Acceptance rate falls with fewer applicants
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 12:10
The University saw a slight drop in applications this year, from 8,917 last year to 8,380 for the Class of 2016, according to Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Andrew Flagel during last Thursday’s faculty meeting.
The numbers are as of Oct. 1 and came from a preliminary report on admissions statistics Flagel presented to the faculty.
According to the data from the report, acceptances decreased with applications, falling to 3,277, resulting in an acceptance rate of 39.11 percent. This is slightly lower than last year’s 39.99 percent, although the University’s acceptance rate has hovered around 40 percent for the past three years. In addition, the yield, or rate of students accepted who matriculate, increased to 25.1 percent.
“Both of these rates are moving very much in the right direction,” said Flagel.
Flagel pointed out that although there were fewer applicants, both last and this year’s classes were the “two largest application pools for freshmen in our history.” According to Flagel, the reason for the decline was the elimination of an internal application that drew about 600 applications that “didn’t tend to enroll or be qualified.” In addition, these applications were costly to the University. For these reasons, the applications were discontinued so that students applied exclusively with the Common Application.
This year’s class size, which does not yet include transfers and mid-year students, is also smaller than last year, as 821 students matriculated compared to last year’s 858 students.
Last year, the large size of the Class of 2015 raised concerns about housing with more first-year students in lofted triples. According to Dean of Admissions Mark Spencer in a September interview with the Justice, the University aimed to maintain an enrollment of 855 students for the Class of 2016.
In terms of demographics, the University saw another geographically concentrated class enter this fall, as 34 percent of the entering class are from the New England region and 48 percent of the international students, which make up 16 percent of the whole class, are from China. In an interview with the Justice, Flagel said that these numbers are concerning.
“We are concentrated in very narrow areas,” he commented, saying that the goal of the University is to broaden its profile across the United States and around the world.
Flagel pointed to a decreasing gender disparity from last year with the percentage of female students falling to 53 percent and males rising to 47 percent.
Students’ average GPA “continued to hover above 3.8” while the average SAT score dropped slightly by 10 points. Flagel noted that overall, both GPA and SAT scores have improved.
Flagel also presented statistics on students enrolled in graduate programs. These programs include the Graduate School of Arts and Sciencs, the Heller School of Social Policy and Management, the International Business School, the Rabb School of Continuing Studies and a joint program between the GSAS and Heller. Flagel did not provide breakdowns for the individual schools. Enrollment for graduate students dropped by four percent to 2,226 enrolled students. Flagel noted that graduate enrollment had “slipped nationally” after a few years of “significant” growth but that it was “hard to discern too much from a four-percent shift.” Out of admitted graduate students, 41 percent are from New England while 31 percent are international.
—Sam Mintz and Robyn Spector contributed reporting.