Most Selective Class in Tufts' History Boasts Unconventional Talent

Jump rope champ, hot sauce entrepreneur, medical device inventor among new Jumbos
August 27, 2014

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Kalimah Redd Knight

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass.Tufts University’s Class of 2018  represents the most selective admissions cycle ever -- Tufts admitted just 17 percent of a record pool of 19,074 applicants-- but those attending have a lot more than standard academic chops. 

Among the 1,352 students matriculating at Tufts on August 27 are a New York inventor with scoliosis who patented an implant allowing the spine to grow straight, which won at the 2014 Intel International Science Fair; a pop music star from Thailand; a hot sauce entrepreneur from Delaware; a filmmaker who won an award at the Cannes Film Festival; and the jump rope national champion from Colorado.

According to Lee Coffin, dean of undergraduate admissions, who addressed the entering class at the matriculation ceremony Wednesday afternoon, "This group is one for the record books, dynamic for their academic successes and for the diversity in their personal attributes and pursuits."

The new students include 65 National Merit Scholars, 69 valedictorians and 53 salutatorians. The class's academic achievements include distinguished mean SAT scores: 714 critical reading, 720 mathematics and 720 writing.

Coffin noted that the class includes 157 students--12 percent -- who are among the first generation in their families to attend college, the largest group in Tufts’ history.

International students represent 11 percent of the class. Included are 22 citizens of the People’s Republic of China, the largest group of any nation outside the U.S., followed by 10 from India, 9 from Singapore and 7 from Turkey. Overall, the new undergraduates come from 49 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 41 countries. Including international students, more than a third of the total class is non-Caucasian and 30 percent of the U.S. citizens are students of color.

The $19.2 million in institutional financial aid -- all of it need based -- awarded to the incoming class represents the largest amount in the university’s history, and 39 percent of the class received a Tufts scholarship grant. Pell Grant recipients account for 13 percent of the class, or 176 students.

Yield on Tufts’ offers of admissions was a record 41 percent, the sixth consecutive increase in that critical admissions index.

Tufts School of Engineering set a record for number of applicants for the eighth year in a row and one third of the aspiring engineers enrolling are women.


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.