With acceptance letters for the Class of 2002 sent, admission officials at other Ivy League schools say they are taking a wait-and-see approach in judging whether the financial-aid initiatives announced by Princeton and Yale universities this year will have an effect on matriculation rates.
The two policies, which greatly expand aid for middleand lowerincome students, were announced after most students submitted their admission applications, but the plans have been well publicized in the months since.
Lee Stetson, dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, said because the plans were not in place when this year's pool of applicants applied, any impact will likely be muted.
"Next year and the year after will be more indicative," he said.
Dartmouth College's Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Karl Furstenberg agreed.
"I think that (the effect) will vary a lot from one institution to the next," Furstenberg said. "We're all going to be watching, though, that's for sure."
Harvard University is one school that apparently does not fear the loss of prospective students to Princeton. "We're confident that we'll continue to matriculate the students that Princeton wants," said Joe Wrinn, director of the Harvard News Office.
Princeton Dean of Admission Fred Hargadon did not return calls seeking a response yesterday.
Stetson and Furstenberg said urban schools, buoyed by recent media coverage of falling crime rates and increasing attention to campus safety, were popular this year.
More rural or suburban schools such as Princeton and Dartmouth received about 400 fewer applications this year than last, a reduction Furstenberg called "a small market correction."
Princeton still notched a highly selective 13.1-percent admittance rate, just above last year's 12.9 percent. Dartmouth accepted 2,186 of its 10,143 applicants, a ratio comparable to last year, Furstenberg said.
Penn considered 16,651 applicants and registered a 29-percent admittance rate that was the most selective in nearly 30 years, Stetson said.
Harvard accepted 12.3 percent of its 16,818 applicants, about the same rate as the Class of 2001. There were 221 more applicants this year than last, said Christine Kelley, assistant to the director of admissions.
Yale, also an urban school, tallied 11,900 regular applicants along the way to a 16.8-percent admittance rate, which is more competitive than four years ago, The Yale Daily News reported.
Stanford University had a record year. "With a 13-percent admit rate, this was the most selective year in Stanford's history," Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Robert Kinnally said in a news release. The school said it received 18,888 applicants, a 12-percent increase over last year.
Furstenberg sought to put a positive spin on Dartmouth's fall in numbers, saying that it reflected greater selectivity among the applicant pool.
"I think that both Fred Hargadon and I think that these places have become so selective that weaker students are taking themselves out of the pool," he said.