The 21 members of the Class of 2019 submitted 135 total college applications, meaning that each student on average applied to between six and seven schools. Having options on where to study is obviously a wonderful outcome—options that are derived from a thoughtful, comprehensive, and also competitive process. MCDS College Counselor Matt Koehler has counseled these students and their families on all aspects of choosing the best-fit school, including financial considerations that match families’ financial budgets.
Cumulatively, our students received offers totaling more than $2.1 million in merit scholarships. Several of these awards represent more than $100,000 over the four-year course of college, and in some cases these awards are augmented by Financial Aid awards. Over the past decades, college tuitions have risen significantly above cost-of-living adjustments, making these financial awards an increasingly more important criterion in choosing one’s college or university. We do know that in some cases our students are awarded specifically in recognition of their International Baccalaureate coursework or in recognition of our students’ challenging course load over four years of high school. Many of our graduates also gained access to honors programs at schools such as UW-Madison and the universities of North Carolina, Colorado, Washington, Minnesota, and DePaul in Chicago. It is also noteworthy that two of our students have elected to give back by serving in the National Guard for part of the 2019-2020 school year.
As you know, we’ve seen a new low in college admissions as a result of the highly publicized admissions scandal. I am confident that our graduates are getting into selective and highly selective colleges the old-fashioned way—they earned it. Collectively, our students achieved a grade-level average composite score of 29.5 on the ACT—ACT remains the most widely-used standardized test measure for college entrance. The Class of 2019’s average ACT score will rank along with two other Wisconsin independent and fellow ISACS schools as the highest in the state. A composite score of 30 would place an individual student at the 95th percentile. In addition to those results as well as the challenging course load coupled with high grades, our students also are demonstrating engagement and leadership beyond the classroom—in athletics, extracurriculars, or summer internships such as the MCDS Advanced Science Research project available to rising 12th grade students.
Among the colleges and universities that accepted our students are highly selective liberal arts colleges and national universities, as well as schools that represent to our students and their families the best possible fit. The recent national admissions scandal has highlighted our obsession with gaining admission to the top 25 universities, when in reality there are more than 3,000 universities and colleges across the U.S.
Below, please see the acceptances our soon-to-be-graduates have received. (Schools with an asterisk* represent those institutions that have accepted an MCDS student for the first time; schools with a number in parentheses indicate the number of students from MCDS admitted; click here for the historical list of college acceptances):