Record-High Yield Constrains Student Housing; Class Sizes See Minor Increase

Thanks to last years record-high 78 percent yield, 1,108 students are enrolled in Andover this year, according to John Rogers, Dean of Studies. This year’s student population is 13 students larger than last year’s. Of the 1,108 students on campus, 350 are new students. Last year, Phillips Academy admitted 339 students, and 349 students the year before, according to Jane Fried, Director of Admissions. In the classrooms, the average number of students per class has not changed significantly. According to Rogers, this year, once all of the class schedules were settled, there was an average of 13.0 students per class, while last year the average number of students per class was 12.8. “If you look at the last five years, the averages have ranged from 12.5 to 13.1,” said Rogers. The averages for this year are toward the higher end of the spectrum but still remain relatively low. Although the class average is 13.0, there are still many classes that have large numbers of students. Rogers attributes some of the larger classes to the abnormally large Upper class of 2011, which quickly filled courses like History 300, as well as Physics 400 and 550. “History and Physics are tighter then they usually are. Part of that is due to the fact that we have a large number of Uppers,” Rogers said. “This year is the first year that I can remember where the Upper class has outnumbered the Senior class.” Due to the poor economic environment, some high-level class sections have been combined instead of hiring new teachers to teach the courses. Paul Murphy, Dean of Students, said that the school has been “fairly conservative” in hiring new faculty members because of the decline in endowment. “Labor is a very good place to find potential savings,” he said. With more students and fewer courses being offered, some prioritizing has been necessary. “We always give priority to diploma requirements or yearlong sequences,” said Rogers. “Every department is juggling what classes and sections to offer,” he continued. In the dorms, accommodations have also been made in accordance with the fluctuating number of students. According to Murphy, more Junior girls matriculated last year at Andover than anticipated. This caused Nathan Hale House to convert some larger singles into doubles, and Hearsey House changed from an upperclassman dorm to a dorm for Junior girls. Tucker House is another dorm that transformed from an upperclassman stack to a Junior boys dorm this fall. The school places new students in dorms based on space, but with the number of students constantly changing year to year, the math is never precise. “We may be one over. The solution is to make a dorm a little bit crowded or to add another dorm. We usually handle that fluctuation with smaller dorms,” said Murphy. “This year was more reasonable; when we set the yield, we set it based on the number of available beds,” continued Murphy. “[The number of students is] about the same overall. We were over [the average] in Junior girls last year, and this year we are over in Junior boys, while we are even in Junior girls, and below in upper class boys,” Murphy said. “All of the rest of the numbers seem about on par.” Andover’s high yield, however, has proved problematic for the Varsity Football team. Nine postgraduate students who play football matriculated to Andover, according to Leon Modeste, Instructor in Athletics. However, the New England Preparatory School Athletic Conference has set the limit for Division A schools at eight postgraduates per team. Modeste has informed the league of the number of postgraduates, and he expects that the team will still qualify for the championships. “In the last three years, we have had five, six and six postgraduates, so I think that the league will allow for us to have one extra postgraduate,” Modeste said. Andover also does not have enough rooms to accommodate all of the postgraduate students, who are usually offered housing if available, and therefore some of them are living at home in the local area, according to Murphy. “We have often had postgraduates who are from the local area. Last year, we had at least three. If we have room in the dorms, we often offer to let them be on campus. This [year], we had no such rooms,” said Murphy. “The number of postgraduate students admitted did not change, we just got more of them,” said Modeste. “So many prep schools are specializing. Andover is going in the opposite direction as a well-rounded school. That’s its selling point,” continued Modeste.