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Lafayette College has recruited one of its academically strongest incoming classes ever while exercising greater selectivity in admissions and increasing financial awards for students.

As of June 10, 595 students have paid deposits signifying their intention to enroll in the Class of 2003. The number of students exceeds the admissions office’s goal for the class. The mean SAT score is a record 1248, an improvement of 25 points over last year. The proportion of incoming students ranking in the top 10 percent of their high school class is also a record — 51 percent — up from 41 percent last year.

Admissions selectivity is also improved. Lafayette admitted just 2,134 of its 4,428 applicants, an acceptance rate of 48.2 percent, down sharply from last year’s rate of 54.0 percent. The proportion of admitted students enrolling, or “yield,” of 27.9 percent is up from 24.7 percent last year.

The dramatic rise in quality and selectivity continue positive multi-year trends in both areas. Since 1996 the mean SAT score has improved by 32 points (from 1216) and the proportion of students in the top 10 percent has risen by more than one-third (from 37 percent). At the same time, the acceptance rate has dropped by almost one-quarter (from 63.4 percent) and the yield has risen by more than one-third (from 20.3 percent).

More than 100 of the most outstanding members of the class will benefit from special educational opportunities and more than $1 million in scholarships under the expanded and enhanced Lafayette Scholars program. They include 77 students named Marquis Scholars and 25 students selected to receive Trustee Scholarships.

There are 54 minority students from the United States, including 24 African Americans. Overall, students of color, including those from foreign countries, make up more than 12 percent of the class.

Marquis Scholars receive an annual minimum award of $12,500 (totaling $50,000 over four years) or a grant in the full amount of their demonstrated need if the need is more than $12,500. They also receive other benefits, including a College-funded, three-week, study-abroad course during January’s interim session, cultural activities in major U.S. and Canadian cities and on campus, and mentoring programs with Lafayette faculty.

Trustee Scholarship recipients get an annual minimum award of $7,500 (totaling $30,000 over four years) or a grant covering their full need if the need exceeds $7,500.

The Marquis Scholars program and Trustee Scholars program make up just one portion of the financial aid that Lafayette provides each year. Students also benefit from more than 350 endowed scholarships funded by alumni and other supporters, a number that is growing rapidly because of the $143 million Lafayette Leadership Campaign, publicly announced on October 24, 1997, and scheduled to run through June 30, 2001. The largest single goal of the campaign, which is the most ambitious fundraising effort Lafayette has ever undertaken, is to add $30 million to the College’s endowment for financial aid.

Categorized in: Academic News