Upon returning from Spring Break, Denison’s campus has been buzzing about the high amount of applications the admissions office was faced with for the incoming Class of 2022. This year Denison received over 8,000 applications, which is a record breaking amount. Out of this large pool of prospective students only 2,700 were offered acceptance, resulting in Denison’s most selective year in history with an acceptance rate a mere 34%.

In the past four years, applications to Denison have increased by 64%. That being said, the selectivity and caliber of student accepted to the college have also greatly increased. For example this year, over two-thirds of accepted students place in the top ten percent of their high school class, and or have a high school GPA of above a 4.00.

Of accepted students, thirty six percent are multicultural, twenty percent are the first in their family to go to college, and twenty percent qualify for Pell Grants, which are only available to the lowest income families in the country.

With such a large body of accepted students comes many families eager to visit campus, keeping Denison’s tour guides extra busy. Nalani Wean ‘21 biology major, a new member to the tour guide team on campus discussed what it’s been like with such a busy season. “These next few weeks are our busiest weeks of the year, with both accepted students and those still looking into the school. Being a new tour guide, the big groups can be stressful, but the office does a really good job making sure that everyone gets a similar experience and all the information they need,” she said.

“One of my favorite parts about the job is that though we do talk about school statistics and academics, but it’s also a very personal experience in terms of prospective students learning about why their guides chose Denison,”.

This spike in applications is not credit to pure luck, but rather is a result of Denison’s strategic plan. This plan was implemented to emphasize academic innovation on campus, support of the career and exploration program and meaningful mentorship of students by faculty, staff members and coaches.

It is no secret that the Knowlton Center for Career Exploration is one of Denison’s crowned jewels on campus. The Knowlton Center team begins to work with students on setting goals and making a plan as early as their first year on campus to help them work towards the ideal life they want to live after their time on the hill.

Students are advised through one-on-one and small group workshops, have access to profession-specific skills through 60 online modules and are connected to a vast and greatly successful alumni network. The success of Denison alumni is no fact to be ignored; five years after graduation ninety five percent of alumni are employed in their desired field, or well on their way to achieving what they hope to accomplish professionally.

Relational value between students and faculty at Denison is another part of the college that many believe makes it truly special. Because of the small classroom setting, students are able to actively ask questions and really get to know their professors. They are able to easily meeting with them during open office hours or easily access them across campus by setting up a meeting or just running into them. Mentorship at Denison is viewed as one of its core values and is an element that is meant to help students develop deeper understandings of what their studying. In fact, ninety two percent of Denison alumni reported having close relationships with members of the faculty and staff on campus.

Additionally, Columbus’s rising popularity as a major city has enhanced the appeal of Denison greatly. Being able to get the benefits of a small town school, while at the same time being so close to a city with a variety of opportunity has many perks.

Currently Columbus is a Forbes #1 Opportunity City, and home to a community of numerous thriving global businesses. The opportunities that come with having such a hub so close to campus are endless and influential.

With such a competitive pool of applicants, Denison’s community can expect big things from the incoming class of 2022 that will arrive on campus next semester.