I agree with your impression. It seems like a jewel of a school and i’m also unclear about its high acceptance rate.
It might be that its FA isn’t as generous as other schools for lower income students. This would eliminate a sizable portion of the applications.
If you check COLLEGE NAVIGATOR you can see that the lowest income levels are expected to pay $26K per year and the highest income levels $40+K per year.
That pretty much eliminates the lower-income students from considering the college. If your family makes $0-$30K per year, would you allow your child to apply to a school that will cost you $26K per year? No, you’d ask them to live at home and apply to a local college OR if they are a high achiever, ask them to apply to a 100%-need-met school like Vassar or Williams or Pomona. Pomona would cost that family $9K per year, including R&B, which is about 1/2 price of what state schools would cost.
If you’re wealthy and you have a high achiever, you might look at Puget Sound because they offer on average $22K merit money to attract high achievers, making it a good bet for the wealthier families.
And indeed, if you look at Puget Sound’s reputation, it attracts “Patagucci”-wearing outdoor types.