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The number of candidates applying for admission to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences this year declined by eight per cent, GSAS administrators said yesterday. The administrators attributed the decline to the worsening employment situation for new Ph.Ds.
"People are simply realizing that there aren't any jobs out there," Richard A. Kraus '67, director of GSAS admissions, said yesterday, explaining the decline to 4688 applications from last year's 5081.
Peter S. McKinney, acting dean of the GSAS, yesterday agreed with Kraus's explanation for the decline, adding that "I'm surprised we didn't see the decline before this year."
McKinney said the GSAS is not "in a crisis of quality," adding he believes this year's applicants represent "a higher quality pool--a stronger group.
The smaller number of applicantsmeans that the "marginal candidates" who would not have substantial job prospects after obtaining degrees did not bother to apply, McKinney said.
Fewer people applied to other major graduate schools throughtout the country as well. Robert J. Bunselmeyer, assistant dean of the Yale GSAS, said yesterday that graduate school applications at Yale declined ten per cent this year.
At Stanford, a graduate admissions spokesman said yesterday that overall applications declined three per cent, but applications for the engineering sciences program increased substantially.
The candidate pool at Harvard has hovered around the 5000-applicant level for the past several years, after having dropped sharply from the 6000 applicant level five years ago.
Last year, there was actually a slight increase in the number of applications, Kraus said.
Breakdowns of the applicant pool according to departments and minority status were unavailable yesterday.
Kraus said he expects the graduate school will admit about 825 applicants this year, down from 935 last year. The number of students waitlisted by the school this year will probably double to about 120, he added.
McKinney said "the smaller admit group reflects a greater conservatism" on the part of the departmental admission committees rather than a decline in applicant quality.
In 1969, the GSAS admitted a substantially smaller number of applicants because of a fear that the school had grown too large.
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