by Sam Klugherz
Tufts University offered admission on March 30 to a record-low 11% of applicants to the undergraduate Class of 2025. It is the most ethnically and racially diverse undergraduate class ever admitted to the university.
The record-low acceptance rate follows a 35% increase in the number of applicants, which rose in part due to Tufts’ SAT/ACT test-optional policy and the robust array of virtual engagement programming offered to prospective students.
Dean of Admissions JT Duck explained that admission to all of Tufts’ undergraduate schools for the first-year class became more competitive in comparison to previous years.
“With significant growth in the applicant pools for all undergraduate programs, gaining admission to Tufts was more competitive this year regardless of whether students applied to the School of Engineering, School of Arts & Sciences, or School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts,” Duck wrote in an email to the Daily.
Duck added that the Regular Decision applicant pool was similar in composition to the Early Decision applicant pool, with Early Decision I and II admissions decisions released to applicants in December and February, respectively.
“The academic strength, community engagement, and demographics of the Early Decision and Regular Decision pools this year were similar, and both pools were historically diverse and historically large,” Duck said.
Overall, admitted students represent 50 U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Almost 12% of those admitted are international students, with 100 different citizenships represented in the admitted class, according to Duck.
Students of color make up 56% of the admitted class. Black students represent 11.3%, Hispanic and Latinx students represent 13.5%, and Asian American students represent 20.1% of the admitted U.S. students. An additional 10.5% of admitted students are multiracial.
Duck added that 100 admitted students identify with a Native or Indigenous heritage, and 20 admitted students are enrolled citizens of their tribes, representing 17 tribal nations.
“Our commitment to recruiting a broadly diverse applicant pool and enrolled class each year that pulls from the most talented, accomplished, and interesting prospective college students of all backgrounds, from all parts of the country and world, will drive our admissions process for years to come,” he said.
More than 10% of the admitted class are first-generation students, and more than 10% worked with college access organizations, including over 200 admitted students affiliated with QuestBridge.
Curry Brinson, a diversity and recruitment co-chair for Tufts Tour Guides, praised the virtual admissions programming, which allowed Tufts Admissions to broaden its student outreach.
“It’s really nice that there’s a virtual format offered that shows you what campus is like. You meet actual students, they make themselves available to you, they give you their emails and admissions tips,” Brinson, a junior, said. “And you can do it all from the comfort of your own home without having to worry about any sort of financial restraint.”
Brinson explained that the diversity and strength of the accepted class is a testament to the success of the virtual programming.
“Clearly … the accessibility factor has already welcomed in an awesome batch of new students,” he said.
Duck confirmed that Tufts Admissions plans to continue with virtual outreach initiatives even after in-person efforts resume.
“We will continue to offer virtual admissions programming for prospective students, even after we are able to travel and to host visitors on campus again,” Duck said.
Admissions will also continue for at least two years with the test-optional policy, which played a role in making Tufts more accessible to prospective students and achieving the large increase in the number of applicants.
“Tufts will continue its SAT/ACT test-optional pilot for two more years, at which point we will make a decision about our testing policy moving forward,” Duck said.
To welcome the accepted class, Tufts Admissions is hosting a virtual Jumbo Month in lieu of in-person Jumbo Days, according to Associate Director of Admissions Beky Stiles, who leads Jumbo Month events.
“Our campus partners and current students have been tremendous supports in our planning of over 80 virtual events to celebrate the many spaces and experiences of being a student on the Hill,” Stiles wrote in an email to the Daily.
Some highlights of Jumbo Month include themed panels hosted by current students, professors’ opening up their classrooms to the admitted Class of 2025, and conversations held by all of the Division of Student Diversity and Inclusion identity-based resource centers.
Admissions also launched a new social platform called the Tufts Admitted Student Network, allowing current students to openly and honestly share their Tufts experiences with admitted students. Three hundred current students have already joined the platform, according to Stiles.
“And, of course, we are hosting a series of socials to connect admitted students to one another and to current Jumbos,” Stiles said.
Photo of Tufts' Jumbo statue by Ava Iannuccillo / The Tufts Daily