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As the admissions process becomes increasingly competitive across both the Ivy League and the nation, it seems that Penn is continuing to become a more attractive option to students.

According to figures released by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the University's yield number -- the proportion of students who were offered admission and plan to matriculate -- has risen again this year, this time to 64 percent for the combined early and regular decision applicant pools.

Last year, 62 percent of accepted students enrolled, and the previous year, 58 percent chose to matriculate.

Dean of Admissions Lee Stetson described the incoming freshmen as a "very strong entering class."

"Each year, our yield is increasing, our quality is increasing," he said. It is "especially encouraging to see more students choosing Penn as a first choice."

The yield rate for the regular decision pool alone was 46 percent, up slightly from 44 percent the previous year.

In all, the Class of 2007 will have approximately 2,400 members "after the summer melt," Stetson said, explaining that "there will be some students who will defer for a year, and there will be a few that may decide to withdraw" over the summer, thus bringing the class size to the targeted level. However, he expects that these numbers will be "fewer this year because of the world situation."

"We'll probably end up losing [only] 15 or 20," he said.

Candidates placed on the waiting list will not be offered admission for the fall, due to the high yield figures, Stetson added.

The incoming class will include approximately 1,536 College of Arts and Sciences students, 412 Wharton students, 408 Engineering students and 92 Nursing students.

They also represent a global group, calling all 50 states, 62 countries and six continents home.

"The students come from all over the world," Stetson said, adding that "the geographical spread is continuing to be strong" with each year's freshman class.

Approximately 35 percent of the class are students of color, Stetson said. About 7 percent, or 170 individuals, are black or African American, up from 144 students last year. There are 153 entering Latino students, representing roughly 6 percent of the class. Twenty-one percent of incoming students are Asian or Asian American and just 10 individuals are Native American.

Stetson also noted that for the first time, more than half -- or 51.5 percent -- of incoming students are women. He said that increase was specifically a result of larger proportions of females matriculating in Wharton and the Engineering School. Wharton's freshman class will include 36 percent women, up from 33 percent the previous year, and the Engineering School's incoming class is 33 percent women, up from 31 percent.

The academic qualifications of students have seen a slight rise, with the average SAT score of entering freshmen moving from 1404 last year to 1411 this year. Fifteen percent of members of the Class of 2007 are also the valedictorians or salutatorians of their secondary schools.

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