Tufts Admissions receives record number of applications for Class of 2023

Third-year BFA + BA/BS combined degree student Martina Tan, an Admissions tour guide, recounts the history of Tufts' mascot, Jumbo, to a group of prospective students outside Packard Hall on Nov. 15. Christine Lee / The Tufts Daily

According to Karen Richardson, dean of admissions and enrollment management, Tufts Admissions received a record 22,725 applications to the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering for the Class of 2023, an increase of 5.7 percent from the record-setting pool last year. Record numbers of applicants also submitted early decision (ED) applications, totaling nearly 2,500 applicants, an increase from 2,262 the previous year.

Although the admissions department is still in the early stages of reviewing applications, Richardson has noticed similarities among early admissions applications.

“Applicants tell us they are attracted to Tufts because of our collaborative, inclusive culture, our first-rate and well-rounded curriculum, the residential feel of the campus, our smaller classes, opportunities for research and self-discovery and the ability to take part in various activities outside of the classroom,” she said in an email to the Daily.

Noah Bedrosian, a first-year who applied ED last year, echoed many of the same sentiments, citing Tufts’ mix of opportunities in different fields and its strengths in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as the reason he chose to apply ED.

“I found myself wanting to apply ED simply because Tufts was my favorite school I toured,” Bedrosian told the Daily in an electronic message. “I think what really stood out was the focus on STEM and the ability to take classes in engineering, for me it was super vital to have that option/freedom. Along with that, I wanted a liberal arts environment that was politically active, and Tufts really fit that.”

According to Richardson, 17 percent of applications for the Class of 2023 came from international students, matching the percentage from last year.

The article also notes an increased number of applications to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts. According to Richardson, students interested in the BFA. program totaled 328, up from 271 last year, while applications for the combined degree BA/BFA program totaled 285, an increase from 219 applications.

According to US News & World Report, students who apply ED to college programs generally do not receive the same opportunities to compare aid packages between schools as regular decision applicants. Director of Financial Aid and Co-Manager of Student Financial Services Patricia Reilly noted that Tufts has financial need in mind for all applicants.

Reilly said that Tufts’ rising tuition has not made Tufts less accessible to students needing financial aid. She said she is proud of the university’s commitment to making the school accessible for students from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, adding that a record $25.8 million was budgeted in need-based grants for undergraduates.

“Each year our office works with the university budget officers to increase the financial aid budget to allow us to continue to meet 100% of the demonstrated need of every admitted student … The average annual increase in undergraduate financial aid over the past 10 years has outpaced the average increase in tuition and total student costs,” Reilly said in an email to the Daily.

Reilly explained that, in addition to need-based grants, Tufts provides a number of programs assisting students with “related financial needs,” such as money for course materials or access to emergency funds.

According to Richardson, the need-aware process of shaping the admitted class can have some unfortunate consequences. She explained that in accordance with need-aware admissions, which takes into account an applicant’s financial background as a part of their application, Tufts Admissions must make difficult choices.

“As the class comes together, we do sometimes have to make difficult decisions and decline to admit some otherwise qualified students so that we can fulfill our commitment to meeting the full need of all admitted students,” Richardson said.

Although this can make admissions decisions more challenging, Richardson noted that several of Tufts’ peer institutions utilize a similar system, although few commit to meeting the full demonstrated need of all admitted students, as Tufts does.

Richardson said that the Tufts admissions office is already impressed by the applicants for the Class of 2023.

“We’re very excited that so many highly-qualified, talented and enthusiastic students from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences continue to express interest in Tufts,” she said.

According to the admissions website, regular decision acceptances will be released by April 1.


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