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Women at record high in Class of '99

The last class that will graduate from MIT in the 1900s contains a record proportion of women, students from almost four dozen foreign countries-and six sets of twins.

Forty-two percent of the 1,130 members of the Class of 1999 are women. The freshmen hail from every state except South Dakota, as well as Puerto Rico (13 students) and 82 students from 44 foreign countries. Canada is the leading source of foreign students with 11, followed by Hong Kong with five.

The Admissions Office received a record 7,832 applications and admitted 27 percent. Of those admitted, almost 54 percent enrolled, which is an incerase from last year's 51 percent and is the largest percentage in about 10 years, according to Elizabeth Johnson, associate director of admissions for information service and research "It's gone down every year in the past 10 years," she said. "It was unusual having it go up as much as it did." One reason could be the population trend that has resulted in a larger pool of high school students applying to college, a trend that will slowly increase into the early part of the next century, she added.

When asked about their prospective majors, 485 opted for the School of Engineering (including 253 in Course 6) and 344 for departments in the School of Science, with the largest preference for biology with 155. Thirty-one freshmen said they were likely to major in a School of Humanities and Social Science department; another 35 expressed a preference for management, architecture or brain and cognitive sciences.

Other statistics:

��������������������������� Forty-three percent of the class are minorities. The class includes 28 percent Asian-American and 15 percent from other minority groups (Puerto Rican, Native American, African-American, Mexican-American and other Spanish). An additional seven percent are international students.
��������������������������� The middle 50 percent of the class had SAT scores in the 590-690 range for the verbal portion and 720-770 in math.
��������������������������� 97 percent were in the top 10 percent of their high school class; 35 percent were first in their class.
��������������������������� Four students will be 16 as of September 1 and one will be 15.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on August 30, 1995.

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