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Incoming freshmen 'energetic, committed to service,' says dean

STANFORD -- Stanford's entering Class of 1996 "is an energetic group of students" with a strong commitment to academics and public service, the university's dean of undergraduate admissions said Sept. 22.

"We were pleased that they were able to maintain the high academic quality of the class, particularly in light of declining high school enrollments," said James Montoya, who is completing his first year as dean.

"We're also pleased, given the fact that this year's freshman class is significantly larger (with 74 more students) than last year's freshman class."

The 1,600 freshmen, who will move into their residences Sept. 24, were selected from 13,206 applicants, a decrease of 4.4 percent from the previous year. Admission was offered to 2,912 applicants, or 22 percent of the total (se e box).

The university's yield rate - the percentage of admitted freshmen who decided to enroll this fall - remained steady at about 55 percent this year, compared with 56 percent last year.

Academic quality of the 1,600 new freshmen also held steady: 77 percent were in the top 10 percent of their graduating class (compared with 79 percent last year), 22 percent had verbal SAT scores of 700 or above (compared to 23 percent last year), and 58 percent had math SAT scores of 700 or above, compared with 59 percent last year.

Females represent 49 percent of the Class of 1996, compared with last year's 47 percent, while African American, Mexican American, American Indian and Asian American students make up a record 46 percent of the freshman class, c ompared with last year's 42.8 percent.

The class includes representatives from all 50 states. The largest state representation among entering freshmen remains California, with 40 percent, followed by Texas, New York, Washington and Illinois. Four percent of the fres hmen are international students.

Stanford also has 143 undergraduates enrolling this year who have transferred from other schools (compared with 119 last year). Of these, 75 percent are coming from four-year colleges and universities; the rest are coming from community colleges.

A quarter of the new transfer students are either African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians or Asian Americans. Half have a combined SAT score of 1300 or above, and 64 percent have a college grade point average of 3.6 to 4.0.

Looking back over his first year as Stanford's dean of admissions, Montoya said he was particularly impressed by the volume of extraordinary applications to the university.

"I have been associated with two other highly selective schools (Vassar and Occidental), and it is clear that Stanford is in a unique position in its ability to attract so many splendid applicants, in terms of their intellect, vitality, personal qualities and records of achievement."

He also said he was impressed "by the degree of personal attention that each file receives" and at how comprehensive the Stanford application is.

"Even without personal interviews," he said, "one is able to get to know each student in fairly complete manner, in a way that would surprise most people."

He added that he is "very much looking forward to serving as an academic adviser this year, and getting to know as many of the new students as possible."



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