Thursday, January 1, 2009

Stanford accepts record low from early pool for the class of 2013

After receiving a record-number 5,363 single-choice early applications in the fall, Stanford’s Office of Admission has accepted 689 prospective freshmen to the Class of 2013. An influx of applications combined with the need to cut back on admission offers by 100 makes this season’s early admission rate the lowest in the University’s history.

Director of Admission Shawn Abbott wrote in an email to The Daily that the newly admitted students are similar to Stanford’s current freshman class.

“There are not significant quantifiable differences with regard to our admitted students this year,” Abbott said. “The academic profile, gender breakdown, etc. of the students we’ve admitted thus far is remarkably similar to last year.”

According to Abbott, the 12.8 percent early acceptance rate is primarily attributed to the University’s anticipation of a high yield rate, or a high percentage of admits accepting their admission offers.

“Because more students have accepted Stanford’s offer of admission at unprecedented rates in the last two years, we need to be considerably more conservative with our admission decisions this year,” the director said.

According to a press release from the admission office, 25,000 applications are expected by the Jan. 1 regular decision deadline.

Students are applying from around the world, and Stanford ranks in the top 10 of private research universities enrolling students from the lowest socio-economic backgrounds.

“Our applicant pool is now a robust international one, and those who ultimately made the cut are distinguished on a worldwide scale,” said Richard Shaw, dean of admission and financial aid, in a press release.

Abbott noted that an intensive outreach program is in place to increase the socio-economic diversity on campus. Among the Class of 2012, for instance, 17 percent of students are the first in their families to attend college.

Although schools across the nation anticipated a decline in applications this year due to the recession, private universities including Yale and Duke also saw an increase in early applicants. Shaw attributed this trend to a higher availability of financial aid programs.

“Stanford’s new financial aid programs, which provide tuition-free assistance to those families who make below $100,000 a year (and have typical assets of such families), should enable every one of those students who has been offered admission to attend Stanford in the fall,” he said.

Although some universities, Harvard and Princeton included, have ended their early application processes, Abbott said Stanford will retain its program to allow students who know Stanford is their first choice to demonstrate so.

“Stanford retains an early admission program because we do have an interest in attracting students who know that Stanford is their first choice and have completed an exhaustive search for their ideal college experience,” Abbott said.

Stanford’s admit rate has declined in recent years, landing at just over nine percent during the last application cycle–a number that is expected to drop again this year.

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