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How many Tufts apps were there?!?!

12lyncje12lyncje Registered User Posts: 130 Junior Member
edited March 2012 in Tufts University
important question: how many applicants applied to tufts this year? i heard that there was a 4.5% decrease in apps from last year. is this true? i can't find any links revealing this info.
Post edited by 12lyncje on

Replies to: How many Tufts apps were there?!?!

  • kiddiekiddie Registered User Posts: 2,655 Senior Member
    From the NY times:


    School Total Apps 2012 Total Apps 2011 Change (raw number) Change as Pct

    Tufts University (MA) 16,364 17,130 -766 -4.47%
  • TuftsStudentTuftsStudent Registered User Posts: 570 Member
    You do have to realize though that 2012 will be the 2nd highest number of applicants ever, even with the drop.

    Admissions office sees record?breaking applicant pool - News - Tufts Daily - Tufts University
  • tuftskidtuftskid Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    According to that NYTimes article, there were only a few schools in the country that saw decreases (Tufts, Bates, and Columbia saw the largest). The vast majority of the other schools saw increases, some of them HUGE increases like Grinnell College.

    Do you think Tufts should be concerned about this? What can admissions (Dan, are you there?) do to make sure Tufts doesn't lose steam? An increase in the admissions rate will undoubtedly lead to a decrease in USNWR ranking...
  • WCASParentWCASParent Registered User Posts: 2,099 Senior Member
    ^^What Tufts (and its students, parents, alums) should do is not attach too much importance to it. As noted above, it's still the second highest number of apps ever, and they won't increase in number every year (demographics might even suggest that there will be additional drops in the future). Some schools "game" the USNWR and other ranking systems by admitting a disproportionately large percentage of the class ED, which brings down the overall acceptance rate. (For example, Penn has recently been in the range of 47-49% of a class being admitted ED. Most top schools are probably in the 30-38% range.) Tufts doesn't do that. What it should do is exactly what it has been doing - focus on the quality of the class that is being admitted, not about things it can't control, like whether a slightly smaller applicant pool will translate into a slightly higher acceptance rate.
  • smartgradsmartgrad Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    I don't think you can argue that none of it matters. Tufts admissions made a big effort to attract more applications last year, so they care about the issue. Rankings, as ridiculous and unscientific as they are, influence the college decisions of high school students and their parents. Tufts should be keeping pace with its peers in that regard and given its selectivity and academic quality, it's lagging. Considering its unique position as a top school in a desirable city--one of a handful--Tufts needs to tell its story better. It may have become a victim of its own marketing, the huge focus on being "quirky" turns off as many applicants as it attracts. A Capella and Quidditch aren't for everyone. The truth is Tufts has a wonderful variety of very smart students, including social, athletic types. The party scene, contrary to popular opinion, is great for those who seek it out. Everyone finds his or her place. The admissions website needs to feature some current students who would appeal to a broader group of prospective students. Focus on the idea of individualism and creativity as opposed to nerdiness or quirkiness. Tufts is trying to be welcoming and approachable in its admissions approach but at times the overly cute tone can make the school seem a little lightweight. There must be a way to convey Tuft's history and intellectual weight, its incredible vitality, as well as its warmth and openness.
  • tuftskidtuftskid Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Smartgrad I agree with you 100%. As a senior, I've seen the school make that transition in the past few years, and try to emphasize it's "quirkiness." That's not what attracted me to the school at all, and as someone who is involved in many things on campus (none of which are quidditch) I wish the school would emphasize those things in admissions materials. YES, we have sports. YES, we have fraternities. YES, we have parties. And indeed, YES we have quidditch- but that's just one of many many things.

    Furthermore, it was less than a year ago that Dean Coffin was celebrating the increase in applicants (read this article: Admissions office sees record?breaking applicant pool - News - Tufts Daily - Tufts University) He said that they were intentionally trying to increase the applicant pool (in honor of President Bacow's final year at Tufts). He also said that an increase in applicants shows that families in this recovering economy are finding value in topnotch education-- specifically Tufts. Does this mean families are no longer finding value in Tufts? (DISCLAIMER: As a Tufts senior I HIGHLY value my Tufts experience, and strongly encourage any prospective students to look here) But I am raising these questions because they're things admissions will have to address directly, and not skirt away from. Dan@admissions, these are questions for you specifically: Why did we not get as many applicants this year? Is there something wrong with our marketing strategy? Is there something wrong with our admissions counselors? Does "Quirky" not resonate with enough high school seniors? Does "quirky" not accurately describe all of Tufts? Is the more "approachable" strategy too high school, and not collegiate enough? These are HARD questions to answer, I understand that. Dan@Admissions (and the rest of the staff) we all know that you have put incredibly hard and valiant work into recruiting the 2016s, but clearly that work hasn't paid off quite like we'd hoped, you and me both. At the end of the day, we need to make sure that Tufts does not squander the incredible opportunity we have right now (Ranked one of the hottest schools of the decade, fantastic new gym under construction, growth in endowment/financial aid, potential green-line expansion to campus by 2018, amazing and challenging academics, etc.)

    I really look forward to the answers!
  • smartgradsmartgrad Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    Yes, and I say this out of love, its time for admissions to stop blogging about what they are eating during application reading etc. Its just so contrived. A video from an admitted applicant on why choose Tufts? Why, indeed? He doesn't know the school yet. Why not feature videos of students at the school who represent different aspects of the Tufts experience. (Dare I say an engineer and a Lacrosse player. Someone who attended an arms control conference with EPIIC. ) And they don't have to be self-described nerds. They can be attractive. (Weird idea I know) The video with a girl wandering around talking to people makes no sense. Someone in a suit playing handball or whatever. What was that? You need to control the message. The new site is better than the old but confusing and not that informative. Its just random bits of information.

    I think admissions fell in love with a concept and is sticking to it whether it really works or not. It's not just about numbers. Chicago and Johns Hopkins have addressed negative stereotypes, very effectively. Tufts seems to reinforce them. the seniors who don't apply at my old high school say things like Tufts isn't fun, people are too "quirky" and it gets me crazy. (Or its the onerous essays. Please at least drop the optional essay. Just is overwhelming to people who aren't applying early.) When you visit schools don't try to scare people with how hard it is to get in.

    People get that Tufts has really smart students and that it fosters individuality--that message should continue to go out. But there should be an attempt to convey the collegiate experience as just that--a beautiful New England campus near an amazing city, social, lively, incredible accessible. professors, some really strong teams, not a collection of kids who weren't popular in high school. (One of you featured blogs--literally, I hated high school.) etc. and swharborfan--Penn is doing just fine. JH openly states to prospective applicants that its easier to get in earlier. Its working.

    I don't mean to be critical but when you love a place and you see how really off its marketing it, it's hugely frustrating. You want to inspire love, but a little awe too. Tufts has cool things to promote--emphasis on public service, internationalism, experimental college. Tufts has a great story to tell, but no one is telling it.
  • smartgradsmartgrad Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    The one exception to what I said about admissions is the campus visit. The student tour guides were incredible--smart, energetic, attractive, interesting. The presentations were impressive. Wish they would channel all that to the website. Just really convinced me Tufts was the right place for me. And I had a lot of very good options.
  • TwinnytoniTwinnytoni Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    I can't tell you how glad I am to read the above comments. I agree that Tufts should focus on it's challenging academic programs, and the varied interests of its students, rather than it's quirkiness. My son will be a freshman next year (admitted ED). When looking at and comparing schools, there was a lot to love about Tufts; however, I was turned off by the frequent references to quirkiness not only at Tufts admissions, but also in other write ups that I researched. In fact, our tour guide last summer summarized the tour by saying that "all Tuft students are abnormal." Yes "abnormal"!!!!! I know that (or hoped that) she was trying to say that Tuft students were unique, had varied interests, accepting; however, at that moment, I felt kind of sick!

    My son would not describe himself as quirky; he is intellectually curious and has varied interests academically (science, math, and also history, politics and literature) but he is into playing sports and watching professional sports, and has a good sense of humor. I felt a little uneasy, frankly, after the summer visit; however, he chose to revisit a month later. After attending three classes--and seeing and hearing the students and teachers intereact, he was able to see the big picture at Tufts. It seemed to be a serious academic school with interesting students and challenging teachers. He was attracted for other reasons such as the size, proximity to Boston, and the fact that Tufts is Division III and he can play his sport.

    My husband and I are hopeful, that with 5,000 people, there will be people with whom he can connect!

    (BTW, I know of two other top students in our high school who researched Tufts and did not apply (or visit) because they thought it sounded weird based on the descriptions in one of the Princeton Review books, and other on-line resources. One is going to Johns Hopkins (engineering), and the other one is RD.)
  • smartgradsmartgrad Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    Well, rest assured. There's a core of people who are good students, party, go into Boston, etc. Smart, driven, creative, not obsessed with Harry Potter. Its a big enough school that there are all types of people here. Group of social people--on sports teams, frats, sororities-- that is tight knit and has a lot of fun. I too have heard countless times that people don't like Tufts because it's weird, etc. Thats really bad pr, a social media issue. Tufts needs to manage all that stuff a lot better, things like College *******. But the weird video applications--I'm a nerd and I collect rocks and give them names. It's enough already. You will get those people. Now try to attract the other students as well.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,621 Senior Member
    Tufts seems to reinforce them. the seniors who don't apply at my old high school say things like Tufts isn't fun, people are too "quirky" and it gets me crazy. (Or its the onerous essays. Please at least drop the optional essay. Just is overwhelming to people who aren't applying early.) When you visit schools don't try to scare people with how hard it is to get in.
    The optional essay was my son's favorite part of the application. His biggest complaint about Tufts is probably that it isn't quirky or diverse enough. He basically was torn between Tufts and Chicago and EPIIC and the thought that Tufts would be more fun made the difference.
  • smartgradsmartgrad Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    Mathmom, you have 10,600 posts. If you are connected to admissions in some way, just open up to the idea that your strategy may have hit a wall. A google search of "quirky" and Tufts had 70,000 results. I think there's significant risks to such a narrow approach. And gains have to be viewed in the context of peer schools like Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt and Wash U. I agree that Tufts is incredible and vibrant and I would say so much cooler than it seems in admissions materials. This is my lsat post so as I said this is all out of love. I got an incredible education and just want to make sure that all types of people, even those dreaded popular athletic types-- understand how great it is.
  • tuftskidtuftskid Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Mathmom, while I find the bulk of your last post quite odd, I completely understand your son's surprise that Tufts isn't nearly as quirky as the admissions material would suggest. As smartgrad and I have been saying, Tufts is NOT this quirky, nerdy, Willy wonka factory that admissions has imagined. That is a completely made-up idea! Tufts is instead a school where there are people of all different types- quirky kids, nerds, jocks, partiers, intellectuals, minorities, majorities, rich, poor, kids who go into Boston every weekend, kids who never go into Boston, etc. etc. In high school, I was an athlete. My best friends here at Tufts were involved in sports, theater, service, and student government, all while achieving great grades. One was even prom queen. For admissions to suggest that Tufts ONLY has nerds and quirky kids is a complete and utter lie, and one that really offends me as a student here who does not fulfill their stereotype.
  • tuftskidtuftskid Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    And Twinny- rest assured that your son will find his place at Tufts. I certainly did. His reaction to the "weird" factor sounds identical to mine. The summer before I came, I was terrified I was going to be the only normal person here- but after just a day on campus, I realized that I was completely at home, and surrounded by people who were JUST like me- smart, yes, but also 100% fascinating. Your son is going to have an incredible incredible four years- I'm sad mine are ending!!
  • bpd123bpd123 Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    I disagree with some of this. I just applied this year, and Tufts is one of my favorite choices. I absolutely LOVED both the Admissions blog and the supplemental essays. The essays were really easy to write and they ended up being my favorites that I reused for other schools. The type of essay prompts made me love the school even more, as silly as that may sounds.

    That being said, it's great to hear that not everyone at Tufts is quirky and weird. That is one of the only things I don't like about it- I want people to be interesting and intellectual but still fun. But in advertising, you have to pick a brand. You can't be everything. Tufts admissions is just trying to find a brand that works well.
This discussion has been closed.