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The clamor from the opposing stands at The Game on Saturday may sound even weaker than usual. Yale officials said this week that the college has cut and will continue to reduce the size of its first-year class.
Last year's graduating Class of 2000 numbered 1,400, but the Class of 2004 has only 1,350 students and Yale officials estimate that they will admit only 1,250 members of the Class of 2006.
The admissions office will reduce the number admitted by about fifty students during each of the next two years in order to alleviate the negative consequences from overcrowding of recent years.
Because the number of students recruited for arts, music and athletics programs will not change, Yale Dean of Administrative Affairs John Meeske said yesterday that the new measures "would have [the] potential" to dilute the class.
"I don't know quite how far [the reduction] will go," he said. "We want to accommodate everyone on campus...as much as we can afford to."
The class size reduction is the result of an increase in demand for on-campus housing, partially due to recent residence renovations, the Yale Daily News reported yesterday. In addition, Yale's freshmen quadrangle is at its maximum capacity because many colleges have squeezed their residents into space in the university's Old Campus. Rooms traditionally used as singles have even become cozy doubles.
Administrators also say the class size reduction will alleviate complaints of extreme wear and tear on university facilities such as the gym and libraries.
Unlike Yale, Harvard has recently expanded the size of its first-year class, while decreasing transfer admissions by the same number.
"This must be very painful for [Yale's] admission office," said Harvard's Director of Admissions Marlyn McGrath Lewis '70. "This will mean fewer chances to get a Yale education. It's too bad for their pool."
Currently, Yale College has 5,225 students, but prior to budget deficits in the 1980s, the college's enrollment traditionally numbered 5,100. The university temporarily balanced the budget by admitting more students. Now that the budget has been balanced, the college can afford to reduce first-year class size, Meeske said.
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