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Numbers, quality of enrolling freshmen remains high

STANFORD -- The number and quality of freshmen enrolled at Stanford University this fall remained at virtually the same high level as last year, just-compiled statistics show.

The "yield rate" -- the percentage of admitted freshmen who decided to enroll -- stayed at 56 percent this year, the same as last year; 79 percent were in the top 10 percent of their graduating class, also the same; and 36 percent had combined SAT scores of 1400 or above, compared to 37 percent last year.

Stanford has enrolled 1,526 new freshmen, with about half of those admitted but not enrolling going to Harvard, Yale, Princeton or MIT.

"Even though there has been a fair amount of publicity recently that has not put Stanford in the most favorable light, we are still managing to enroll a high proportion of the most qualified applicants," said John Bunnell, associate dean and direxctor of freshman admissions.

Concerns in the past year over the university's indirect cost controversy apparently played a minor role, if any, in student decisions about whether or not to enroll, he added.

"When we went on the road and talked to admitted students in various parts of the country, and when prospective freshmen visited the campus in April, we were asked very few questions about indirect costs, though we expected more," he said.

"Basically, students continue to cite academic reputation and quality of undergraduate experience as the primary factors in deciding which school to attend."

The class entering Stanford this fall was selected from 13,530 applicants, an increase of 4.4 percent from the previous year. Admission was offered to 2,715 applicants, or 20 percent of the total.

Females represent 47 percent of the entering class, compared to last year's 46 percent, while African American, Mexican American, American Indian and Asian American students make up a record 42.8 percent of the freshman class, compared to last year's 41.3 percent.

The class includes representatives from the District of Columbia and every state except West Virginia and Wyoming. The largest state representation among entering freshmen remains California, with 40 percent, followed by New York, Texas, Washington, and Illinois. Four percent of the freshmen are international students.

Stanford also has 119 undergraduates enrolling this year who have transferred from 81 other schools; 19 percent of the transfer students are coming from community colleges.

Thirty percent of the new transfer students are either African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians or Asian Americans. Forty-seven percent have a combined SAT score above 1300, and 60 percent have a college grade point average between 3.6 and 4.0.

Nationally, university admissions offices have become increasingly competitive in recent years, as the pool of qualified 17- to 18-year-olds has become smaller. Private colleges also are facing stiffer competition from public universities these days, as the tuition gap between them grows wider.

Bunnell said his office would be working this year with Stanford's new dean of undergraduate admissions, James Montoya, to find new ways to broaden the university's outreach and strengthen the yield ratio in the years ahead. Montoya took over his new post on Sept. 9.



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