Applications Are Strong for Undergraduate Class of 2024

Making up the most diverse applicant pool in recent history, more than 23,000 apply to Tufts
Aerial view of Tufts University campus in summertime. With the most diverse applicant pool in recent history, more than 23,000 apply to Tufts for the undergraduate Class of 2024
“We are thrilled that there is more interest than ever in a Tufts education from talented students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences,” said JT Duck, dean of admissions and enrollment management. Photo: Alonso Nichols
January 21, 2020

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Applications to Tufts’ undergraduate degree programs continue to grow, with more than 23,100 students applying for admission to the Class of 2024. That’s a 1.5 percent increase over last year and represents the most diverse applicant pool in recent history, according to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Applications were up for both the School of Engineering (4,588) and for the School of Arts and Sciences (17,828). Applications for the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts (SMFA), part of the School of Arts and Sciences, grew most significantly, by 19 percent.

Students of color account for nearly 50 percent of the domestic applicant pool, up from just over 40 percent five years ago.

“We are thrilled that there is more interest than ever in a Tufts education from talented students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences,” said JT Duck, dean of admissions and enrollment management.

“Tufts marries the strengths of a residential liberal arts college with the innovative spirit of a research university, while enjoying all the benefits of one of the nation’s most vibrant metropolitan areas,” he said. “This compelling combination resonates with students who want a sense of community and at the same time want to explore new challenges and widen their understanding of the world.”

He is particularly gratified to see strong interest in programs offered through the SMFA. Applications to the B.F.A. program reached 416, while the five-year combined degree program (a B.F.A. plus a B.A. or B.S.) drew 287 applicants.

“Word is getting out that the SMFA at Tufts offers something very special,” said Duck. “It’s an extraordinary art institution connected to a world-class museum and embedded in a research university. It’s an environment rich with one-of-a-kind, creative opportunities that capture the imagination of scholar-artists.”

First-generation college students comprise 17 percent of the pool, continuing a history of steady growth in applications.

Early decision applications were up, too, rising about 2.4 percent compared to last year.

International students—defined as foreign nationals without U.S. citizenship—comprise 19 percent of this year’s pool; the more than 4,400 applications represent a 12 percent increase over the size of last year’s pool.

The 8 most represented countries by citizenship are China, India, South Korea, Canada, Turkey, Brazil, Vietnam, and Pakistan, the same as last year. Kenya becomes the ninth country to surpass 100 citizens applying to Tufts’ first-year class in a single year. Tufts also saw outsized growth in the number of applicants who are citizens of Bangladesh, France, Italy, and Nigeria.

We have seen a steady increase in the number of foreign nationals applying to Tufts as first-year students each year for the past five-plus years,” noted Duck. “This year was the largest year-over-year increase in applications from foreign nationals, which we attribute to the increasing awareness around the world of the strength of a Tufts education, and strategic communications and travel initiatives undertaken by the admissions office.”

All fifty states are represented in this year’s first-year applicant pool; the top seven states by home address are Massachusetts, New York, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, and Texas. 

Decisions for students who applied during the second round of early decision will be released in early February. Students who applied via regular decision will receive their decisions in late March.

Laura Ferguson can be reached at laura.ferguson@tufts.edu.