Hartwick's drop in enrollment surprised college officials, who expected a steady freshman class, said Susan Dileno, Hartwick's dean of admissions.
However, officials said the class is the strongest in college history, with average SAT scores of 1140 and about half in the top 20 percent of their high school class.
Last year, average SAT scores were 1111, and about 36 percent of students ranked in the top 20 percent of their class, officials said.
"The college has, for the past few years, been more selective," Dileno
In 1997, the college accepted 90 percent of applicants. Hartwick
accepted 82 percent of applicants for fall admission this year, 1 percent fewer than last year - but the applicant pool was far stronger this year, Dileno
A group of students who would normally constitute the bottom 20 percent of the applicant pool "disappeared this year," she
Since 2000, admissions materials have focused more sharply on academics and were aimed at more qualified students, she
Last year, 2,111 freshman applied and 1,742 were accepted; this year, 1,988 applied and 1,638 were accepted, she
"There is natural fluctuation of the pool," she
enrollment planning committee last year decided to set a limit on the number of incoming students, which has allowed the college to be more selective, officials said.
doesn't use high school average in determining acceptance, Dileno
, last year's incoming class had a 1070 average SAT score and an 85.8 high school average.This class averaged a 75-point increase in SAT scores and a four-point increase in high school grade point averages from the previous year, college officials said.
The number of applicants to Hartwick
is not historically low, Dileno
However, student aid packages have been cut in half to reduce college expenditures, student debt and loan default, she
said.Subsequently the school may not be as enticing, she
The average aid package decreased from about $9,000 per student to about $4,500, she