“In many ways, the pool is as deep and as broad as we’ve seen it in past years. The quality of the pool was truly outstanding,” Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye said in an interview. “It’s so humbling to read these applications and know how strong these candidates are.”
The decision letters were mailed out at noon on Wednesday, and students were able to check the status of their application through an online notification system beginning at 5 p.m. that day. The decisions came two days earlier than in past years, a decision Rapelye said the deans of Ivy League schools made together.
“The Ivy deans every year in our annual meeting set a date so that we’re all announcing on the same date,” Rapelye said. “We moved up the time frame to make sure that the press release went up in the middle of the day and not the end of the day.”
Interest in the University’s engineering program continued to increase this year, with 23 percent of accepted students indicating that they planned to pursue the B.S.E. degree program. This statistic is up 4 percent from last year and 6 percent from 2009, a fact Rapelye attributed to more recruitment of engineers by both the University and the engineering school.
“We’re delighted that our engineering school is so highly regarded,” Rapelye said. “We’ve done group travel with several of our colleagues that have engineering programs or are engineering schools, specifically to reach out to students who might be B.S.E. candidates. The engineering school itself has continued to offer tours, and they do an excellent job.”
The racial and ethnic backgrounds of accepted students remained nearly constant compared with the Class of 2014, with the percentage of students identifying as black or African-American declining from 9.4 to 9.1, the percentage of those identifying as Hispanic or Latino declining from 10.0 to 9.8 and the percentage of those identifying as Asian increasing from 21.5 to 22.0. The percentage of females accepted declined from 50.0 to 49.3, and international students make up 10.3 percent of the admitted class, the same proportion as last year.
Rapelye said she was excited to have admitted students from countries that have not seen students enrolled at Princeton for over six years, including Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Slovenia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“We don’t have quotas; we just take the best students, but I love seeing where they’re from and love reading their applications,” Rapelye said.
For the third year in a row, the University expects to enroll 1,300 students as part of a gradual plan to increase the size of the undergraduate student body to 5,200 by the 2012-13 academic year. With the number of accepted students increasing by over 100 this year, the yield rate required to reach this enrollment level is 56.9 percent. This percentage matches exactly the yield rate the University announced last May for the Class of 2014.
“We used the last couple of years as our guide, and we’re expecting the yield to be somewhere in the range of the last two years, but it’s a very hard thing to predict,” Rapelye said.
Though Rapelye said she hopes to be able to accept students off the wait list this year, the list is over 200 students smaller than last year’s. For the Class of 2014, 164 students were accepted off the wait list. Of those, 133 enrolled, meaning that around 10 percent of this year’s freshmen were accepted off the wait list. Last year’s final 8.8 percent admission rate includes students who were admitted off the wait list. With 2,148 acceptances last year, the yield required to fill a class of 1,300 without going to the wait list would have to have been 61 percent.
“We’re hoping that this year we can still go to the wait list, but we’d like to go for a slightly smaller group, but we’ll have to wait to see how the yield comes in,” Rapelye said. “We will have several hundred students who will want to stay on the wait list … We have 1,300 beds, and we’re aiming to have a class that comes in at that number.”
This admission cycle is the last in which applicants had a single deadline and were accepted on a single date. Next year, the University will introduce a single-choice early action program in which students may learn of their acceptance in December but will not have to commit until May. Though Rapelye said she was unsure of the impact this program will have on the overall number of applicants, she believes the yield rate for the group that applies early will be fairly high. The University abandoned its previous Early Decision program in 2006.
“We will admit some students next December for the Class of 2016, and we’ll probably have a slightly higher yield on that group because some of them will have declared that Princeton is their first choice and they’ll want to come,” Rapelye said.
High school seniors who learned of their acceptance on Wednesday evening said they were both shocked and excited.
“My first reaction was, ‘What the fuck?’ I didn’t think my SATs were good enough,” said Chester Dubov, a senior at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. Dubov, who also got into Yale through that school’s early action program, said he is leaning towards Princeton because of its strong financial aid and creative writing program.
“Princeton gives much better aid than Yale does, so I’m leaning much more strongly towards Princeton,” Dubov said. “I really want to pursue creative writing in college, and Princeton’s track record is pretty unbeatable. Joyce Carol Oates. Need I say more?”
Emily Whitaker, a senior at Niskayuna High School in Niskayuna, N.Y., said she was interested in the University’s new jazz studies certificate, which is to be offered for the first time next fall.
“I was really ecstatic and excited,” Whitaker said. “I can’t even describe it. I was so happy; it was the greatest feeling in the world.”
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2011/03/30/28062/