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Class of 2003 Acceptances Exceed Expectations

With 25 more first-year students than planned moving in this weekend, University administrators said they are hoping that the class size will gradually decrease over the next few months.

"We are talking to students now who are not coming," Dean of Admissions John A. Blackburn said. "We are very close to right on track" for the projected enrollment.

While the University's enrollment goal is 2,921, 2,946 students are expected to arrive this weekend.

The University will conduct its annual census of all students in October and by then the first-year class, drawn from 46 states and 65 countries, should total 2,921, Blackburn said.

In June the University offered admission to about 50 students who had been on a waiting list totaling 2,000; of those 50, about 40 accepted offers of admission.

"A higher number than normal accepted the offer," Blackburn said.

But over the summer students decline their offers of admission to the University due to several factors, Blackburn said.

Some students receive offers of admission from schools that previously placed them on their waiting lists, while other students decide to attend a different school for personal reasons. In addition, some students cannot immediately enroll because they were injured over the summer.

Some students also leave in September because they decide that the University, or even college in general, is not right for them at the time, Blackburn said.

Just as students can decide to go to other schools once they have committed to the University, the University also has the power to take back its offer of admission--two incoming first-year students were denied admission because of low final grades, Blackburn said.

World events can also affect admissions. A few Turkish first-students might delay or postpone indefinitely the start of their college career this fall because of the earthquake that devastated Turkey last week, University officials said.

But the extra students should not result in crowded housing.

"Up until a week and a half ago we were looking at eight male triples but now we don't anticipate any triples," Housing Director Mark Doherty said. "First year accommodations are in good shape."

The Office of Admissions, which works with the Housing Office, "knows the number of spaces that we have and is sensitive to what happens when students are in triples--nobody wants that," Doherty said.

The University Housing Office has also placed some incoming first-year students in Hereford College, even though they did not request it, as well as in Brown College and Mary Mumford dormitory.

The University received over 17,090 admission applications this year, up over 500 from last year, Blackburn said.

In April the University offered admission to 2,969 in-state students and 2,416 out-of-state students--overall about 90 more students than last year.