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A Perfect Storm in Admissions

This year may have been a “perfect storm” for Deerfield admissions. DA continues to be a school held in the highest esteem by the best applicants from a global pool, but this leads to both good news and bad news.

This year’s admission statistics were in record numbers, as evidenced by a record-breaking 14.3 percent acceptance rate.

This phenomenal yet daunting statistic surpasses last year’s 16 percent acceptance rate and is particularly remarkable considering the realities of the current economic situation.

This leads, however, to bad news: admissions must continue to turn away many qualified applicants. The situation is made even more difficult because the school has experienced several years of high “yields” where more accepted students than projected have chosen to attend, resulting in over-crowding.

Now there is a mandate to monitor and even slightly reduce the number of total students in order to remain a mid-sized school with the kind of community that makes Deerfield unique. The situation has been further complicated this year by a very high level of interest from siblings of current students and legacy students.

Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Patricia Gimbel explained the realities of the situation. “It has been brutally competitive.” She especially noted that “there are many more student siblings and legacy applicants on the waitlist than in previous years.”

The core of our legacy lies in being a community of about 600 students, a specific size that allows both wide options and close relationships. This mandate to control size has added another dimension to the complicated task of admissions.

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