An Increase in Female Applicants Seen for Class of 2012 Admissions

CORRECTION TO THIS ARTICLE: The Aug. 28, 2008 news article “An Increase in Female Applicants Seen for Class of 2012 Admissions” incorrectly stated the number of female applicants. The number is actually 3,931, not 3,391. The corresponding acceptance rate of female applicants should also be 19.4 percent, not 22.4 percent.

In a college admissions cycle that saw major changes in financial aid and early application programs, the final admissions statistics and profile for the Class of 2012 remained comparable to previous years with the only sizable effect being an increase in female applicants to MIT.

The college admissions landscape saw two major changes this cycle: an increase in financial aid packages by MIT and other schools, and the removal of early application programs at Harvard and Princeton. The primary effect on MIT admissions was “more students applying early” and “more talented students applying overall,” said Dean of Admissions Stuart Schmill ’86. At 13,396 applications, there was an 8 percent increase in applicants this admissions cycle compared to the previous year. Just 1,589 (11.9 percent) of the applicants were admitted, lowering last year’s acceptance rate by slightly less than half a percentage point.

Despite the increase in applicants, the Class of 2012 is slightly smaller than last year’s class. With a total of 1,048 accepting MIT’s offer of enrollment, the admissions yield this year was 66 percent, a dip from last year’s record high 69 percent. (For additional admissions numbers, see the table to the right.)

And while the male to female ratio remained at 54 percent to 46 percent like last year, the number of female applicants rose significantly.

Of the 3,391 female applicants, “a double digit percent increase” from last year’s class, 761 (or 22.4 percent) were admitted, said Schmill. Just 8.8 percent (828 of 9,464 male applicants) were admitted.

“The female applicant pool remains more self-selecting,” Schmill said. “We admit the best students regardless of gender, and we are pleased that this turns out to be as balanced as it is.”

Nearly two-fifths of the class hails from the West Coast or the Mid-Atlantic (21 percent and 18 percent, respectively). New England and the Southeast (including Puerto Rico) are the next two most common home regions, together accounting for three in 10 freshmen. The Midwest and the South contributed about a fifth of the class. And slightly more than a tenth of freshmen are from foreign countries. Every state except Wyoming is represented in the class.

Ethnically, the Class of 2012 is a tenth African American, a quarter Asian American, 34 percent Caucasian, 8 percent Mexican American, 1 percent Native American, 3 percent Puerto Rican, and 3 percent of other Hispanic groups. The remaining seven percent did not respond or are of other descent.

Seven hundred and ninety-one high schools are represented in the freshman class, a slight drop from 831 last year. Schmill attributed it to “normal variation” resulting from “fewer students enrolling.” About two-thirds of freshmen went to public school, 15 percent to a private school, 11 percent to a religious school, and 7 percent to a foreign school. Fewer than one in 100 freshmen were home schooled.

Schmill called the incoming class “as talented as any prior class we’ve admitted, and more diverse in more ways than ever before.” He described it as consisting of “inventors, humanitarians, artists, athletes, accomplished scientists, comedians, major league techies, and students who are just tremendously good people.”