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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

‘Deis admits fewer students in incoming class

Published: March 30, 2012
Section: Front Page, News

Even before prospective students check their mailboxes for acceptances and visit potential schools in an attempt to weigh their decision, admissions officers must decide which—and how many—students get the coveted acceptance letters.

Further complicating matters is the fact that the class of 2015 is an unusually large class, with more than 900 students. This puts strain on the housing system, as shown by the number of rising sophomores placed in first-year dorms for next year.

“The administration here at Brandeis has been evaluating the size of the incoming freshmen class,” Dean of Admissions Mark Spencer said. “We have heard the concerns of community members around class size and housing. As such, we are looking for a slightly smaller freshman class this year, and did admit less students than we did last year,” Spencer said.

Admissions decisions for the class of 2016 were released a week ago. Including those accepted through early decision, Brandeis accepted about one-third of its nearly 8,400 applicants, according to Spencer.

The admitted students for 2016 are an increasingly diverse group. Approximately 2,800 prospective students hail from 48 states and 56 countries, and 12 percent of them are international students. Twenty-eight percent are students of color, and 10 percent are in the first generation of their family to go to college, Spencer said.

Ninety-seven percent of admitted students were in the top quartile of their class and on the 2400 scale, the SAT range for most of the admitted students was 2000 to 2210.

For students placed on the waitlist, however, a more complicated admissions process is just beginning. Spencer would not say how many applicants were placed on the waitlist this year but said that Brandeis has consistently placed a number of applicants on the waitlist for the past five years.

Spencer explained how the waitlist works and the difference between being deferred at early decision and being waitlisted. Deferred students are “qualified early decision students” who have demonstrated that Brandeis is their first choice and deserve “a second look.” Waitlisted students, however, are “qualified students that we just do not have room for in the first-year class,” Spencer said.

“We may or may not give them a second look depending on how much of the first-year class we admitted through the regular process, and how many matriculate. In the past few years we have always turned to the waitlist.”