The Radcliffe Admissions office mailed 2193 letters yesterday, but only 346 began with the welcome words: "The Committee on Admissions is very pleased to inform you . . ."
Although the total number of applicants was slightly smaller than last year's figure of 2223, Margaret W. Stimpson, dean of Admissions, said yesterday that the decrease can in no way be considered a trend. "The figures for the two years really aren't comparable since last year's numbers included early decision," she explained.
Since Radcliffe was the only one of the Seven Sisters to discontinue the early decision program, Mrs. Stimpson pointed out that many girls who would otherwise have applied to the 'Cliffe had apparently preferred the security of being accepted early to one of the other six colleges.
As in other years, the admissions committee is relying on an 85 per cent acceptance rate, which will result in an entering class of approximately 300 girls.
Although she is hopeful that all the incoming freshmen can be accommodated in the brick dormitories, Mrs. Stimpson said that girls in the metropolitan Boston area may have to commute temporarily. She added, however, that this year's system of "freshman houses" will not be continued. "We lost off-campus space last year when buildings were torn down for the library," she said, "but now that we've acquired new housing, there should be no problem."
From the total number applying, 850 girls requested financial aid, as opposed to 1100 last year. Mrs. Stimpson could offer no explanation for the substantial decrease although she noted that the same trend was observed in the other sister colleges.
Of those admitted, 150 asked for aid. 82 girls were granted awards totaling $120,000--$30,000 more than last year's figure.
The girls admitted represent 238 schools--32 per cent private and 63 per cent public. Of the girls applying, 59 per cent went to public schools while 41 per cent attended private schools.
There is a wide geographical spread, with girls admitted from 42 different states and twelve foreign countries. Although ten students are not citizens of the United States, only one is currently at a school not in this country.
No one qualification appears to determine who receives a letter of acceptance from the admissions committee. 99 high school valedictorians were admitted and 146 rejected. Of the 39 National Merit Scholars who applied, only 21 were admitted.
In a statement enclosed in every letter of rejection, Mrs. Stimpson admits that "a high percentage of the applicants could do satisfactory work at Radcliffe," and points out that factors other than "the academic ability and preparation of the candidate" must be considered in making a decision.