Yield rate remains among best in U.S. for Class of '08




Penn's popularity in the market of higher education continues to grow, and the percentage of students who choose to attend once accepted remains high.

The University's yield rate -- the number of accepted students who will matriculate at the University -- remained steady this year at 63 percent. That puts Penn among the top 10 schools in the country, marking it as one of the most popular destinations for graduating high school seniors.

The total yield rate combines students who were accepted through the early decision process -- who are legally bound to attend -- with students who were accepted regular decision. The yield rate for regular decision students was approximately 50 percent this year, up from the Class of 2007's 46 percent.

The overall percentage, according to figures recently released by the Admissions Department, was almost identical to the previous year, but is significantly higher than the rates the University saw 10 years ago.

This is "a significant improvement over our days of 10 years ago when we were averaging in the upper 40s," Admissions Dean Lee Stetson said. He added that the higher yield rate is a reflection of the strength of the class, whose average SAT scores increased by five points this year to a cumulative score of 1414.

As of this week, the Class of 2008 has 2,404 members, though that number could change and will likely not be finalized until the middle of June, according to Stetson. The board of admissions aims to enroll approximately 2,400 students each year.

The numbers could fluctuate slightly because some students are still engaged in financial aid discussions with University officials, which could impact their enrollment decisions.

There are currently a few hundred students on the waiting list, and Stetson said that at this point only a handful will be accepted.

"We might take a few more off the waitlist, but not many," Stetson said, adding that many students who agree to be put on the waiting list do not demonstrate significant interest in attending the school.

The Class of 2008, as of this week, is made up of 908 students of color, approximately 38 percent, though Stetson expects that number to increase slightly in the coming weeks. Thirteen percent of the class is from the international community, representing nearly 70 foreign countries from six continents. All 50 states are represented.

For the second year in a row, female students outnumber male students, making up 51 percent of the incoming class.

Fifteen percent of the incoming class is alumni-related, which Stetson said marks a "recent all-time high."

"This class represents a diverse cross section of the U.S. and world, but also represents students with a great deal of energy and interests outside the classroom," Stetson said.

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