Historic Year for Tufts Undergraduate Admissions

Incoming Undergraduate Class Most Selective, Largest Applicant Pool, Strongest Academic Profile in University History

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. – Tufts University’s Class of 2017 is one for the record books. This year’s first-year class of some 1,316 students was whittled down from a record 18,420 applicants, a 12.5 percent increase over last year's pool. Only 18.8 percent of applicants were offered admission, making 2012-13 the most selective undergraduate admissions cycle on record for Tufts.

According to Lee Coffin, dean of undergraduate admissions, who addressed the entering class on Wednesday afternoon, "the data that defines the Class of 2017 is impressive: biggest pool, most selective, enrolling with the greatest academic profile of any undergraduate class in Tufts’ history."

While the incoming class is the strongest ever academically, with 76 National Merit Scholars, 58 valedictorians and 43 salutatorians, the new students are also notable for diversity of personal attributes: a homecoming queen from Dallas who was president of the LGBT alliance; a football player who was the first woman to play on her high school’s varsity squad; an Italian pole vaulter who was among the top 10 in that event and a former intern for The New York Times crossword puzzle editor.

The class includes 115 students who are among the first generation in their families to attend college; 94 sons and daughters of Tufts alumni; the offspring of farmers, fishermen and diplomats and the child of a couple who met on their first day at Tufts 33 years ago.

In his speech Coffin discussed the record number of accepted and enrolled students from abroad. International students represent 10 percent of the class. Included are 25 citizens of the People’s Republic of China, the largest group of any nation outside the U.S., followed by 16 from India. Domestically, the largest contingent of students still comes from Massachusetts, which supplied 244 students to the class, followed by 142 from New York and 138 from California. Overall, the new undergraduates come from 43 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 47 countries.

The School of Engineering saw its seventh record pool of applicants. This year, one-third of the engineering class is women.

Nearly 39 percent of the incoming class received financial aid -- including 151 Pell Grant recipients -- and 34.5 percent have a Tufts grant. The $16.4 million in institutional financial aid -- all of it need based -- awarded to the incoming class represents the largest amount in the university’s history.

Overall, the new class has equal numbers of women and men. A little more than 28 percent of domestic students are people of color; a third of the total class is non-Caucasian when international students are included.

Yield on Tufts’ offers of admissions rose to a record 38 percent, the fifth consecutive increase in that critical admissions index. The class set new records for academic achievement: mean SAT scores hit new highs, with 712 critical reading (up three points), 727 mathematics (up nine points) and 720 writing (up seven points).


Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.

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