Record Class of 1998 Arrives at Hopkins By Sujata Massey It's time to make room--lots of room--for the class of 1998. Robert Massa, associate dean of enrollment management, said the approximately 950 students who started classes last week are about 60 more than the university expected. Due to slight over-enrollment last year in the class of 1997, Dr. Massa said, the university this year accepted 140 fewer students than usual. Yet out of that smaller accepted group, a greater percentage of students decided to enroll. "It will present a challenge," Dr. Massa said. "There is no question that from the feedback I get, the faculty is concerned about enrollment size, but they have been wonderfully cooperative." Departments have added extra sections for popular entry-level classes. Among the departments expanding freshman classes are English, the Writing Seminars, Economics and Chemistry. "The enrollment looks like it's taking just about what we have in terms of capacity," said David Draper, chairman of the Department of Chemistry, who added another evening section to basic chemistry. The chemistry laboratories have the physical limitation of only 580 drawers of equipment, and this year all drawers will be filled. When the bumper crop of freshmen moves up to organic chemistry in their sophomore year, "we could see another crunch," Dr. Draper said. Carol Mohr, director of housing, said her department has turned some single rooms into doubles, and some doubles into triple-occupancy rooms. Students living in the 53 new triple rooms will pay $1,200 less in room fees. "The solution we came up with was to expand the capacity of larger rooms in the residence halls," Mohr said. "Our only other alternative would have been the university-owned apartment buildings [currently housing upperclassmen], but we thought that would be an isolating experience for incoming freshmen." Bettye Miller, director of auxiliary enterprises, said the upsurge in students will mean Levering Cafeteria, Wolman Station and the Terrace Dining Room will be crowded at peak times. "The facilities will be overcrowded, especially from noon to 1:30 p.m., because it just seems that everyone has lunch at the same time," Miller said. To offer more seats, E-Level, the new student pub, will be open at lunchtime for overflow from the Levering Hall crowd. Plans are uncertain for the Terrace Cafe and Wolman Station. "We are keeping our eye on the situation, and if it proves to be difficult after the first couple of weeks, we might set up a box lunch program," Miller said. Dean of Students Susan Boswell said the large freshman class may find itself venturing off campus for meals and entertainment. "One thing that might happen is people will get involved in things happening outside of the residence hall earlier, and that could be positive," Dean Boswell said. "Since we have a significant corps of students who already participate, student activities will certainly be enhanced." The Peabody Institute enrolled an unusually large freshman class last year--79--and is pleased with a lower tally of 55 freshmen this year. "We got the entering class we aimed for," said David Lane, director of admissions at Peabody. "We instituted controls to keep the numbers down, but the real trick is making sure we don't have too many sopranos, and not enough baritones." Of Peabody's freshman class, nine students are from abroad; the most-represented countries are the People's Republic of China and South Korea. The School of Medicine's entering class has not fluctuated from its norm of 120 students. But this year, women make up 53 percent of the freshman class, up 10 percent from last year. Though this is the first time in the school's 101-year history that more women than men will enter the school, Catherine DeAngelis, vice dean for academic affairs and faculty, said the School of Medicine has not changed its admission policy in any way. "Each year brings a greater number of exceptional women candidates. Our admissions committee simply chooses the best students. The process takes months, and no one stops for a gender tally," Dr. DeAngelis said. Fresh Facts about the Homewood Class of 1998 * The average combined SAT score for the class is 1,288. * Seventy-two percent of the freshmen will enroll in Arts and Sciences, 28 percent in Engineering. * The class of 1998 is 61 percent male, 39 percent female. * The class is approximately 7 percent African American, 3 percent Latino and 28 percent Asian American. * Foreign nationals make up 5 percent of incoming freshmen at Homewood. * Women number 26 percent of the freshman class in the School of Engineering, a seven-point increase over last year, and the school's largest class of women ever. * Thirteen percent of students entering the School of Arts and Sciences plan to major in the humanities. It is the highest number of entering humanities students in recent years. * The most-represented states in the class of 1998 are New York, at 17 percent; New Jersey, at 14 percent; Maryland, at 12 percent; California, at 8.5 percent; and Pennsylvania, at 8 percent. * Thirty-six percent of the freshmen are receiving grant aid from Hopkins; more than 55 percent received outside scholarships and student loans.
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