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Admission Season Kicks Into High Gear at Olin College

The January 3 deadline has now passed and there are officially 1,067 applicants vying for the 81 places in the Olin College Class of 2021. A total of nine students deferred their admission from last year.

The prospective students come from 35 countries all over the world including China, India, South Korea, Barbados, Cambodia, Kuwait, Nigeria, Romania Tanzania, Venezuela, Zimbabwe among others.

In addition to coming from many different homelands, the applicants themselves are remarkably diverse, the result of targeted efforts on the part of the Olin Admission team to reach out to an economically and racially diverse set of students. This year almost 12 percent of the applicants are first generation college students. Just over 26 percent are female. More than 15 percent of the applicants identify as underrepresented students of color, an increase over last year.

The applications flooded in to Olin’s Needham campus from across the country. A total of 43 states are represented, in addition to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, with California and Massachusetts topping the list, followed by New York, then Texas, then Florida.

This year, one of the essay prompts revolved around Olin’s mission of making the world a better place through engineering, produced some fascinating—and heartening—responses. Prospective students wrote about being inspired by family and friends to improve people’s lives through innovative medical technology, others wrote about a passion for stewardship of the planet through reducing dependency on fossil fuels, still others wrote about a desire to develop aquaponics techniques for industry-scale organic farming.

“This group of applicants includes many truly impressive students,” said Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Emily Roper-Doten. “In addition to their high academic and extracurricular achievements, in reading the responses to our essay prompt, it is clear our applicants are deeply committed to improving the lives of all people through engineering. It’s really quite an honor to read their applications.”

At Olin there is a unique two-stage admissions process. All applications must be in by January 3 at which time the admission team and a select group of faculty and staff, review the submissions over the course of the month. Invitations are then extended to a select number of applicants to attend one of three Candidates’ Weekends over the course of February and March.

Final decisions for the Class of 2021 will be made in March.