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2009 admitted to Class of '95

By Brian Rosenberg

Admissions figures for the Class of 1995 were nearly identical to those of the Class of 1994, according to Associate Director of Admissions Elizabeth S. Johnson.

The number of admitted students remained nearly the same, dropping from 2011 last year to 2009 this year. Those figures include both early action and regular applicants, but do not include students on the waiting list or transfer applicants.

Thirty-six percent, or 726, of the admitted class is female, a slight increase from the 35 percent figure of the three previous years. Twenty-six percent, or 517, of admitted students are Asian Americans, and 6 percent, or 114, are international students.

Underrepresented minorities make up 15 percent of the class, including 148 African Americans (7 percent), 100 students of Hispanic origin (5 percent), 40 Puerto Ricans (2 percent), and 17 Native Americans (1 percent).

"The percentage of underrepresented minorities generally varies between 13 and 15 percent," Johnson said. Last year's figure was 14 percent.

Standardized test scores for the Class of '95 were similar to those of the Class of '94 as well. The average math score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test was 740, and the average verbal score was 637. Last year's scores were 739 and 639, respectively. On the American College Test, admitted students scored an average of 32 on the math section and 30 on the verbal, compared to 33 and 30 last year.

Achievement Test scores averaged 753 on the math exam, 693 on science, and 640 on English or history.

The number of admitted students remained nearly constant despite problems with overcrowding in dormitories due to a larger-than-normal freshman class last year. "We enrolled 1084 students last year, though we were expecting a class of 1050, as usual," Johnson said.

Last year's large enrollment was the result of "a problem with the College Scholarship Service, which resulted in replies coming in slower than we expected," Johnson explained. " As a result, we let in more students from the waiting list. [More students] from the regular list then accepted, creating the problem."

Johnson said there would not be a housing problem if the Institute enrolled no more than the 1050 students expected this year.

The size of this year's applicant pool increased from 6423 last year to 6473 this year, despite concerns that the number of graduating high school seniors is declining.

"More people are applying to schools like MIT because they have heard about the drop in the number of seniors," Johnson said. "We already have more qualified applicants than we can accept, so declines don't really affect us," she said.

Eighty-seven percent of the students accepted this year were in the top 5 percent of their high school class; last year's figure was 88 percent. Valedictorians made up 37 percent of the class, a drop from 40 percent last year, but in line with the general trend at MIT.

Twenty percent of the students admitted to the Class of '95 said electrical engineering or computer science was their first choice of academic major, according to Johnson.

"We find that about one-third of each class stays with the major they indicate when they apply," Johnson said.