Orientation 2019

September 4, 2019

Cookout lunches. Museum tours. A welcome from President Martin. Class photo. Game night. Advising & Registration. Ice cream social. Trivia Night. And that's just a sampling of the activities offered during Orientation. [Video by Marcus DeMaio]

Nov. 15 is a banner day for this year’s incoming students, it seems. National Clean Out Your Fridge Day happens to be the most common date of birth among the College’s new first-years and transfers.

Whether coincidence or kismet brought the six birthday buddies together at Amherst, we’ll never know. What we do know is that those students are now officially a part of one of the most diverse classes—if not the most diverse class—in the College’s history.

As it has been for many years now, the competition for admission was fierce, said Matt McGann, dean of admission and financial aid. “For the first time ever, more than 10,000 people applied for admission to Amherst’s class of 2023,” he said, adding that “the remarkable talents of the class reflect the depth of that applicant pool.” This year’s incoming transfer students are just as remarkable, he said.

For those interested in the cold, hard data: 10,567 students applied for admission to the class of 2023, 1,144 were accepted—just under 11 percent—and 470 enrolled. Of 444 transfer students who applied to the College, 34 were admitted—7.6 percent—and 15 matriculated.

With a nod to Amherst’s own upcoming 200th birthday in 2021, McGann noted that this year’s new students will be a part of the College community during both its second and third centuries.

“These students represent the best of Amherst’s ideals over the years and the very best qualities of the College’s history,” he said. “But they also showcase what the future of Amherst can be.”

Here are some other interesting tidbits about Amherst’s newest students: 

  1.  Four of the transfers and one first-year have served in the military, bringing the number of new veterans on campus to five.
  2.  45 percent of the first-years identify as domestic students of color.
  3.  Students hail from 41 states plus the District of Columbia.
  4.  The state that the largest number of first-years and transfers call home? California, with 68.
  5.  11 percent are non-U.S. citizens from 34 different countries.
  6.  Of those with U.S. citizenship, 39 are dual citizens of 26 countries
  7.  The students come from 390 different secondary schools, and five were homeschooled.
  8.  60 students are the first in their families to pursue a college degree.
  9.  The first-years speak a combined 39 languages at home. 
  10.  24 percent have a family income that qualifies them for the Federal Pell Grant program.
  11.  57 percent receive Amherst financial aid packages. The average annual grant from the College? $55,002.
  12.  Jack and Sarah are the most-printed names on this year’s batch of College IDs.
  13.  Among the students are euphonium, bassoon and flute musicians; squash, Ultimate and volleyball players; rock climbers and mountaineers; surfers and skateboarders; newspaper editors and reporters; biologists, environmental toxicologists and physicists; Irish step and ballet dancers; and illustrators and oil painters.
  14.  The newcomers also include a published novelist, a full-time political campaign field organizer, a U.S. Army veteran with the 82nd Airborne Division who was named a Tillman Scholar, a creator of a Muggle version of the Weasley Family Clock from Harry Potter, a performer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a snow globe collector, a tutor who has read every single one of Dr. Seuss’ books and a circus artist who can walk or ride a unicylce on a tightrope while juggling or playing the violin at the same time.