Applications hit record high About 36 percent of those who applied for admission to the Class of 1998 will receive acceptance letters in the mail starting today, Admissions Dean Lee Stetson said last night. Of the 13,731 high school seniors who applied to the University this year, 4,970 were admitted. The number was down 262 from last year's 5,232 accepted students. The number of applicants in this year's pool set a University record, which was 11 percent higher than last year's 12,394 applicants. According to Stetson, the average SAT score of this year's admitted student is 1304 -- 614 in math and 690 in verbal -- up from last year's combined score of 1296. The accepted students also ranked in the top three percent of their high school classes and have an average Achievement test score of 648, up from last year's average of 645, he added. "The quality of the class is an even greater source of satisfaction than the large number of applicants," Stetson said last night. Of the students admitted, 3,236 students were accepted to the College, down from last year's 3,329, he said. About 1,500 of those are expected to enroll. Only 570 high school seniors of the 2,050 who applied to the Wharton School were admitted, Stetson said. He added that he expects about 400 students to enroll in the school, the same number as he expects for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The Engineering School experienced a slight decrease in the number of admitted students with 1,028 of them receiving acceptance letters, compared to 1,125 students last year. The Nursing School was the only school to experience an increase in admits, with 136 students accepted over last years 123. The Admissions Office is expecting 85 to enroll, Stetson said. "We let fewer students in to control the class size," Stetson said. "We are expecting a class in the neighborhood of a 47 percent yield [of the 4,970]." Stetson added that he envisions a class size of around 2,350 students, down 110 from this year's entering freshman class, which was the largest in recent history. Stetson said the Admissions Office intends to pare back the size of the incoming classes a little each year. He added that if the number of students who enroll by the May 1 deadline does not reach the target, students will be admitted from the wait list to fill the open spots. "We are always uncertain as to what the breakdown of the class will be," Stetson said. "[The breakdown] will be finally realized when students finally accept in May." This year's admitted class experienced a "significant shift" in the proportion of men to women. Forty-eight percent of those admitted are women, compared to 44 percent last year. Consistent with the lower acceptance rate this year, the number of Asian Americans, Latinos and Mexican Americans admitted is also down from last year. But, the number of African Americans admitted is up to 387, from last year's 383. The number of Puerto Ricans is also up to 62 from 59 last year. Stetson said he expects the number of minority students who enroll to be on par with last year's numbers. Consistent with last year's pool is the returning interest in the University from students in the Northeast. Students from New England and Mid-Atlantic states represent about 60 percent of the accepted class, Stetson said. The other 40 percent are students from other states and from around the world. About 410 international students were admitted from the pool of 1,681 students. This year, international students made up 10 percent of the entering class. "Now, the challenge is to enroll the class we've admitted," Stetson said last night. "My sense is that the [accepted] students will have many options and there will be significant competition from other schools. "We will be going head-to-head with our peer institutions," he added. Stetson said it is important for the University to be seen as a viable choice for the admitted students. He hopes the Penn Preview Weeks, which begin this weekend, will be influential in the students' decisions. "I think we will fare well," Stetson said. "The attractiveness of Penn has never been greater."Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.