DENISON chance of acceptance

Hi any people with admissions experience at Denison. So far Denson is my son’s top choice (HS class of 2023). Does he have a shot at acceptance with an 88 average unweighted and 92 weighted. That’s equivalent to about 3.5 unweighted and 3.8 or 3.9 weighted. SATs 520 super scored. Hoping to have a compelling essay. He also has some good leadership and sports participation, some of it might be considered unique. any chance he can get in. Not sure if we will will be given need aid. In the past we have not but now will have 2 in college so could push us over. If we do not get need aid, what percent are awarded some merit if they are admitted. Does anyone care to share their stats from previous applications and what the result was? Also, please let me know your thoughts on ED too. Thank for any help!!

My son is a senior at Denison. If you mean your son’s SAT superscore is 1520, that would put him above the middle 50% at Denison. You can see the range here: Fast Facts | About Denison. Based on that and the other information you provide, he should have a good chance and should certainly apply if the school appeals to him. Denison meets 100% of demonstrated need for admitted students and has also historically been very generous with merit awards. My son applied RD, but I recall posts from last year indicating that Denison was encouraging applicants to switch their applications to ED, suggesting there must be a bump - there are some other Denison parents who post, so maybe someone else can provide more insight on that. Although Denison does not require any additional essays in the initial stage, at least for the last couple of years, they have given applicants the opportunity of writing an optional “Why Denison” essay later in the process, so your son should be aware of that. My son has been really happy at Denison, and we have also been very pleased.


Agree with @tkoparent that your student is competitive for acceptance, though with increasing number of applications and declining acceptance rate (22% for current entering 1st years, I believe), not a “sure thing” for anyone. My Denison student graduated a couple years ago but I’ve been involved on campus and continued to follow admissions so I can add that, from my perspective, showing “fit” matters a lot for Denison. Campus culture values inclusion and interconnection across student groups and “types” so Denison is looking to for students who will actively engage on campus across different fields of interest. So encourage your student to dig into opportunities to identify what he might want to do, how he would contribute, and bring that out in his interview (highly recommended) and the optional “Why Denison” type essay which appears on the Common App after the application has been submitted. All of those are ways to show interest and engagement with campus culture.

Another strong indication of interest is obviously applying ED – Denison is unusual among many schools in that it apparently does give the same merit awards at ED as it does in RD, presumably because it does not want to deter students from applying ED if it really is their top choice. The ED acceptance rate last year was lower than ever before – I don’t have any insight into what went into that decline in ED acceptance rates. But if a student really loves Denison (which I completely agree with – my student and all his friends had amazing experiences and formed close relationships with faculty and others), then they should apply ED.


Thank you! Espec info about the additional essay.

Thank you. We def are considering ED so this is great info! I will have him stress his ability to reach across groups and show his
varied interests.

My son applied last year RD and was accepted with a merit aid package. He did the Why Denison essay and also did an interview. The interview was non-evaluative but recommended. He is now a freshman there, and his class size was the largest incoming class that Denison has ever had. I am not sure about past years, but it may be that the last couple of years have been larger classes with a higher yield rate. As another parent mentioned above, admit rate dropped several percentage points this year to about 22%.

I think Denison’s generous merit aid packages have put them on the radar of many more families. Especially for those who will qualify for little or no need based aid. We have been really impressed with Denison so far and my son has settled in nicely. Wishing you all the best in this application cycle!


Thank you. Keeping my fingers crossed he can get in.

Every spring there are “high stat” kids who are waitlisted or denied at Denison who come here to complain about their results when other “less deserving” students were admitted. The answer seems to be about “fit” and interest – if a student “gets” the Denison campus culture and is within the ballpark in terms of gpa/rigor/test scores, they are more likely to be admitted than someone with higher stats who checks “all the boxes” but whose application package doesn’t communicate that they “get” Denison. I have heard President Weinberg and the Admissions team say at events that the college has not used the increase in applications/national awareness to simply admit the highest stat kids, but rather to continue to look for “Denisonians” – people who, in Pres. Weinberg’s words, you are delighted to have as your neighbor, your colleague etc.


So interesting. This is very helpful. I hope my son finds a way to convey that.

Denison really likes demonstrated interest so ED would give him a boost and I recommend the “optional” supplemental essay and interview. My D was Zoom interviewed by a student she clicked with and it helped her feel like the school would be a good fit. She chose another college but my spouse and I thought Denison was terrific! Lots of great opportunities, a huge endowment per student, and they really seem to care about student success.

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I also agree with others who suggest the interview can be helpful. My son met with a recent graduate and had a very substantive conversation about the school, what he was looking for, etc. Particularly as he did not visit Denison until after he was accepted, the interview helped him in expressing “why Denison” in the optional essay. Also, noting that your son participates in sports, I wanted to mention that Denison is really a terrific place for student athletes. The facilities and coaching are at a very high standard, and the school strikes a healthy balance between sports and academics. It’s not a “rah rah” school where everyone goes to the big game on the weekend, but the experience is central for the athletes themselves. Another piece of the “why Denison” puzzle.


Thank you. This is very helpful!

This is good to know. In general, LACs lean towards fit over stats, so it’s good to know that Denison takes this even more seriously than other LACs. BTW, a friend’s son is a senior at Denison and pretty happy there, as well.

I will be invoking you when anybody comes on here asking about Denison, which is an excellent college which is only now starting to get the recognition it deserves.