Yesterday, decision letters for the Wake Forest University Class of 2020 left our office (a fun video of the process can be seen here!). Our decisions are only delivered via mail and as such seniors will soon begin the time-honored tradition of checking the mailbox daily to see whether their letter has arrived. We know that the opportunity to attend Wake Forest is very important to so many of you and that this is an exciting time.
The Admissions Committee reviewed more applications this year than any in our history. Each committee member read hundreds of wonderful essays and literally thousands of thoughtful and often clever answers to our six short response prompts. We learned about remarkable findings in science laboratories and of emotional artistry on the stage, of meaningful service in your communities and of championships won on the national debate circuit. We also saw evidence of tremendous academic success in the classroom. In the end, we truly feel that we were able to get a strong sense of what drives so many of you intellectually. For the effort you put into this process, we thank you.
As required, we spent a great amount of time meeting and discussing your applications with each other, often late into the evening. Our debates were spirited and lively as we collectively evaluated your applications in an effort to build a diverse and interesting new class for the Wake Forest community.
We are fortunate to have received almost 14,000 applications for the Class of 2020, 5% more than our previous high received last year. Representing 39% of our incoming class of 1310 freshmen, 513 members of our new class were enrolled through our early decision process where we saw a 6% rise in applications over our previous record high. Acceptance to Wake Forest has been offered to 29% of those who applied, making this one of the most competitive selection processes in our history.
We are really excited about the composition of our admitted class. 53% of the class is made up of women. 31% are students of color. 22% come from North Carolina while 6% are international applicants. In order, the top eight states represented in the admitted class are North Carolina, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia, Massachusetts and California (with at least one admit from all fifty states!). Students residing in 41 different countries have been offered admission. 61% of admitted applicants who attend schools that calculate an actual class rank are in the top 5% of their class with 89% within the top 10%.
Though the group of students we are admitting is well worth celebrating, we understand that we have sent out letters that will disappoint so many strong, accomplished applicants. Some of you will be invited to remain on our wait list, a process that is explained with the decision letter. Others will be denied admission. The task of building a class from an applicant pool far larger than that we are able to enroll requires us to make many difficult decisions. Being denied admission is so rarely an indictment of an applicant’s ability to do strong college work or of one’s character. We know that the great majority of you would contribute greatly to our community if given the opportunity. Though we recognize this note will likely do little to ease your disappointment, we sincerely thank you for your interest in attending Wake Forest and for allowing us to learn more about your ideas, your beliefs, and your accomplishments.
The college admissions process is an anxious one fraught with every emotion one can imagine. Thankfully, it is almost over! We wish you courage and clarity as you make your match this April and become a member of the very special Class of 2020.
Martha Allman, Dean of Admissions