Admit rate drops to 7.1 percent as class size grows

April 1, 2011, 2:06 a.m.

With the release of admission decisions on Tuesday, Stanford’s acceptance rate fell to 7.1 percent, breaking the record 7.2 percent set last year. Of the 34,348 high school students who applied to the Farm this year, 2,427 have the opportunity to join the Class of 2015. The number includes the 754 applicants admitted in December through the early action option.

This initial percentage, however, can be deceptive: only 2,300 students were admitted to the classes of 2014 and 2013 before more were accepted off the waitlist.

Recently, Stanford has increased the number of admitted students it can accommodate each year, according to Director of Admission Bob Patterson. An increase in the raw number of acceptances was motivated by greater space available on campus in both classrooms and residence halls. As a result, the freshman class size is likely to increase next year by roughly 50 students, he said–leading to an expected freshman enrollment of about 1,725.

Stanford’s admit class is once again geographically diverse: roughly nine percent of the pool are international students, and admits hail from all 50 states.

“We saw talented students from the academic arena to the theater arts, from debate to athletics–truly talented students,” Patterson said. “This was an amazing class. The admission staff was really passionate about the students they read and extremely excited about the students who were ultimately admitted.”

Stanford remained among the most selective institutions in the nation. Harvard and Columbia had admittance rates of 6.2 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively. Yale accepted 7.4 percent of applicants, while Princeton took in 8.4 percent.

Admission rates continue to fall nationwide as more students apply to a greater number of institutions, Patterson said. Although the overall number of graduating high school students decreased from last year, Stanford received a higher number of applications. The number of high school applicants increased 6.8 percent from last year, which boasted a total of 32,022 applicants.

Despite this growth in applications, Stanford’s admission process has remained the same.

“We continued to review applications the same way we always have, through a comprehensive, holistic approach,” Patterson said. “We did hire additional reading staff, and we also had them work more hours. It took a toll on them, but they still reviewed every single file we received this year.”

Ehrik Aldana, who was admitted as part of Stanford’s regular decision process, said he is excited for Admit Weekend.

“What I had found out from websites, papers and talking to people–I’m looking forward to experiencing it firsthand,” Aldana said.

But the excitement hasn’t quite sunk in for him yet.

“I’m still in this incredibly nebulous place where I don’t know what to think right now,” he said. “It feels unreal.”

The admission process is still far from over for many applicants. Stanford will begin reviewing the applications of roughly 1,400 transfer students over the next two weeks. There are also 1,078 students on the waitlist.

Admits have until May 1 to accept the University’s offer.

AMPLIFICATIONS: This story was updated to include the number of students expected to enroll for the Class of 2015. In addition, The Daily revised Columbia University’s admit rate to reflect results from its School of Engineering and Applied Science as well as those for Columbia College.

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