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Katherine Seibert

The largest freshman class since Hurricane Katrina will moveonto campus this Saturday with 1,650 students.

The incoming class size dropped dramatically after Katrina, from1,596 students entering campus in Fall 2004 down to 1,100 studentsin Fall 2006. For several years following Hurricane Katrina,incoming classes continued to be smaller than average. Someadministrators said they viewed the larger class of 2015 as simplya normalizing of class sizes again.

“In the fall of 2004, our total enrollment was 13, 214[students],” Dean of Admissions Earl Retif said. “This year it willbe just below that. Our undergraduate population will be just aboutthe same as [before the storm.]”

Consistent with the trend from recent years the majority of thefreshmen class is female at 57 percent. The middle 50 percent ofadmitted students scored between 1910-2100 on the SAT and 29-32 onthe ACT.

The acceptance rate decreased this year while the yield rateincreased nearly two percentage points compared to the three-yearaverage of these rates. Tulane accepted 25 percent of theapplicants, less than the three-year average of 26 percent and 17percent ultimately chose to attend Tulane.

Retif commented on the increasing yield rate and the resultinglarger incoming class.

“You ask x amount of students and y will come,” he said. “Butit’s not hard to be off some. A one percent error rate means 50extra students. Think of a political poll, they generally have amargin of error of plus or minus three.”

Retif also attributed the variable yield rate to theunpredictable nature of the teens that constitute the applicantpool.

“You’re dealing with a class of 17 to 18-year-olds,” he said.”There is no arithmetic formula to determine what an 18-year-old isgoing to do emotionally.”

Another result of the high yield rate was that no one from thewaitlist was accepted this year.

“There were many qualified students on the wait list,” Retifsaid. “You’re trying to pick the best 1500-1600 that are qualified.There is always another 1500- 1600 [applicants] that are qualifiedthat won’t get picked. These kids will come here and do well, butyou want balance.”

Freshmen said they are very enthusiastic about Tulane and NewOrleans.

“I’m excited to get to know the New Orleans culture andespecially the music scene in and around Tulane,” freshman JoshLerner said.

Freshman Kate Grover conveyed similar sentiments.

“It seems like everyone is really excited to be here and we’reall really excited to get involved with everything,” she said.

 

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