What does an ideal incoming class look like?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

What does an ideal incoming class look like?

Nancy Meislahn
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Wesleyan University

What does an ideal incoming class look like?

Here is my video response to the question.

Jenny Rickard
Chief Enrollment Officer Bryn Mawr

What does an ideal incoming class look like?

Here is my video response to the question.

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

Ideal Classes Reflect Institutional Needs

The definition of an ideal class will vary from school to school, for ultimately the admissions process is about schools making decisions that allow them to create the kind of community that reflects their mission and goals. One of the things that applicants must never forget is that the admissions process is as much about schools making decisions based on their needs as it is on the applicant’s record. Each school has a different personality and its community—and the decisions that go towards shaping it—reflect that. While counselors will often talk about students finding the right fit, the schools are looking for it too, and the fit at big state university may be very different from that at a small liberal arts school.

Calli Christenson
Director CLC College Prep Services

What does an ideal incoming class look like?

An ideal incoming class is diverse and represents students from all types of backgrounds, with all different types of gifts, experiences, and strengths. Colleges desire students who are unique and can offer something to their university. An incoming class that captures this is going to make a positive imprint on any campus.

Tam Warner Minton
Consultant College Adventures

What does an ideal incoming class look like?

Most colleges want a diverse class. They want science students, art students, business students, white students, black students, latino students, asian students; they want students with interesting talents and backgrounds. The "ideal" varies from college to college.

Cara Ray
Senior Associate Montgomery Educational Consulting

What does an ideal incoming class look like?

An ideal incoming class includes a a talented and diverse population of students. This diversity may include geographic diversity, socioeconomic diversity, racial and ethnic diversity, as well as diversity of academic and extracurricular interests. Colleges are looking to bring in a class that can provide a variety of perspectives and interests both inside and outside the classroom for increased learning for the entire campus community.

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

What does an ideal incoming class look like?

Each individual institution has a different version of an ideal class. But, all admissions offices are charged with selecting a class specific to the individual needs of the university in an effort to create a positive learning environment. Colleges want to find students who will persist in achieving graduation at their institution. Selecting students that will find academic success and an niche for engagement outside of the classroom has positive affects on retention and graduation rates. Another dimension of creating a positive learning environment stems from the recognized and documented value of a diverse student body on learning outcomes. The way that a college strives for diversity will vary based on the present and historical representation on campus. Diversity goals may be related to major choice, socioeconomic status, geography, gender, race, or learning style.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

What does an ideal incoming class look like?

Ethnically diverse, & geographically as well, plenty of intn'l students & a number of students with various disabilities round out most freshman classes.

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

What does an ideal incoming class look like?

An ideal class would include students with diverse academic interests, intellectual passions, special artistic and athletic talents, and backgrounds. Majors will be appropriately subscribed, the rosters of sports teams will be filled, plays and concerts will be put on, and students will learn from each other.

Andrew Belasco
CEO College Transitions LLC

What does an ideal incoming class look like?

Despite beliefs to the contrary, an ideal incoming class does not consist of "well-rounded" students. Instead, an ideal incoming class consists of many students who specialize--in athletics, music, theater, or a particular academic subject--and who coalesce to form a "well-rounded" student body that is capable of contributing to the many different pursuits in which all colleges are presently engaged. As such, it is important that applicants come across as authentic and focused. In other words, they should forget the laundry list of activities and concentrate on the academic and extracurricular endeavors that truly matter to them, regardless of their popularity and regardless of what other think. If students can remain true to themselves, they will become better people and better college applicants