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MIT Admissions Cancels Waitlist For Third Year, Yield Reaches New High

CORRECTION TO THIS ARTICLE: The July 5 version of this article incorrectly stated the percentages of male and female students in the Classes of 2008 and 2009. The Class of 2008 had a composition of 54 percent male to 46 percent female, not 46 to 54; the Class of 2009 had a composition of 53 percent male to 47 percent female, not 47 to 53.

By Jenny Zhang

The incoming freshmen class filled quickly this year, as MIT achieved a recent high of 67 percent yield on admissions.

As of last Friday, the Class of 2009 had 1,003 students, 96 of whom are international. For the third consecutive year, no applicants were admitted off the waitlist, said Matthew L. McGann ’00, assistant director of admissions.

Last year’s class had an unexpectedly high yield of 65 percent, which led to one of the largest classes in recent history, 1,081 students. The larger class size created trouble for MIT’s pledge to eliminate crowded rooms in undergraduate dormitories. Some increase because of a change in other schools’ admissions policies had been expected, but the magnitude of the increase led to an overenrollment of 50 students.

To compensate, the Admissions Office admitted only 1,495 of 10,439, or 14 percent, of the applicants this year. This was two percent lower than the admission rate for the Class of 2008.

The yield, however, increased enough to take up any slack, leading MIT to cancel its waitlist yet again.

McGann said between 400 and 600 students were put on the waitlist, and that although the high yield is “pleasantly surprising … we think it’s unfair to have a waitlist” and not take students from it.

The yield of international students was 86 percent, a rebound from the dip in 2004 to 67 percent. McGann said he believes the increase was the result of special recruitment efforts from the International Students Association.

For the first time, MIT undergraduates from the student group made an organized effort to contact admitted international students by e-mail and phone. McGann said he hopes to better coordinate with the ISA and other groups in the future.

The size of the Class of 2009 may dwindle slightly before September as a result of the “summer melt” if some students change their minds about attending MIT.

McGann said he does not yet know the target size for the Class of 2010.

The male to female ratio has slowly been approaching even, from 55 percent to 45 percent for the Class of 2007, to 54 and 46 percent last year, to 53 and 47 percent this year.