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Recession has not affected size of applicant pool

Recession has not affected

size of applicant pool

By Ruth Hwang

Despite a nationwide recession and fears of rising education costs, the number of students applying to MIT has not decreased. This year, applicants for the Class of 1995 numbered 6526, up from 6368 last year, according to Michael C. Behnke, director of admissions.

The recession and increases in tuition have had no bearing on the number of applicants to MIT or "the other specialized institutions it competes with," Behnke said.

The admissions staff estimated that 23 percent of the applicants are female, down one percent from the previous year.

The distribution of minority applicants is similar to last year's applicant pool: Twenty-four percent of the applicants are Asian-American, four percent are African-American, two percent are Mexican and one percent are Native American. Sixty-eight percent of the applicants are Caucasian.

The geographical distribution of the applicants also appears to be similar to that of the previous year, Behnke said.

The number of students applying early action also increased this year. Up from 1214 early-action applicants last year, 1247 students applied early action this year, and 591 of those applicants were admitted.

The actual size of the Class of 1995 will not be determined until the Admissions Office finishes reviewing applications in March.

Although the number of applicants has not been affected by the recession, Behnke said he believes that enrollment in community colleges will increase as jobs become less available and more selective. As a result, more people will be returning to school to learn new skills, he said.

Most schools, both private and public, have not experienced a drastic change in the number of applicants, Behnke said, although the number of applicants nationwide has decreased because the number of 18-year-olds in America has declined.