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Class of 2004 ready for first year as Tigers

The University admitted 12.2 percent of undergraduate applicants this year — 1,670 of 13,654 — a slightly higher acceptance rate than last year's 11.3 percent.

For the first time in University history, men and women both received 50 percent of the admission offers, Dean of Admission Fred Hargadon said. Minorities made up 35 percent of the acceptances, slightly higher than last year's 33-percent figure.


Thirty-four percent of the Class of 2004 was admitted through the early decision process in December.

Hargadon offered several explanations for this year's higher acceptance rate. "Overall, last year we had an unusually large group who applied," he said, noting that the University received a record 14,874 applications for the Class of 2003.

Hargadon said the slightly lower number of applications the University received this year is not a source of concern. "None of us really know why applicant pools really bounce around," he noted.

Despite fewer applications, the University still had to turn away many talented students, he said.

"It's far too many. We're just turning down all types of good kids," he said. "When you're starting with a large group, there's some people in there who end up quite advanced in one or another field."

Hargadon said another reason for last year's higher selectivity rate is that the University had an especially limited number of spaces available for the Class of 2003 because the class ahead is unusually large.


The University has room for 1,166 freshmen next year — a number slightly larger than last year's 1,150 student limit.

After 30 years of coeducation, the percentage of women in each class has grown from 4.3 percent in 1969 — the first year that women were invited to apply — to 49.9 percent in the prospective Class of 2004.

Though the class should have the most even gender ratio in Princeton's history, the admission office did not strive for a specific target, Hargadon said. "This is just pure luck," he explained. "We don't care how it ends up — a 50-50 [composition] isn't a goal. We are looking at these people as individuals."

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