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The number of early decision applicants to the University for the Class of 1995 dropped six percent over last year, the third straight year of decline, admissions officials said yesterday Undergraduate Admissions Dean Willis Stetson said he expects colleges and universities across the country to experience similar declines in both early and regular admissions pools because there has been a five percent decrease in the number of 18-year-olds nation-wide. The University accepted 54 percent of the 1229 high school graduates who applied for early acceptance this year. The University received 1310 applications last year. Stetson said that even with the smaller number of applications, this year's pool was "very, very qualified." Admissions figures for other Ivy League schools were not available yesterday. Early admissions, a process in which students promise to attend the University if they are accepted, represent about 30 percent of an average class, Stetson said, adding that regular admissions will be completed within the next 10 days. The admissions dean said that minority recruitment efforts brought an increase in the number of minorities despite the overall drop in applicants. This year 133 were accepted, versus 112 last year, Stetson said. The University saw a drop in black acceptances, from 20 to 18, but substantial percentage increases in Asian students, from 72 to 93, and Mexican-Americans from one to five. Hispanic acceptances stayed even at 39. Minorities represent about 30 percent of the early decision acceptances for the Class of 1995.. Stetson also reported an increase in both the amount of females and the amount of international students accepted. West Coast Admissions Officer Glen Singleton said he was "very excited by the" results. "In a time when there are significant worries about the state of the urban structure, it's good to see that there's a higher quality of applicants," Singleton said. "Penn's a leader as far as attracting and matriculating minorities." He said the general pool of applicants "was larger in number and the quality was just as good, if not better than the past five years." Although Stetson would not release the average SAT scores of the applicants, he did say they were "comparably strong to last year's SAT scores." "[Early admissions] provide with a strong base from which to build to build a class in March and April," the dean added. "This will be a buffer against decreasing numbers of regular admissions." Even with the smaller numbers of applicants, the University accepted more than in the past. Wharton and the College of Arts and Sciences experienced the biggest increases in early decision acceptances, according to Stetson. While Wharton had 116 acceptances in 1989, 161 were accepted this fall. The College had a jump from 345 in 1989 to 407 this year.

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