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The Class of 2021 is Talented, Accomplished and Diverse

The Olin College Class of 2021 is now confirmed. In all, 90 students—the targeted enrollment number for first year students in 2017-2018–will arrive on campus in August as the most diverse class in the school’s history.  

“These students are academically accomplished and engaged community members and they will bring a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds to the Olin Community,” said Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Emily Roper-Doten. “They are interesting people, but more importantly, they are all interested in making an impact on the world.”

The Olin College Class of 2021 embraces a wide range of activities. Included in the incoming class there is a master woodworker, several artists, musicians, researchers, dancers, skateboarders, crafters and roboticists as well.

There are also nine students who are entering Olin after taking a gap year—or two. One student spent the time biking along the Continental Divide Trail, another worked with AmeriCorp VISTA at FIRST Robotics, and one student spent a two-year stint as a ballerina training with the San Francisco Ballet School and the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam.

The admission process at Olin begins with a holistic review of an applicant as complete person: their academic preparation and potential, how they spend their time, and who they are in their community. But academics and extracurricular activities are just part of what the Olin Admission and Financial Aid office considers as it carefully evaluates each candidate’s application; a desire to improve the world through engineering is another.

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.

Olin’s unique approach to admission includes inviting the applicants demonstrating the greatest potential contribution to our community to Candidates’ Weekends. Through information gathered during interviews, group activities, and the applicants’ interactions with Oliners and each other on Candidates’ Weekends, the Admission Committee admitted 137 students to be potential members of the Class of 2021.

The Olin Admission and Financial Aid team has made significant outreach in the past two years to reach an economically and racially diverse set of students.

The incoming class is:

•       49 percent are female by legal sex

•       42 percent are domestic students of color

•       21 percent are domestic underrepresented minority students

•       10 percent are international students

•       12 percent are Pell Eligible

•       9 percent are first generation college students

Residents of California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania represent the largest student contingent. Overall the class comes from 29 states in total, plus Washington, DC, and four countries by permanent address including Nigeria, China, Germany and India.  By citizenship, students represent China, India, Canada, Nigeria, South Korea, Vietnam, Germany, Romania, and Slovakia.

The students also come from varied educational backgrounds, with 70 percent graduating from public schools, 21 percent coming from independent schools, 2 percent from a charter school and 7 percent graduating from a religious school.

Move-in day for the Class of 2021 is August 26, 2017.