Six Percent Matriculation Rate Increase Prompts Need for Extra Beds

Matriculation rates for the 2012-2013 school year reached a record-high 84 percent, compared to last year’s rate of 78 percent. In order to address the housing shortage caused by the influx of new students, approximately 20 new beds will be added to existing campus dorms next fall. “It’s really unusual that the admission yield would bump more than one percent. The last five years we’ve been between 78 and 79 percent. This [yield rate] is unprecedented in the history of the school,” said Jane Fried, Dean of Admission. “We actually admitted about the same number of students that we admitted last year, and in some classes we admitted even fewer students than last year,” said Fried. The last time that so many additional beds were needed was in the early 1990s, according to Fried. At that time, Will Hall, a dorm on Phillips Street that no longer exists, was used for overflow housing when the school’s enrollment was higher than its capacity. “Every year we might need a few more boy beds or a few more girl beds, and we do that every single year, but this is a little bit bigger,” said Fried. Paul Murphy, Dean of Students, is working to find spaces to house the additional students. However, because dorms are already nearly at maximum capacity, it has been difficult to find the new arrangements, according to Murphy. Beds will be added to singles to create more one-room doubles, as well as to three-room doubles to create more triples. Faculty members who live in larger homes may also volunteer to host two or three students for the year, according to Murphy. Fried thought Spring Visits this year were particularly successful in attracting students to Andover and thereby contributed to the increase in yield rate. 88 percent of students who attended the Spring Visit program matriculated toAndover, in comparison to the 80 percent of students who matriculated last year after attending the Spring Visit program. Additional spring-revisit programs such as the Fly Back program and the First Visit program also helped to secure new students for the 2012-2013 school year. “[The Fly Back and First Visit programs] bring students to the school who are full or heavy financial aid students, and they’ve never visited the school before… 100 percent of those students matriculated, which has never happened,” said Fried. Taking place simultaneously with the regular Spring Visit program, the Fly Back program gives underrepresented students of color who will receive a substantial financial aid grant the financial means to visit Andover’s campus with one parent. The similar First Visit program provides prospective students with the same opportunity, but does not take into account racial identification. Murphy has worked with the Office of Physical Plant, Cluster Deans and house counselors to evaluate and identify dorms on campus that are able to accommodate additional students. Murphy said, “I’m not thinking about [the addition of beds] cluster-wise. We have 42 dorms and the big dorms have interesting spaces, but a lot of the house-dorms have fairly large single rooms that could be doubles,” said Murphy. “I’d like a lot of the new arrangements to be taken by old students, because they tend to know each other well. For me to put new kids together in a one-room double, I have to really know that they’re going to work out well,” said Murphy. “[Each year] Mr. Murphy waits to start the housing process until the admissions season is done just in case something like this were to happen. We have some beds out there that we’re able to use that we weren’t intending to use that we will now use, and then he’ll be adding a few more to estimate about 20 students,” said Fried. As of press time, specific dorms that will be affected by the increase in matriculating students were not yet announced.