Last week, the Office of Undergraduate Admission announced that 85 students who were previously on the waitlist had been offered admission as part of the incoming Class of 2013.
According to the office’s Web site, the decision to admit from the waitlist was largely due to a change in admission strategy that saw the University admit fewer students this year than in years past.
“Although higher than expected student responses have not allowed for the University to go to the waitlist in recent years, a reduction in the number of offers of admission this year has resulted in the planned use of the waitlist,” read an online statement.
Director of Admissions Shawn Abbott confirmed this notion.
“It has been several years since we have admitted students from the waitlist,” he wrote in an email to The Daily. “We lowered our admit rate this past year, admitting 100 fewer students in an intentional move to avoid over-enrolling the freshman class. We now have the flexibility to build up to 1,700 students — accomplishing our goal of ensuring that we would not enroll any more than our target number [of] enrolled students.”
In the previous two years, over-enrollment has contributed to an overcrowding of undergraduate on-campus housing. This year, the Office of Admission hoped to avoid this problem by deliberately admitting fewer students and using the waitlist to adjust numbers accordingly. This led to a 7.6 percent admit rate, considerably less than the 9.46 percent admitted for the Class of 2012.
Other peer institutions have also gone to their waitlist. Princeton, with a yield of 59.7 percent, has admitted 31 off its waitlist, while Harvard, with a 76 percent yield, will admit at least 85 students off its waitlist. Yale has no plans to admit from its waitlist as its yield of 68.7 percent has led to an already crowded Class of 2013.
Unlike its peer institutions, however, Stanford has yet to release its final yield numbers.
“We will not be releasing the yield for the incoming freshmen until we have finished admitting the class,” Abbott said. “Since we have admitted 85 students from the waitlist and will likely admit a few more, it is premature to release that information.”
As for other factors affecting waitlist admittance and overall yield, such as the current economy, Abbott believes it too soon to make conclusions.
“I cannot say for sure yet if the current recession affected our enrollment numbers thus far,” Abbott wrote. “Please understand that we have just begun to administer our admitted student questionnaire. Once that survey deadline passes and we have calculated and analyzed our admitted student responses, I might have a better idea about the effect of the recession on our enrollment numbers.”