Thousands of high school seniors around the country will be waiting anxiously for the mail to arrive this weekend, ready to snatch an all-important envelope from the mail box.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions yesterday mailed letters of acceptance, deferral and rejection to 3,911 students.
902 students, about 23 percent of the applicant pool, were admitted under this year's early action program.
Last year, the admissions committee accepted 985 students, 25 percent of its early applicant pool.
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons '67 said the decreased number of applicants accepted does not mean that the pool was any less talented.
"Numbers have bounced around quite a bit in the last few years," Fitzsimmons said. "From our point of view, this [difference in numbers] is not disproportionate.
"We hold a very high standard in early admissions and accept only those students we are certain we would take in the spring," Fitzsimmons said. "Applicants have an equal chance in the early and regular action programs."
Of the 902 students accepted early to the Class of 2001, nearly 47 percent are women, up from 44 percent last fall.
"We are extremely pleased to see so many talented women admitted this year," said Director of Admissions Marlyn McGrath Lewis '70-'73.
In an analysis of minority admissions, the Committee indicated that 19 percent of the admitted pool are Asian-American; more than 6 percent are black; and approximately 6 percent are students of Hispanic origin.
Fitzsimmons said the geographical distribution of applicants is "almost identical" to last year's pool.
This year's record number of early applicants was just two more than the previous record of 1995, seeming to indicate that the rush to early action and decision has abated slightly.
"It's very hard to predict trends in admissions, but we are encouraged that things seem to be settling down a little," Fitzsimmons said.
"Parents, students and counselors are clearly taking a step back from the rush of the process," Fitzsimmons added.
Fitzsimmons was unable to comment on final numbers for the class of 2001.
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