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The Hopkinton Edge: Decoding College Admissions Success

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As college decision letters begin to fill the inboxes of high school seniors nationwide, the anticipation and anxiety among students and their families reach a fever pitch. It’s a pivotal moment that can shape futures, influencing not just the next four years, but the trajectory of lives.

In this context, we focused on the students at Hopkinton High School, seeking to understand how they fare in the landscape of college admissions. Armed with data from Naviance (2019 – 2023) and US News & World Report, we performed a detailed analysis to reveal trends and outcomes that might offer both solace and strategy to students in the throes of making one of their first major life decisions.

We’ve previously written about the opaque and often vexing college admissions process, where every percentage point in acceptance rates can be a cause for celebration or consternation. What we found is that Hopkinton students have been quietly bucking national trends. Our investigation reveals a compelling narrative: certain colleges and universities across the United States are more likely to open their doors to applicants from Hopkinton than to the average student nationally, illuminating paths of opportunity amidst the uncertainty of the application process.

Yet, the journey to higher education is fraught with challenges. Despite the promising avenues where Hopkinton students seemingly have an edge, there exists a list of institutions where their applications are met with deferrals or outright denials at a rate that mirrors or even exceeds national averages. This dichotomy not only highlights the unpredictable nature of college admissions but also underscores the resilience and ambition inherent within the student body of Hopkinton High School.

As we delve deeper into the data, regional trends begin to emerge, sketching a map of where Hopkinton’s graduates are venturing. Whether drawn by specific academic programs, cultural affinities, or the allure of a change in climate, these students are marking their presence in diverse corners of the country.

Colleges where Hopkinton Students have an Admissions Advantage

Connecticut College’s published acceptance rate is 40%, but from 2019 – 2023 they accepted a staggering 86% of Hopkinton students. Similarly, Clark University in Worcester takes just 48% of all applicants, but accepted 81% of the Hopkinton students that applied. Students applying to ‘Bama are virtually guaranteed a spot.

Here are the top 20 schools that offer the best chance for a Hopkinton student to be accepted.

Where Hopkinton Students Apply

It’s no surprise that many students choose to stay local. After all, Massachusetts consistently leads the nation in concentration of top colleges, as frequently recognized by various academic rankings (such as those from U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal). UMass Amherst, ranked #67 by US News & World Report, received the most applications from Hopkinton students from 2019 – 2023. With HHS students receiving in-state tuition and the consistently top-rated dining hall, the value of UMass is hard to beat.

Hopkinton students love #53 ranked Northeastern too. With a paltry national acceptance rate of between 7% – 20%, Northeastern is extremely selective. Fortunately for our kids, the admissions office looks favorably upon Hopkinton students, having accepted 29% of HHS applicants in the past 5 years.

Here are the top 20 schools Hopkinton students applied to between 2019 – 2023.

Loyalty: Top Colleges by HHS Enrollment

The Common Application was introduced in 1975. Initially, it was used by 15 institutions, but over the years, it has grown significantly and is now used by more than 900 colleges and universities around the world.

The Common App makes applying to college easy by allowing students to fill out one application and submit it to multiple schools. Consequently, students who use the Common App typically apply to between 5 and 8 colleges. But since they can only attend one, we thought an interesting cut of the data would be to see which colleges have the best loyalty; that is, when an offer to attend is extended, the Hopkinton student chooses to enroll.

The Ivy League acceptance numbers are to be expected, but there were a few surprises on this list, including the University of Michigan.

“Michigan is usually the first choice for students with Ivy aspirations, but end up looking at a State school,” said college expert Christine Chapman. “Michigan’s Ross School of Business consistently ranks in the top 5 for business schools, and they also have one of the best engineering schools in the country. So there is a lot that appeals to a typical Hopkinton student.”

Striking Out: The Colleges that Deny or Defer HHS Students

High school students can experience a wide range of reactions when they receive a letter from a college informing them they’ve been deferred or denied admission. These reactions are deeply personal and can vary significantly based on individual expectations, preparedness for the outcome, and the level of attachment to the particular college. And given that the admissions process is notoriously difficult to understand, many families are left with unanswered questions.

>> RELATED: College Corner: Deferred? Denied? It’s Not Your Student, I Promise

Here are the top 20 colleges where Hopkinton students apply but are denied or deferred admission.

Where Hopkinton Students Go

As mentioned above, most Hopkinton students choose a college within driving distance from home, and there are many practical reasons for this. But some students choose to venture further afield, and while the Mid-Atlantic region receives the second most applications, the South Atlantic region garners the second most acceptances. No doubt a few students are seeking a break from the hard New England winter.

Explore the Data on Your Own

Want to dive deeper? Check out the interactive dashboard (looks best on a PC).


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