As the 235th class of newly admitted students flocks to campus for Spring Visit programs, it brings with it the diverse backgrounds and unique experiences that distinguished each student from a record-high number of applicants. According to Jane Fried, Dean of Admission, this year’s admission rates hit an all-time low. Fried said that 75 percent of the applicants to Andover qualified for admission, but only 14 percent, or 442 students of the 3,130 who applied, were admitted. 12 percent of prospective boarding students and 23 percent of prospective day students were accepted. This year featured a slight rise in the number of applications, with 3,130 completed applications compared to the 3,106 last year, according to Fried. The 0.7 percent increase in applicants was a part of the trend of rising application rates during the past decade. Since 2002, the number of applicants increased by 47 percent, according to the Andover website. Changes in application volume varied for each class year, increasing for prospective Juniors by 7 percent and falling for prospective Lowers, Uppers, Seniors and Postgraduates, 7, 10 and 6 percent, respectively. The percentage of the student body, including current and recently admitted students, on aid increased by 1 percent. Next year, 47 percent of the student body is expected to be on scholarship, with 13 percent on full scholarship, according to Jim Ventre, Director of Financial Aid. The Admission Committee awarded $5,478,680 in financial aid scholarships to 155 members of the newly admitted class. According to the Andover website, the average scholarship for a boarding student was $34,900 and the average scholarship for a day student was $23,100. Ventre said the financial aid budget is estimated to be $18,157,000 for the entire student body for the 2012-2013 academic year. This year, the Admission Office reviewed applications from all 50 states and from 67 countries and admitted students from 37 states and 24 countries, according to the Andover website. Fried said the Admission Office reviewed applications from countries that had not been previously represented in the applicant pool, such as Bosnia, Chile, Egypt, Israel, Mozambique and Somalia. This year’s group of admitted students includes 200 percent more students from Vietnam and 100 percent more students from Morocco. “Due to our outreach, we are seeing more applicants from the middle of the country, as well as from more remote areas of the country and the world,” Fried wrote in an e-mail to The Phillipian. 53 percent of admitted students identify themselves as White or Caucasian, 22 percent identify themselves as Asian, Asian American or Biracial Asian, and 16 percent identify themselves as Native American, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Biracial in the newly admitted class, according to the Andover website. The students in the 235th admitted class come from varying academic backgrounds: 45 percent of admitted students from a public school, 35 percent from a private school, 14 percent from a foreign school, 5 percent from a religious school and 3 percent for homeschooling settings. This year’s application process featured a new deadline and a revised Revisit Day Schedule. The application deadline was moved to January 15 from February 1. Fried wrote, “Our applicant pool has increased dramatically, and we simply could not process all of the applications with the same care and attention if we did not change our application deadline.” She added that the new deadline gave faculty readers more time to review the applications and let the Admission Committee spend more time selecting the admitted students. The students will have the opportunity to visit campus and shadow current students during revisits on March 27, March 30, April 2 and April 3, according to an announcement on PAnet. “Our goal is simple: let Andover be Andover.That is what the families have come to see, and that is what we hope to show them,” Fried wrote. To begin their day, admitted students will hear opening remarks from Head of School Barbara Chase, Jane Fried, Dean of Admission and Incoming Head of School John Palfrey. The students will then meet with their Andover host students and will shadow them in their second through sixth period classes. Prospective students were matched with their host students by criteria such as hometown, interests, classes and gender. At the end of the day, prospective families are invited to a panel discussion called “Thriving at Andover” to hear current students talk about their experiences and to have an opportunity to ask them questions.