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Fewer Prospectives Interested in EECS

By Kathy Lin

ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR

The number of prospective freshmen listing Course VI (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) as their “intended major” dropped noticeably in this year’s applicant pool. Freshman application numbers remained largely unchanged otherwise.

Fewer students pick Course VI

“Overall numbers within Course VI are roughly 19 percent lower than they have been in the past,” said Elizabeth S. Johnson, associate director of admissions. “That has little to do with MIT and just reflects the current economy,” she said.

The decreased interest in EECS by prospective freshmen was mentioned at a faculty meeting, said EECS Professor Nancy A. Lynch. Lynch said, however, that undergraduate enrollment in Course VI classes hasn’t changed significantly.

Application numbers down slightly

“The total number of applications we have for this year is 10,529,” said Johnson. Of those, 3,573 were early action applications.

That number is about a 1.3 percent decrease from the 10,664 applications received last year. “These numbers are basically the same to us,” Johnson said.

Enrollment target still unknown

Johnson said she does not yet know what the target number for Class of 2007 enrollment is, but expects it to “be somewhere around 1,000.” Last year, the target was 980, she said.

However, “crowding is no longer an issue, and there are spaces in the dorms that are open at the moment. Simmons has made a difference,” Johnson said.

Johnson said that the office plans on admitting “about as many students as last year, which was a little over a total of 1,700.” The Institute has admitted 524 students already under the early action plan.

“We’ve been reading the applications like mad, but we haven’t been admitting people yet. We’ll begin that in the middle of February ... and we won’t be mailing our letters out until around the third week of March,” Johnson said.