Tufts University welcomes Class of 2021, distinguished by accomplishment, diversity, record-breaking financial aid

Members of the Class of 2021 file past Ballou Hall to take their seats for the matriculation ceremony. (Alonso Nichols/Tufts University)
Members of the Class of 2021 file past Ballou Hall to take their seats for the matriculation ceremony (Alonso Nichols/Tufts University)
August 30, 2017

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Kalimah Redd Knight

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (August 30, 2017) – The Tufts University Class of 2021 ranks among the most accomplished and diverse in university history, with nearly 32 percent of U.S. undergraduates identifying as students of color and 44 percent of incoming engineers identifying as women. Only 14.8 percent of a record-breaking 21,101 applicants were admitted.

The 1,414-member class also received $21.9 million in need-based grants, a record commitment of financial aid by the university.Members of the Class of 2021 attend the matriculation ceremony on the academic quad. (Alonso Nichols/Tufts University)

“Students in the class of 2021 are both highly qualified academically and extremely diverse in their backgrounds and interests, bringing intangibles that will make the Tufts community stronger and more vibrant,” said Dean of Admissions and Enrollment Karen Richardson. “As our admissions team reviewed their applications, we were struck by these students’ unique aptitude for creativity and collaboration.”

Among students from the U.S., 4.2 percent identify as black, 5.8 percent identify as two or more races, 8.2 percent identify as Hispanic; and 13.5 percent identify as Asian. Additionally, 163 students are the first generation in their families to attend college, up from 132 last year.

Ten percent of incoming students are international students who hail from 44 countries across the globe; among the nations represented are Singapore, Uganda, Ecuador, India and Italy. Those from the U.S. represent 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Twenty students come from Tufts’ host communities of Medford, Somerville and Boston.

Twice as many students as last year enrolled in Tufts’ 1+4 Fellowship program – the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life’s bridge-year initiative that provides accepted students the opportunity to experience a “gap year” of full-time community service before beginning their studies at Tufts. Twenty-four students – including 22 who are serving their fellowships abroad and two who are serving fellowships in Washington DC and New York City – are participating in the program, up from 12 last year.President Anthony Monaco processes through the Class of 2021 after the matriculation ceremony on the academic quad. (Anna Miller/Tufts University)

This is the first year students in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts (SMFA) were admitted through the Tufts enrollment process; Tufts acquired the SMFA in July 2016. Fifty-one students are set to earn either B.F.A. or dual degrees.

The class achieved a mean SAT score of 724 in Reading and Writing and 736 in Math. Forty members of the class are National Merit Scholars.

Among the most popular potential majors of interest for incoming students in the School of Arts and Sciences are economics, international relations and biology. At the School of Engineering, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering and computer science are the most sought-after fields of study.

The matriculation ceremony took place today on The Green on the Medford/Somerville campus. 


Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, 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.