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Stanford mails admission offers to 2,900

STANFORD -- The effectiveness of Stanford University's new programs to attract the nation's top students will be tested over the next month as 2,900 students across the country and around the world consider offers of admission.

For 200 of those students, their offer packages will contain an extra incentive to choose Stanford over other highly selective institutions.

As announced earlier this year by James Montoya, dean of undergraduate admission and financial aid, a new Yield Enhancement Program will feature a strengthened President's Scholars program, in which as many as 200 students of extraordinary promise will be given travel funds to visit the campus. If they enroll, those scholars will receive $1,500 research grants apiece, a fall welcoming dinner and expanded faculty contacts. The students also will participate in quarterly symposia.

In addition, this year prospective freshmen will get calls from faculty members in the areas in which they have expressed interest and can attend an improved, more academically focused "Stanford Admit Weekend," which replaces Prospective Freshmen Week. Also, extra staff will be in the Financial Aids Office during April to answer questions about various options and packages.

The Admissions Office began mailing offers to the Class of 1995 on Thursday, March 30. Admissions staff members had chosen from 15,390 applicants, 750 more than last year.

Slightly more than half the group offered admission are women, whose numbers have been increasing for several years; more than 44 percent are ethnic minorities. If the university's "yield rate" holds steady - it has been about 55 percent for several years - a freshman class of about 1,580 students will enroll at Stanford this fall. Students have until May to decide.

In addition to the President's Scholars program, another effort to improve the yield will be started later this year, Montoya said. Stanford will introduce an early decision program; students applying under that program will be notified of admission in mid-December.

Montoya said selecting the Class of 1999 was "an extraordinary challenge." More than half of the applicants with straight 'A' averages (excluding bonus points given for advanced placement courses) and 56 percent of the applicants with a combined score of 1400 or higher on the SAT I (those students in the top 2 percent nationally) were either denied admission or placed on Stanford's waiting list.

"The academic credentials of this year's applicant pool were truly spectacular," Montoya said.

Montoya said he and his staff noted that in reading this year's applications, they found fewer mentions of politics than in years past, but an increasing commitment to public service and community activity. In addition, he said, a surprisingly large number of the applicants had been engaged in research while in high school.

The primary criterion for admission to Stanford is distinguished academic achievement and potential. About three-fourths of the applicants and 90 percent of those admitted for whom class rankings were reported fall within the top decile of their high school classes. Nearly 50 percent of the admitted students have perfect 4.0 grade point averages, and nearly 50 percent have combined SAT I scores of 1400 or more, out of a possible 1600.

More than one-third of the admitted class have SAT I verbal scores of 700 or higher, compared with 1 percent nationally, and two- thirds have SAT I math scores of 700 or higher, compared with 4 percent nationally.

The number of women offered admission to Stanford continues to increase. Women make up 51.4 percent of the admitted class, compared with 49.5 percent last year, 49.9 percent in 1993 and 47.6 percent in 1992.

Montoya said the increase in women admits reflects a national trend, with more and more women pursuing higher education. Last year, he said, 53 percent of the nation's high school students taking the SAT were female.

Ethnic minorities make up a combined 44.2 percent of admittees, compared with 44.9 percent last year. By groups, the percentages are: African American, 9.6 percent; Asian American, 22.9 percent; Mexican American/Chicano, 10.4 percent; and Native American, 1.3 percent, all figures consistent with those of recent years.

The percentage of international students in the admitted class is 4.2 percent, a drop from 5.1 percent one year ago.

Applications for the fall of 1995 came from students representing 4,382 secondary schools, of which 1,532 are represented in the admitted class. Offers were sent to applicants in all 50 states and 48 foreign countries. California has the highest representation in the admitted class (37.5 percent), followed by Texas (5.8 percent), New York (4.9 percent), Washington (3.3 percent), and Massachusetts and Illinois (tied at 3.2 percent).



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