Stanford Faculty Senate gets a preliminary look at the Class of 2018

At Thursday's Faculty Senate meeting, Richard H. Shaw, dean of undergraduate admission, financial aid and visitor information services, presented a report on the Class of 2018 and announced new financial tools to make paying for college easier. David B. Abernethy, chair of the Stanford Emeriti Council, gave a report on the council's 2013-14 activities.

The 1,691 freshmen in Stanford's Class of 2018 come from 50 states and Washington, D.C., as well as 60 countries, including U.S. citizens schooled in other nations, Richard H. Shaw, dean of undergraduate admission, financial aid and visitor information services, told the Faculty Senate yesterday.

L.A. CiceroRichard Shaw talking to the Faculty Senate

Richard Shaw, dean of undergraduate admission, financial aid and visitor information services, presenting a look at the Class of 2018 to the Faculty Senate on Thursday.

Speaking at the June 12 senate meeting, Shaw said 33 percent of incoming freshmen live in California, followed by 19 percent in the South and 10.5 percent in the Mid-Atlantic. Ten percent of enrolling students were educated in other countries, including 7.6 percent who are citizens of foreign countries. The percentage of enrolling freshmen living in other parts of the United States range from 2.8 percent (Great Plains) to 7.2 percent (Far West).

Shaw also announced that the university is introducing two financial tools to make paying for college easier for undergraduate families: an installment payment plan offered by Stanford; and a project the university is working on with Social Finance Inc., or SoFi, to develop a low-cost parent loan program that will be available to Stanford families in the fall.

At the meeting, Provost John Etchemendy announced that Stanford will launch a 2½-year pilot program providing Caltrain Go Passes to eligible graduate students and postdoctoral scholars living off campus.

In addition, the senators heard a report on the Stanford Emeriti Council.

Class of 2018 by the numbers

While the numbers have not yet been finalized for the Class of 2018, they provide a preliminary look at the incoming freshmen, Shaw said.

Shaw said 35.1 percent of the members of the Class of 2018 are white; 23.6 percent are Asian American; 10.5 percent are African American; 8 percent are Mexican American; 7.6 percent are international students; 6.4 percent are other Hispanic; and 4 percent are Native American or Hawaiian. The primary ethnicity of 4.8 percent of the incoming class is unknown.

Among incoming freshmen, 50.9 percent are men and 49.1 percent are women. The vast majority – 94.8 percent – of incoming freshmen ranked in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. Their median SAT scores were 730 for critical reading, 750 for math and 740 for writing. The median ACT composite score was 33.

Sixty percent of the incoming class attended public high schools in the United States and 30 percent attended private high schools. Nearly 10 percent are international students. Less than 1 percent were home schooled.

Fourteen percent of the Class of 2018 are the first members of their families to attend a four-year college.

Among incoming freshmen, nearly half will receive need-based financial aid from Stanford, under a program designed to ensure that a family's economic circumstances will not prevent an admitted student from being able to attend the university.

Regarding the citizenship of the newly admitted students, Shaw said about 89.8 percent are U.S. citizens, 7.6 percent are international students and 2.6 percent are permanent U.S. residents.

Asked to identify their primary academic interest, 31 percent of the incoming class cited engineering; followed by natural sciences, 26 percent; the humanities, 19 percent; social sciences, 14 percent; and Earth sciences, 3 percent. Four percent are undecided and 3 percent expressed an interest in business, education, pre-law, pre-med, statistics and other academic fields.

In 2013, members of Stanford's admission staff visited all 50 states and 21 countries, Shaw said.

"Even in the spring, we've been back to Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, along with a return trip to the People's Republic of China," he said.

"So you can see that we're out there talking to prospective undergraduates around the world and working very hard to promote this concept that we're a global university."

Stanford Emeriti Council

David B. Abernethy, professor emeritus of political science and chair of the Stanford Emeriti Council, said the council collaborates with the Center on Longevity to co-sponsor a lecture series on aspects of aging, taking advantage of the center's on-campus affiliates and many off-campus associates.

"A particularly interesting one for me was by the two founders of a startup, Aging 2.0, which reaches out to Silicon Valley companies and venture investors to develop products and services for older adults," he said. "They made it quite clear that we senior citizens constitute a large and ever-growing market."

Abernethy said the council's principal activity this year, as in the past, was its quarterly lecture series, titled "Autobiographical Reflections."

He said the talks are open only to emeriti faculty and staff and their spouses and partners, so the council can create a sense of community within a category of people who otherwise would be disconnected from one another. The rest of the Stanford community can listen to the lectures on the Stanford on iTunes U website. So far, 22 lectures have been recorded.

This year's speakers were:

  • Thomas Ehrlich, a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Education, and former dean of Stanford Law School (1971-76), who spoke about his appointment as the first president of the federal government's legal services corporation and as the first director of the U.S. International Development Cooperation Agency, where he reported directly to President Jimmy Carter on foreign aid programs. Currently, Ehrlich is researching the state of civic education in public schools and advocating improvements.
  • Saul A. Rosenberg, the Maureen Lyles D'Ambrogio Professor in the Stanford School of Medicine, Emeritus, who talked about the pioneering research and clinical work he conducted with the late Henry Kaplan (a professor of radiology at Stanford) that transformed Hodgkin's disease from a lethal disease to a highly curable one.
  • Michael W. Kirst, president of the California State Board of Education, and professor emeritus of education, who talked about recent decentralizing efforts in reforming financing in K-12 schools, about efforts to improve high school education to reduce the remediation load on community colleges, and about the new Common Core State Standards Initiative.

The full minutes of the June 12 meeting will be available on the Faculty Senate website next week. The minutes will include the question-and-answer session that followed the presentations.

The June 12 meeting was the last senate meeting of the 2013-14 academic year.