Class of 2010 pool is larger, more diverse

Number of Asian-American and Latino applicants up, black applicants down

By
Monday, February 27, 2006

With a record-setting 18,298 total applicants for the class of 2010, Brown’s applicant pool is getting larger every year – and more diverse.

Total applications are up 8.2 percent from last year, and all but one minority group saw an increase in applications from last year, according to statistics provided by the Office of Admission.

The number of Asian-American and Latino applicants increased by 11.9 percent and 12 percent, respectively, while American Indian applications increased by 14.1 percent (although they still made up less than 1 percent of the pool). International applications increased by 7.1 percent.

Brown saw a 4.7 percent decrease in the number of black applicants, but Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73 said that is not a cause for concern.

“If there is a decline in any group for more than three years, then it’s a concern, but yearly fluctuations are not a cause for worry,” Miller said, adding that this year Brown received the second-highest number of black applicants in its history.

There was also a 24.5 percent increase in the number of students who did not identify their race.

“As America becomes much more multiracial and multicultural, I think students perceive themselves as being not one race, but myriad races, so none of the boxes fit them neatly,” Miller said. Former Dean of Admission Michael Goldberger told The Herald last year most of these applicants are usually white, which Miller said might be true, though he added a closer inspection of the applicants would be needed to determine that.

The most striking difference between the applicant pool to the class of 2009 and 2010 is the percentage of applications submitted online. Last year, 54 percent of all applications where submitted online, while 71 percent chose the electronic option this year.

“When we first started doing (online applications), people were afraid to push the button and send them here, because they thought they would disappear into the ether,” Miller said. “Now, each successive generation has become more comfortable with computers, and (online applications) are more convenient, too.”

Only 39 percent of the applicant pool is male, com-pared to 42 percent a year ago. Miller said the lack of male applicants is a national trend not unique to Brown – many media sources, such as the San Francisco Chronicle and Time Magazine, have reported about the decline of male college students in recent years. At Brown, the applicant pool has been about 55 to 59 percent female for about the past seven years.

62 percent of applicants attend public schools, 24 percent attend private schools and 9 percent attend parochial schools, while the remaining 5 percent are unknown. These numbers show no significant change from last year.

The proportion of applicants from different U.S. regions stayed similar to last year. The most represented region for applicants is again Southern New England, with 17 percent of applicants from Rhode Island, Massachusetts or Connecticut. The second-most represented regions are California and the Mid-Atlantic, which include New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which both accounted for 15 percent of applicants. New York followed close behind, with 13 percent of applicants.

7 percent of the applicant pool indicated interest in engineering, while 22 percent expressed interest in the humanities. 34 percent selected math and science and 23 percent picked social science. 13 percent were undecided.

66 percent of the applicants applied for financial aid – the same percentage as last year.