340 students are enrolled in Haverford’s class of 2018, making it the largest class in the history of the school, according to Jess Lord, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid.
However, that number is “within the boundary we thought was reasonable for a freshman class,” Lord said. A typical freshman class might normally have around 335 students, but in order to balance overall total enrollment, the class of 2018 is slightly larger.
Class size increased despite a 2.5% drop in total applications. According to Lord, this decrease was not unusual, and was less than the application decreases at some of Haverford’s peer institutions.
In addition to its record-breaking size, Lord described the class of 2018 as the “most geographically diverse” class in his nine years at Haverford, and “probably in the history of the college.” International students make up 11% of the class of 2018, as compared to 10% for the class of 2017. Already the highest percentage of international students in an incoming freshman class in Haverford’s history, those numbers are based on students’ home country when they applied, rather than country of origin. Students who may have lived outside the United States until recently are not factored into the statistics on international students, though these students may nonetheless identify as international.
A variety of factors contribute to the increased number of international students on campus. Lord explained that demographic shifts overall, including shifts in the world economy, have caused more people outside of the U.S. to be able to afford an education in the U.S.
Additionally, Haverford has pursued a “more concerted effort to expand internationally,” according to Lord. There has been active effort on the college’s part to become more integrated in the international world, in part, Lord explained, because of there being “more room for improvement there.”
When Lord arrived at Haverford, the percentage of international students was near 5-6%, below the average at many of Haverford’s peer institutions, which tended to have an international student presence of around 10%. Haverford’s climbing numbers of international students puts the college closer to many colleges in its peer group. Swarthmore College identifies near 13% of its student body as international students, while Bryn Mawr College recognizes 25% of its students as being international. (Bryn Mawr includes any student having non-U.S. citizenship in their statistics on international students.)
16 countries are represented in the class of 2018. Asia is a prominent geographic presence, with students hailing from China, India, Hong Kong, and one each from Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. 36 states are represented as well, along with Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
35% of the Class of 2018 identify as a person of color, with the breakdown being 7% African or African-American, 14% Asian or Asian-American, 13% Latino and 1% other. Though a slightly lower percentage than that of the Class of 2017, Lord explained that the number of students identifying as persons of color has been fairly stable for the past three years, and “these are numbers much higher than historical numbers.”