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The early decision admission rate dropped to 18.5 percent for the class of 2017, with 558 out of 3,010 applicants receiving offers to enroll, according to University admission officers. Early applicants were notified of their admission decisions 5 p.m. Dec. 12.

The slight dip from last year’s 19 percent acceptance rate corresponded to a larger applicant pool — the number of early applications increased by 91 from last year’s 2,919 applications.

This year’s early decision applicant pool was the largest in the past four years. About 2,800 students applied early in 2010, and 2,848 students did so in 2009.

Approximately 10 percent of applicants were rejected, and roughly 71 percent were deferred to the regular decision process, said Jim Miller ’73, dean of admission. He said these percentages were in line with past years, as a substantial majority of early applicants are deferred.

Over 2,000 early decision applicants were deferred last year, The Herald reported at the time.

Of this year’s early decision admits, 59 percent indicated they plan to receive a bachelor of arts degree, and 41 percent indicated they intend to receive a bachelor of science degree, Miller said. Students planning on studying the social sciences accounted for 30 percent of those admitted, followed by 26 percent who indicated interest in the physical sciences, 24 percent in life sciences and 17 percent in the humanities. The remaining 3 percent were undecided.

Engineering was the most popular intended concentration for the second consecutive year, with 9 percent of students indicating it as their academic interest, Miller said. He added that biology, economics, history and English were the other top intended concentrations respectively among admitted students.

Last year’s uptick in the number of students interested in engineering coincided with a recruiting push for engineering students, The Herald reported at the time. The push followed the formal approval of the School of Engineering in 2010. The number of students interested in engineering has leveled out since last year, when roughly 8 percent of early decision admits indicated interest, Miller said.

This year, 15 students were admitted to the Program in Liberal Medical Education, accounting for 3.9 percent of a 385-member applicant pool, Miller said. The University usually admits around 17 or 18 PLME students through early decision, The Herald reported last year.

This year marks the first admission cycle since the Corporation adopted former President Ruth Simmons’ athletic reform recommendations in October 2011, which called for a 9 percent reduction in admission spots for recruited athletes. Miller said the Admission Office will phase out the decrease in athletes’ spots over three years.

“There’s still a lot of early decision business in athletics,” Miller said.

More admitted students — 95 — came from New York than from any other state. California accounted for the second highest number with 74 admitted students, and Massachusetts had the third highest total at 62. Miller said he anticipates that once regular decision results are released this spring, California will likely overtake New York as the state with the most members of the class of 2017.

Of admitted students, 29 percent live in the Mid-Atlantic, 22 percent are from New England, 16 percent are from the Pacific West, 11 percent are from the South, 8 percent are from the Midwest and 3 percent are from the Mountain West, Miller said.

The remaining admits are international students or from U.S. overseas territories, with China being home to the most admits from any country besides the United States. A total of 13 admits come from China, 6 each come from Canada and the Republic of Korea and 5 are from Turkey. Admitted students come from 22 other nations, but no country other than China, Canada, Korea and Turkey had more than two admitted students, Miller said.

Racial minorities accounted for 28 percent of those admitted early decision, which Miller said was a 2 to 3 percent dip from last year. He said the early decision pool usually has fewer minority applicants than the regular decision pool and 38 to 39 percent of the overall pool of admitted students will likely be racial minorities.

Of early decision admits, 52 percent attend public high schools, while 38 percent attend private schools and 10 percent attend parochial schools, Miller said. Females make up 53 percent of admitted students, and males make up 47 percent.

Miller said the Admission Office aims to draw 33 to 34 percent of the class of 2017 from students admitted early decision, which is consistent with past years.


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