A diverse class

Penn’s new freshman class is one of the most diverse and accomplished in the University’s history—and, more than ever, the students of the Class of 2010 really, really want to be here.

According to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Penn received 20,483 applications last year, and eventually admitted just 3,613. The admit rate of 17.6 percent was the lowest in the University’s history.
Maybe more important, though, was the historically high 66 percent “yield rate,” or the percentage of students who accepted their offers of admission. That yield rate shows that Penn is an increasingly popular choice for the world’s brightest students. So too does the fact that 50 percent of the incoming class was admitted by early admission, a sign that Penn was their first choice.

“[Dean of Admissions Lee Stetson] is always saying Penn’s star is still rising, and we think it is,” said Margaret Porigow, associate dean of operations for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. “It’s a very popular place.”

It’s especially popular, apparently, for minority groups and international students. Penn recently has been honored by several organizations for its great diversity and welcoming community—Black Enterprise ranked Penn among the top 10 schools for African-Americans, Hispanic Magazine ranked Penn No. 5 among schools for Hispanic students and The Advocate College Guide placed Penn in the top 20 for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

Students of color make up nearly 41 percent of the new freshman class, with 11.7 percent coming from countries outside the United States. The class has members from all 50 states (including four from Alaska), more than 100 from Asia and 45 from the Middle East and Africa. “It’s a very diverse group,” Porigow said. “They come from all over the world.”

That diversity is no accident, Porigow said. With the new class now on campus, admissions officers are already back at work, trying to bring more international students to the campus. Last week, admissions officers were recruiting in Australia, India, London and Canada.

“We go out there and meet students,” Porigow says. “I think we’re still educating. I think we’re always educating about Penn. You can never start believing that everyone knows about Penn, so we’re always spreading the word.”

Originally published on September 21, 2006.

Originally published on September 21, 2006