Commentary: Learning to Swim Like a Scholar
Welcome, Class of 2004
This year, for only the fourth time
in Smith's history, more than 3,000 women applied for admission.
Altogether, of the 3,017 prospective students who sent in applications
for the class of 2004, Smith admitted 1,612, or 53 percent. Of
those, 629 enrolled as first-years and started arriving on campus
in late August. They call 43 different states home, with most
of them arriving from Massachusetts, New York, California,
Eight percent of the class is composed of international students from 47 countries including Bangladesh, Poland, Romania, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
Of those who are entering first-year students, close to 60 percent ranked in the top 10 percent of their school classes; 85 percent were in the top 20 percent.
As for the nontraditional-aged students, 65 are Ada Comstock Scholars and 66 are transfer students, all arriving at Smith for the first time this fall. The Adas-an eclectic group of students, ranging in age from their mid-20s to mid-60s, who are completing interrupted college educations-include an artist from the Northwest who wants to study philosophy and the liberal arts, and a massage therapist for people, horses and dogs who hopes to become a veterinarian.
"This class has both outstanding academic capabilities and diversity," says Deb Shaver, who was interim director of admission for the 19992000 academic year. "We had a great admission year that brought a lot of bright and interesting young women together for the Smith class of 2004."
The enhanced diversity of this admitted class is especially important, Shaver adds. Students of color compose 24 percent of those enrolling, an increase of nearly 50 percent from two years ago. Forty-eight students identify themselves as African American, two as Native American, 39 as Latina, 66 as Asian American and two as multiracial.
"In terms of recruitment,"
Shaver says, "we continued to target high schools with high
populations of students of color. This, along with President
Ruth Simmons' visits to high schools, raised our profile in multicultural
communities. We instituted several new initiatives for students
of color and our programs were more successful this year-especially
One of the new initiatives, the Springfield Scholars Program, is making it possible for three young women from Springfield, Massachusetts, to receive four-year, full-tuition scholarships to Smith. The scholarships are the centerpiece of a partnership with Springfield public high schools, a program designed to strengthen ties between the college and the largest city in western Massachusetts.
Scholarship awardees were selected
by Smith admission officers, faculty members and the assistant
dean for multicul-tural affairs. Recipients were chosen based
on their academic promise and their personal contributions to
Overall, the Smith Board of Admission this year called for de-emphasizing SAT scores during the reading and selection process. Admission officers continued to closely evaluate an applicant's transcript, course selection and grades, and also look at her intellectual spark, leadership skills, ability to overcome adversity and overall potential.
For the class of 2004, popular areas of academic interest have shifted slightly toward science. While the top subject for the class of 2003 was English, the class of 2004 is showing a propensity toward biological science.
is published by the Smith College Office of College Relations
for alumnae, staff, students and friends.
Copyright © 2000, Smith College. Portions of this publication may be reproduced with the permission of the Office
of College Relations, Garrison Hall, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts 01063. Last update: 9/27/2000.
Made with Macintosh