On Thursday March 7, around 200 lucky students received an email from Penn’s Dean of Admissions Eric Furda congratulating them on their likely acceptance to Penn.
In addition to that email, which directed them to the Office of Admissions’ likely site complete with videos and resources about Penn, these students also received a hard copy of the letter and a book by Penn President Amy Gutmann.
“The reality is that this is a group of students… that we know have options,” Dean of Admissions Eric Furda said, explaining the reason behind the continued practice of sending likely letters.
Jason Tian, a senior at Warrensburg High School in Warrensburg, Mo., received a likely letter from Penn, as well as an email from a recent alumnus and two current students.
Tian appreciates the outreach he’s received and said the emails “confirmed different things about Penn that I knew from my sister,” who is a current Penn student. Tian also mentioned that he appreciated the “multiple points of view” that he was provided.
According to Furda, besides these likely letters, these 200 students will also receive phone calls from select alumni, as well as from current student volunteers.
While having current students reach out to likely letter recipients is not new, coordinating with the Office of Alumni Relations on alumni phone calls is something the Office of Admissions began this year.
Furda credits “expanded opportunities with the alumni interview program under Patrick [Bredehoft’s] leadership” with the increased outreach to prospective students.
Beyond these phone calls to these 200 or so students, the Office of Alumni Relations also started a new alumni interview program this year, also led by program director Patrick Bredehoft, who coordinated efforts to increase alumni interviews in the admissions process.
According to Furda, the student volunteers — led by College junior and Admissions Dean’s Advisory Board chair Joe Egozi — are matched with prospective students based on aligned interests, while the alumni are composed of mostly new alumni, whose more recent experiences at Penn allow them to better connect with prospective students.
“The next step would be faculty as well,” mentioned Furda, hinting at a future collaboration that would give prospective students further “touch points” with the Penn community.
He adds that the average yield for likely letter recipients is about 30 percent, compared to that of early decision and regular decision students, which is about 60
A previous version of this article stated that the yield rate for ED students was 60 percent. That rate is for both ED and RD students._
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