Graduation week: Darien's Class of '18 profile presented to Board of Ed

The Board of Education was presented with the profile of Darien High School’s Class of 2018 at Tuesday night’s meeting. Principal Ellen Dunn presented data on the senior class that included test scores, GPAs, and plans for the future. “I’m very pleased to share the work of our guidance department and faculty in supporting our students in the pursuit of their next steps,” Dunn opened as she presented the data.

Out of the 317 seniors at DHS, 93% of the class will be attending a four-year college this fall. A two-year college will be attended by 0.6% of seniors, and 1.2% of seniors will go on to a college preparatory school. This data are similar to the data of recent senior classes.

Seniors sent a total of 2,982 applications to 368 different colleges, these numbers again similar to the class of 2017. One hundred thirty-six seniors applied as part of the early decision process, or about 40% of students. Of those 59%, or 81 students, were accepted early.

The most common university applied to was the University of Connecticut, which saw 84 applications from the senior class. Those 84 were just for the Storrs campus, and when the other UConn campuses are added, the number rises to 102 applications. The other most common schools that were applied to were Boston College, Loyola Maryland, Miami University, Oxford, University of Michigan, and College of Charleston.

The most attended school for the class of 2018 is the University of Vermont, with 11 seniors headed to Burlington. Nine students will attend UConn, and eight each at Colgate and Sacred Heart University.

The average GPA for the senior class was 3.41 out of a 4.00. The average SAT was 1,281 out of 1,600, and the average ACT was 28 out of a possible 36.

Board member Michael Burke congratulated the students on a great year, calling DHS, “the jewel of our system.” Vice Chairman Betsy Hagerty Ross also congratulated the students, parents, and staff on such a successful year.

Hagerty Ross asked why the number of students on waitlists seemed to be so high. The answer was ultimately volume. Technological advances in the application process along with things like the common app means schools are now evaluating tens of thousands of applications, but the number of spots in any given class remains the same. The guidance department does to try track data on the number of students who come off the waitlist for schools each year if possible. They also do they best to track the number of Darien students who graduate from college, which is somewhat of an indicator of a student choosing a school that is a good fit.

The year was seen as nothing less than a strong success for DHS. “We are very proud of our students and their performances across the board,” said Dunn.