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Applications to class of 2018 second-highest in U. history

International students and students of color reached record highs in the applicant pool

Updated Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 3:00 a.m.

Approximately 30,320 students applied to the class of 2018, the second-largest applicant pool in University history and about a 4 percent increase from last year, said Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73.

Roughly 27,100 students applied through the regular decision process — which had a Jan. 1 deadline — while 3,088 students submitted early decision applications, according to the Office of Admission. The University admitted 18.9 percent of early decision applicants in December.

The Admission Office received 28,919 applications last year, accepting approximately 9.2 percent. Applications reached an all-time high with the class of 2015, when the Admission Office received over 30,900 applicants, 8.7 percent of whom were accepted.

The University’s specialized degree programs witnessed significant increases in interest this year. Applications to the Program in Liberal Medical Education rose by 22 percent to 2,763, Miller said. The Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program saw a 28 percent increase from 512 applications last year to 716 this year, he added.

Miller attributed the jump in special degree program applications to increased publicity for the dual-degree program as well as cyclical interest in medicine, calling this year an “up-cycle” for PLME.

The physical sciences were the most popular intended area of study, as 28 percent of applicants indicated they intend to concentrate in a physical sciences field, Miller said. About 27 percent of applicants chose concentrations in the social sciences, 26 percent expressed interest in a life sciences concentration and 13 percent opted for a field in the humanities. Six percent of applicants indicated that they were undecided on their intended course of study.

All 50 states are represented in the applicant pool, with California accounting for the most applicants, Miller said. New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Florida, respectively, rounded out applicants’ top five home states.

International applications hit an all-time high, with 5,219 applicants — or 17 percent of the total pool — residing outside the United States, Miller said. Of the 152 foreign countries with applicants,  China — as in past years — was the best represented, followed by India, Canada, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

A record-high 40 percent of applicants — or nearly 12,000 students — identified as students of color, Miller said. Though the percentage of black and Hispanic applicants remained “flat” from last year to this year, the percentage of the applicant pool identifying as Asian rose by 16 percent, he added.

For the fourth consecutive year, approximately 68 percent of the applicant pool applied for financial aid, Miller said.

About 59 percent of applicants are female and 41 percent are male, Miller said. Roughly 71 percent of applicants attend public school, 20 percent attend private schools and 9 percent are in parochial schools, he added.

This year’s pool resembles applicant totals over “the last five or six years,” as the number of applications has hovered between 28,000 and 31,000, Miller said.

The Admission Office does not have a specific target number of acceptances and instead will examine the pool holistically before making final admission decisions, Miller said.

Applicants will be notified of their admission decisions March 27 at 5 p.m.


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