Friday, July 09, 2010

A Couple of Observations on Graham's Remarks to the BOT

The Board of Trustees are meeting today in at the Du Bois campus. The big ticket on the agenda are tuition rates for the upcoming year. There's no news on that or much else coming out of meeting yet, beyond Graham's opening remarks.

Graham's discussion of applications and admissions did grab my attention for two reasons, one rhetorical, the other substantive.
As you heard throughout the year, our application and enrollment numbers look very strong for this year’s class. It is clear that this is another record setting year in the number of admissions applications received by Penn State.
Graduate applications are ahead of last year by 10 percent, and we have received more undergraduate applications to date than in any prior year. Applications to Dickinson are up 31 percent and applications to Hershey are up 7 percent. Out-of-state minority applications are ahead by 7 percent and Pennsylvania minority applications are ahead 8 percent. Total applications, for all campuses, are ahead by 6 percent compared to 2009.
Acceptances have been on pace so we fully expect to achieve the target of 7,350 new students for University Park summer and fall, and Commonwealth campus acceptances are shaping up to be record highs.
Out-of-state acceptances overall are up 17 percent compared to last year for University Park. This means that out-of-state students will comprise one-third of the incoming class. Almost 10 percent of the entering class will be international students.
Out-of-state paid accepts at the campuses are up 8 percent, which includes an increase in the international cohort. Most campuses will continue to accept applications and make offers into the summer. We will keep you informed as the numbers progress.
Note that Graham managed to talk about applications without repeating his favorite lie that Penn State is the most popular university in the country.

More substantially, I'm not sure what to make of Graham's claim that 17% increase in out-of-state acceptances over last year means that out-of-state students will comprise a third of the incoming class. Last year 34%,i.e. a little more than a third, of freshman were from out of state. 

Is Graham trying to downplay an actual increase in the percentage of out-of-state students in the new freshman class, have things actually not changed as a result of the increase in the percentage of accepts  or is something else at play? Someone should ask Graham about this.

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