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MIT Class of 2002 Admitted, Applicant Pool Is Largest Ever

Indranath Neogy--The Tech
Dean of Admissions Marilee Jones

ByFrank Dabek
News Editor

From the largest admissions pool ever to apply to the Institute, 23 percent, or 1,857 students, have been admitted to the class of 2002.

Of these students, 46 percent are women and 17 percent are under-represented minorities, a small change from previous years. The number of students admitted by early action and the mean SAT scores of students in the admissions pool rose significantly, however, according to statistics provided by Elizabeth S. Johnson, associate director of admissions.

Dean of Admissions Marilee Jones said that this year's pool of admitted students contained "more higher scorers" and students who are "just packed with talent in more than one field." As an example, Jones pointed out that of the 491 students who scored a 1600 on the SAT world-wide, 185 applied to MIT and 127 were admitted.

The Admissions Office does not simply look at standardized test scores or grades to determine who is admitted, however. "We're trying to admit people who have a high level of initiative," Jones said. The office looks at students who have excelled in extracurricular or co-curricular activities.

There is "not a specific profile" that a student must fit, Jones said; rather, the admissions office looks for a "willingness to go above and beyond the norm."

The students "don't even have to be well-rounded," she said. Excellence in one field can override concerns of well-roundedness. For instance, four of the five members of the National Physics Olympiad Team were admitted this year.

Female, minority rates stay steady

Women make up 46 percent of the admitted students, a rise of only one percent from the 45 percent in 1995. "In the past five years 41 to 46 percent of [admitted students] have been women.," Johnson said. The number of minority students admitted this year is also on par with previous years.

Jones said that the office runs a "special recruitment effort" for "high scoring women" and minority students. We "concentrate on developing the pool," she said.

Jones said that the office would like to modify post admission activities like Campus Preview Weekend to include all students if it were possible. "If we could afford to invite the whole admit pool we would," she said.

The number of students admitted by early action rose by ten percent this year. The admissions office is conservative in making selections for early action, Johnson said, but "it can work in the students' favor to apply early."

Higher yield possible this year

Johnson said that the office had planned for a higher yield and has targeted a class size of 1050, slightly smaller than the class of 2001. Factors such as the decrease in the self-help level of financial aid packages may affect yields. MIT's self-help is still higher than many of it's peer institutions. "[President Charles M.] Vest did a very brave think by pushing a decrease in self-help," Jones said.

Publicity surrounding the death of freshman Scott S. Krueger '01 "has been a non-issue" in dealings with potential admits, Jones said.

This years class also contains 106 international students. Of the admitted students, 42 percent of those whose high-schools rank them were valedictorians, and 90 percent were in the top five percent of their class. The mean verbal SAT score of an admitted student was 719 and the mean math score was 756. Twenty-two percent of students indicated that they wanted to pursue a concentration in Electrical Engineering, and ten percent said that they would pursue Biology. Admitted students hailed from every state except Idaho and Montana. California, New York, and Massachusetts provided the most admitted students.