Whitney Soule of Brunswick has been named dean of admissions and financial aid at Bowdoin College. She succeeds Scott A. Meiklejohn, who is moving to become senior vice president for development and alumni relations at the College.
Soule’s appointment, effective July 1, 2016, was announced by Bowdoin President Clayton S. Rose.
“Whitney is among the most talented and respected admissions professionals in the nation,” said Rose. “She has demonstrated a deep understanding of what it takes to attract, admit and matriculate gifted students who will thrive at Bowdoin and who make our community stronger year after year. Since joining the College in 2008, she has been a critical part of the leadership team in admissions, and with her expertise in the use of technology, data and analysis in admissions, she has been instrumental in modernizing our student recruitment efforts. I look forward to working with her in this new role.”
As dean of admissions and financial aid, Soule will join the leadership team that sets the strategic direction of the College and will direct an admissions and financial aid program at Bowdoin that has seen sustained success over several decades. This year, the College received 6,799 applications for approximately 500 spots in the Class of 2020. Thirty percent of these applicants—who came from more than 3,300 high schools—identified themselves as multicultural. The overall admit rate was just over 14 percent. These figures compare with 5,401 applications and an admit rate of 21.6 percent ten years ago. Bowdoin is one of only 15 colleges and universities in the U.S. that practices “need-blind” admissions, meets full demonstrated need, and does not require loans in student aid packages (loans were replaced with grants in 2008). This year, Bowdoin provided more than $33 million in need-based financial aid, with an average grant of nearly $40,000.
Soule joined the admissions staff at Bowdoin in the summer of 2008 as senior associate dean. A year later, she was named director of admissions at the College with supervisory responsibility for 19 staff members; budgetary oversight; management of the student application process, timeline and goals; and advisory duties on behalf of the dean and Bowdoin’s president, among other responsibilities. She began her career in admissions at Bates in 1991 and then served for 11 years in the admissions office at Connecticut College in New London, Conn., where her work focused on the effective use of technology and data in the admissions process.
Soule earned her undergraduate degree in English at Bates College and her master’s degree in education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A member of several professional organizations, including the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC), she has presented at national conferences on topics related to change management, leadership and technology. In 2013, Soule was named NEACAC Professional of the Year.