Tufts Admissions Statistics

Tufts Applications, Admission to Tufts, Tufts Admission Figures

Application numbers are up for Tufts University this year.

We’ve got some Tufts admissions statistics for our readers. According to “The Tufts Daily,” 18,167 applications for the Class of 2017 have been received, setting the record for the number of applications. This figure is up 11% from last year. And while the article in “The Tufts Daily” leads with it being “the most selective in the university’s history” based on the record-breaking application numbers, we caution our readers that just because a university received more applications, that doesn’t make them more selective. Why not? Because many schools recruit unqualified candidates in the hope of boosting the number of applicants to their university. Does a ‘D’ student make an applicant pool more competitive? Does a ‘D’ student make it more difficult for an ‘A’ student to gain admission? No, it doesn’t.

According to an article in “The Tufts Daily” on the Tufts admissions stats, “Much of Tufts’ growing popularity can be attributed to improvements in the admissions office’s communication efforts, according to [Lee] Coffin. Last year, Admissions replaced its traditional viewbook with Jumbo, an admissions magazine, and launched an improved website featuring interactive elements and blogs. ‘This is the first class that has gone from recruitment all the way through the deadline with this plan in place and I am crediting a lot of the growth with that,’ Coffin said. ‘The blogs have just been ridiculously popular…and it’s exceeded our expectations.’ According to Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions Daniel Grayson, the changes were developed in hopes of making admissions publications a better resource for students.”

Still, every school is trying to boost their application numbers from year to year but not every school is able to do this. Being a director of admissions at a highly selective college can be a stressful job this time of year. Did all of their marketing efforts work? How did their new ideas impact the figures? It’s always heartening for the numbers to reflect one’s efforts in an admissions office. Now let’s just see if the SAT and ACT scores for the Tufts applicants are higher than last year. They just may be. Or not.


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  • Ellen says:

    It’s interesting that you assume Tufts’ application numbers increased simply by virtue of aggressive efforts on the part of the admissions office, and that those numbers don’t necessarily translate into true selectivity, given the assumed likelihood of “D” students applying. We can safely assume that ALL highly selective schools, including the Ivies, are deluged with applications from sub-par applicants, thus causing a skewed reality of selectivity. One shouldn’t assume that Tufts’ increase means that more sub-par students applied.

    But to make the case for Tufts… my daughter was accepted ED this year after considering several comparable schools in terms of “numbers”, including Cornell, Colgate, William and Mary, and Haverford. She is National Merit Commended, AP Scholar with Honor, upper level on ACT and SAT IIs, 5s on all AP exams taken; incredible extracurriculars, wonderful essays. Over the past year, she (and her parents!) were beset with near-daily mailings (snail and electronic) of promotional materials from the likes of Brown, Carnegie Mellon, U Penn, Case Western, Emory, JHU, Bucknell, NYU, BU, and Bryn Mawr. But who took the cake? University of Chicago, which even honored her with a t-shirt! As for Tufts, she only requested materials after she visited the school last August—two months before she applied. Before then, she had received maybe two issues of JUMBO in the mail, lost amongst the deluge from the other schools. What’s remarkable is that, if other kids received as few materials from Tufts as my daughter did, the increase in applications there this year is far more impressive than U Chicago’s puffed up numbers, which are clearly the result of their hitting folks over the head. How many “D” students do you think applied U Chicago this year under the false assumption that the school “really, really liked them”?

    To sum up, my top-student daughter, with numbers and extras that could have gotten her into any number of highly selective schools (not accounting for the vagaries and intangibles of college admissions) applied to and was admitted to the college that hounded her THE LEAST among highly selective schools.

    I have to point out, too, that the Tufts admissions team is by far the best in the biz. Through their engaging, non-intimidating, refreshingly un-pushy efforts, they’ve made a fan of this family. My daughter can’t wait to be a Jumbo this fall.

    • Ivy Coach says:


      Absolutely — you’re right! We’re just pointing out that the number of applications to any given highly selective college isn’t necessarily a reflection of the university’s competitiveness (even though many folks think it is). This is true of Tufts, the Ivies, and all highly selective colleges. And thanks for sharing your story about the brochures that came for your daughter. It sounds like the University of Chicago went all out this year with their marketing materials.

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