The headache grows more intense each year.
Spring brings ever-swelling floods of applications for admission to Yale. Edward S. Noyes, Chairman of the Yale Board of Admissions, annually enjoys the dubious pleasure of seeing his good, solid efforts multiply into additional efforts.
For last spring, Yale drew a record number of applicants, breaking the record of the preceding year. And to make the job of the Admissions Office even more difficult, the pyramiding number of applicants comes hand in hand with a decreasing Yale student body.
In 1952, over 3,800 men filed applications for a class of 1025. In 1951, 3,213 men sought admission into a class of 1,169. This is to be compared with a total of 1,359 applicants in 1941, for a class of 941.
Both Yale and Harvard admissions officers face equal difficulties, however.
Comparative figures, for example, reveal many similarities between the Yale and Harvard classes of 1955--and a great many striking differences.
Both schools drew approximately 3,200 applicants; both wound up with classes of about the same size--Harvard, with 1,150 men, has 19 fewer students than Yale for that class. Scholarship aid went to 26.9 percent of the Harvard class, and to 26 percent of the Yale.
But here many of the similarities end. Eli admissions men show a strong leaning towards "white shoe" boys 56 percent of Yale '55 attended private schools. This figure is copped only by Princeton's 60 percent prep school student body. On the other hand, only 43.3 percent of Harvard '55 went to private schools.
Harvard Cuts New England Percentage
Geographically, it is evident that Harvard is concentrating on decreasing the number of men from the New England area, and in slightly raising the number from the Middle Atlantic, Mid-West, South; and Far West regions. Between the classes of '54 to '55, New England representation at Harvard dropped from 44.4 percent to 38.1 percent, while every other region rose nearly two percent.
Yale has tried to keep its largest geographical group--the Middle Atlantic--between 35 and 40 percent of the school. Last year, 37.8 percent of the freshman class came from this region. There are considerably fewer Elis from New England than at Harvard--28.6 percent, slightly more from the Mid-West and South, and fewer from the Far West.
The entire admissions set-up, at Yale as at Harvard, has undergone a tremendous revolution. It has changed from the complacent, easy-going attitude of a quarter century ago, to the hustling, serious, intense business it is now.
Ivy League admissions officers can no longer sit back and wait for the top students throughout the country to file applications. Today they must wage an active competition, they must sell their product and recruit interested men.
A Brief View
1929--Yale sets up Regional Scholarships program.