Welcome, 2013. The Admissions Office received 351 deposit checks from admitted Andover students committing to attend PA in the 2009-2010 school year. This year’s 78 percent yield of admitted students marked the highest yield on record. The yield is four percent higher than last year. “Considering the economic situation, a yield this high is practically unheard of anywhere,” said Jane Fried, Dean of Admissions. More scholarships were offered compared to last year. 42 percent of students are currently on financial aid in the school. Next year, 44 percent of the student body will be on financial aid. “This is a big jump, but it is part of need-blind admission,” said Fried. Andover students hosted 350 prospective students during the four spring visit days, 83 percent, or 290, of them chose to attend Andover. “Some people ask ‘Is [a Spring Visit] worth it ?’and I wholeheartedly say yes. Spring visit students talk about how welcoming everyone and the school is. They say everyone, students and faculty, is very genuine, friendly and kind,” said Fried. The Admissions Office also created “simualcasts” this year in an effort to reach more students. The simualcasts were live question-and-answer sessions and gave admitted students and their parents the opportunity to submit questions from home. PA hosted two simualcasts on March 18 and April 7. The first simualcast consisted of a panel of current Andover students, with Fried serving as the moderator. The panel received the questions in Kemper Auditorium, where the questions were projected onto a screen. Sixty-four percent of all admitted students participated in the first simualcast. The second simualcast had a different format. For 20-minute intervals, questions from parents were directed towards current students as well as Rebecca Sykes, Associate Head of School, and Jim Ventre, Director of Financial Aid and House Counselor in Fuess. Admissions also had two Day Student Nights on March 30 and April 1. PA also hosted ice cream socials for spring visit students on each night before a Spring Visit. Andi Zhou ’09, Azure and the Yorkies performed at the socials. A reception was also held for athletes. Bill Belichick ’71, Head Coach of the New England Patriots, and Becky Adams ’94, first female top gun instructor pilot, discussed what they had learned from Andover at the reception. For the last 25 years, the Admissions Office has also maintained the Fly Back Program. The program gives underrepresented students of color the financial means to visit Andover’s campus with one parent. “The Fly Back Program enables students to have dinner at Andover and on the next day they take part in the Spring Visit Program,” said Fried. In order to qualify for The Fly Back Program, the applicant must be of color, receive either a full or heavy scholarship and have never seen the campus before. Andover has a similar First Visit program where students racial identification plays no role in whether or not they will come to visit. Both of these programs take place on each of the four spring visit days. Fried added that spring visit would not be possible without the help of the students. The applicants this year were highly competitive, particularly for ninth graders, according to Fried. “The estimated class rank for ’13 [in their previous schools] is in [the] 99th percentile. And the median SSAT score was 94. These were just very strong kids,” said Fried. The Admissions Office only admitted 17 percent of applicants, a two percent decrease from last year. While the acceptance rate decreased in comparison to last year, the applicant pool increased. According to Fried, 3,139 preliminary applications and 2,711 applications were completed. The 2,711 completed applications is an 18 percent increase from last year. There were 3153 applications for boarding students, a 19 percent increase, and 358 day students applied, an 8 percent increase.