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High quality, diversity reflected in incoming transfer students

STANFORD -- A professional actress, a former Buddhist monk, a U.S. Army Green Beret, a successful businesswoman and a professional ballerina are among the 189 transfer students who were offered fall admission to Stanford University in letters mailed May 21.

They will join approximately 1,580 freshmen who are expected to enroll this September. Classes begin Wednesday, Sept. 30.

This year's admitted transfer students were selected from 1,265 candidates from 478 different colleges and universities. Those applicants' materials and credentials were evaluated by the admissions staff during an intensive three-week period in May.

According to William Tingley, director of transfer admissions, the newly admitted transfer students have until June 12 to accept Stanford's offers, but it already appears certain that next fall's class will be one of the most talented and diverse in recent memory.

More than 50 in the admitted transfer class had perfect 4.0 grade point averages in college. The fact that less than 30 percent of all the 4.0 applicants were admitted reflects the overall quality of the applicant pool, he said.

Similarly, less than half of the applicants who scored 1,400 or higher, out of a possible 1,600, on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) were admitted this year.

Twenty-one percent of the admitted transfer class had SAT verbal scores of 700 or higher (only 1 percent of the students who take the SAT nationally score in this range). Forty-two percent had SAT math scores of 700 or higher, compared to 4 percent of the national test takers.

Offers of admission were sent to candidates from 30 states, the District of Columbia and 14 foreign countries. Once again, California had the highest representation, with 44.4 percent, followed by Massachusetts (5.3 percent), New York (4.8 percent), Connecticut (3.2 percent), Oregon (2.6 percent), and Maryland, New Jersey and Washington (each with 2.1 percent).

The 23 new international transfer students include representatives from Bolivia, Bulgaria, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Poland and South Africa. They also include three students from China, one of whom is an internationally ranked gymnast and two of whom are the first undergraduates admitted directly from institutions there.

For the second year in a row, approximately equal numbers of admitted students are from public and private institutions. The highest number are from nearby Foothill College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with eight and seven respectively.

Other institutions from which significant numbers were admitted (three to five) include Brown, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton and Yale, as well as De Anza College, the University of California-Berkeley, Georgetown, Vassar, Smith, the University of Chicago, Wellesley, the College of San Mateo, the California Institute of Technology and the University of California-Davis.

Thirty California community colleges are represented in the admitted group. In addition to Foothill, De Anza and the College of San Mateo, others include Cabrillo, Canada, Los Angeles City College and Santa Rosa Junior College.

Other Northern California community colleges represented include American River, City College of San Francisco, Diablo Valley, Mendocino, Monterey Peninsula, Ohlone and West Valley.

In the last few years, the Stanford admissions staff has expanded its outreach efforts to community colleges. The outcome has been a 13 percent increase in community college applications since 1986. Community college students make up 24 percent of the admitted transfer class, up from 17 percent last year and 4 percent seven years ago.

"The results have been very gratifying," said James Montoya, Stanford's new dean of undergraduate admissions. "Outstanding students from Ivy League schools, major public universities and liberal arts colleges are still applying, but we also are seeing outstanding candidates with interesting backgrounds from the two-year sector."

The percentage of women in the admitted transfer class has increased significantly, up from 36.8 percent in 1986 to 46 percent this year. And the number of re-entry or non-traditional students (older students in their late 20s, 30s and 40s) has increased dramatically in the past three years.

Approximately 30 of the admitted students are non- traditional, up from 11 last year and 8 in 1990.

"These students not only bring very strong records of achievement in college," Tingley said, "they also add spice to the undergraduate student body through their interesting life experiences and accomplishments."

The ethnic and cultural diversity of the admitted transfer class also is noteworthy. Of the admitted students, 4.8 percent are African Americans, 13.8 percent are Asian Americans, 4.8 percent are Mexican Americans/Chicanos and 1.1 percent are Native Americans. The total number of minority transfer students admitted is 46 this year, up from 44 last year and 40 two years ago.

Although student interest in the various academic majors offered at Stanford has fluctuated over the past five years, some patterns have emerged.

The percentage of admitted students expressing interest in the humanities (22.8 percent) has remained fairly constant. The number of transfers planning majors in the social sciences has increased from 27 percent in 1988 to 34.4 percent this year.

Correspondingly, the number indicating a preference for engineering has declined from 25 percent in 1989 to 15.9 percent in 1992. Interest in the natural sciences has dropped from 24 percent five years ago to 12.2 percent.



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