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First-round applications to the School of Management increased by 7.3 percent this year, SOM Director of Admissions Anne Coyle said.

SOM officials said they are optimistic that the number and quality of applicants will remain high for the year’s three remaining deadlines and praised new initiatives to recruit more working professionals, minorities, women and younger students.

“We know that a lot of the people who are applying now are people we’ve met through recruiting programs,” Coyle said.

The SOM received approximately 550 applications for the first deadline last year and about 590 this year.

Coyle said applicants who met the Nov. 14 deadline will receive the SOM’s decisions in January and the percentage accepted will probably be “in the teens.”

This increase is comparable to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business’ numbers. Penn, ranked third in U.S. News and World Report’s business school rankings, had a 13 percent acceptance rate in 2002.

Describing the school’s new recruiting methods as a “shifting of recruiting resources,” Coyle said the school is holding recruiting events in a broader range of cities and has begun to host online chats between administrators and prospective applicants.

She said the SOM is “trying to lower barriers for working professionals to apply” by starting to offer interviews outside New Haven and requiring only one essay, rather than five, with the application.

SOM Dean Jeffrey Garten said the SOM chiefly aims to continue attracting high-quality applicants and to increase the percentage of minority students.

“We have several programs underway to identify historically underrepresented minorities and to enhance the environment at the school so that it’s attractive to them,” Garten said.

Nicole Lindsay, the SOM associate director of minority admissions and student affairs, said her job, which she began in June, was created to help the school take a more focused approach to minority recruitment.

Explore Diversity at SOM is a new program that allows prospective applicants to visit the school, attend classes and talk with current students. Lindsay said the admissions office also works with Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a program that helps students prepare for and apply to business schools.

The SOM also partners with the business schools at New York University, Duke University, Cornell University and the University of Southern California in a group called the MBA Diversity Alliance, Lindsay said. She said the partnership holds recruitment events jointly.

Lindsay also said the school seeks to inform prospective students about the possibility of attending business schools at earlier points in their careers.

“Any opportunity to talk to talented students, minority or not, about graduate management education at an earlier point will be beneficial,” she said.

Coyle said she is optimistic about the level of interest in the Silver Scholars program. The program aims to recruit Yale College seniors by providing a full scholarship for the first year of the MBA program and helping students set up internships to gain work experience.

“It’s a very exciting program because it allows us to tap into the incredible pool of talent at Yale College,” she said.

The SOM is also making an effort to recruit women, who constitute 30 percent of its student body. Last month the school held its third annual Women’s Summit, an opportunity for prospective applicants to speak with alumni and current students, in New York City.
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