to talk with you, and
(b) clearly love to teach, and
© have some great pedagogy innovations that they would like to tell you about;
– Students are smart;
– Campus is beautiful (“Notes from Paradise” indeed);
– Dorms are great;
– Residential life is not an afterthought; and all of this is
– Located in a quintessential New England college town.
No, they don’t have the Big House, but for many that is a feature and not a bug.

We visited. Mine loved it even though it was 12 degrees. We did one of the big visit days but hope to be back in the Spring. Mine got an early write today so is pretty excited.

@Veryapparent Congrats. That crafty Dean Shaver knows what she is doing…

Yes indeed! LOL.

@RustyTrowel Yes, I agree with your observations from visiting Smith. For my daughter, it ended up being an also-ran with Wellesley emerging as the winner. But I’m a big fan of the Seven Sisters schools (+ Scripps) for women seeking the unique experience they offer.

When my daughter and I visited Smith, after the info session, and student came up to us and told us there was no tour, and handed us a map and told us we could self tour. She then sat down and got right back on her computer. I
hope it wasn’t Rustytrowel working on this presentation.

There was supposed to be a little smile face, the last part was meant to be a little funny.