Trinity College Enrolls Record-Breaking Class of 2021

Incoming Class Poised To Be One of the Strongest in College’s History


Hartford, Connecticut, May 16, 2017 – From a historically strong applicant pool with unprecedented diversity and academic quality, Trinity College has enrolled a Class of 2021 that includes 604 students from 32 countries and 34 U.S. states or territories, admitted from an applicant pool of 6,085 students.

Of the enrolled students, 53 percent are women and 47 percent are men. With a record-high of 14 percent international students, 23 percent students of color, and 14 percent first-generation college students, the class is the most diverse in Trinity’s history. Fifty-five percent are from outside of New England.

At the same time, the Class of 2021 represents a surge in academic quality, with nearly twice as many enrolled students at the very top of the College’s academic evaluation scale as were in last year’s group.

“It’s exciting to see that students of such exceptional academic strength are increasingly enrolling at Trinity,” said Professor of Biology Kent Dunlap, who chairs the Faculty Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid. “We are also drawing a more national and international student body, which can only broaden the dialogue among Trinity students and faculty.”

The Class of 2021 includes 15 Presidential Scholars (up from 10 last year), Trinity’s most prestigious academic distinction, granted only to a sliver of students at the very top of the applicant pool. 

“These students are stars among stars,” said Angel B. Pérez, vice president for enrollment and student success. “The deep curiosity and academic prowess of our Presidential Scholars, as well as the entire Class of 2021, will enrich and elevate our academic community at Trinity.”

In addition to assessing students’ academic performance, the rigor of their courses of study, and their sustained extracurricular involvement, Trinity also evaluates students on a set of noncognitive traits that research has shown predict success in college, including grit, optimism, persistence, a willingness to take risks, and an ability to overcome adversity.

“Identifying and tracking these traits is not a substitute for academic vitality and achievement,” added Pérez. “Rather, they help us to identify which students from Trinity’s highly qualified and deeply talented applicant pool are most likely to thrive on our campus.”

In Trinity’s second year as a test-optional institution, some 39 percent of students who applied this year chose not to submit standardized test scores, which, research has shown, aren’t nearly as strong a predictor of success in college as are high school grades.

Trinity’s overall acceptance rate this year was 33 percent. For the second year in a row, Trinity’s yield – the percentage of students who say yes to Trinity’s offer of admission – was 30 percent, up from 22 percent in 2015. The precise enrollment – at Trinity and at most colleges – is expected to shift some over the next several weeks as students decide to take gap years or change their plans, a phenomenon known throughout higher education as “summer melt.” 

Beyond their academic strength, the members of the Class of 2021 bring to Trinity a variety of hobbies, talents, and experiences. Included in the class are the founder of an orphanage in Ethiopia, an award-winning yo-yoist, a student who established a prison library for inmates, and hundreds of other accomplished student-athletes, community leaders, writers, activists, artists, and volunteers.

“By any measure, qualitative or quantitative, this is a class for the entire Trinity community to be proud of,” said Pérez, “but what we should really be excited about is the next four years, as the Class of 2021 joins us on campus, engages our community, and helps the College soar to new heights.”