The Yale School of Medicine received its highest ever number of applications this year, Director of Admissions Richard Silverman said Tuesday.

The school received 4,243 applications for the 2010-’11 academic year, up 4 percent from last year, Silverman said. He said he expects the admission rate for the class of 2014 to remain fairly consistent with last year’s rate of 6.4 percent because the size of the entering class will hold steady at about 100 students.

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An increase in applications was expected because of the recession, School of Medicine Dean Robert Alpern said.

“Usually if the economy is bad, applications to medical schools go up because people see the medical field as a safe profession,” Alpern said.

Silverman added that he does not expect the school’s yield rate to change.

This year’s rise in applications at the School of Medicine is consistent with national trends, said Jeff Koetje, director of pre-health programs for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, applications to medical school nationwide have increased by an average of 3 percent each year over the past six years. For the School of Medicine, applications have risen an average of four percent annually over the same time period, Silverman said.

Five premed undergraduates interviewed said the increase in applications to the School of Medicine does not concern them because the process of applying to medical schools is already very competitive.

“Considering the Yale School of Medicine is already so selective, I don’t see the increase in applicants having any meaningful impact on a particular student’s chance of acceptance,” Alex Hirsch ’12 said.

Ryan Park ’12 said he is not worried about the increase in applications because he is still a sophomore. But he added that he thinks applying to medical school would be similar to applying to Yale College in terms of competitiveness.

“We all dealt with a very competitive field when we were applying to undergraduate colleges,” Park said.

While the current first-year School of Medicine class includes 11 Yale College graduates, it is impossible at this stage in the admissions process to predict how many will be accepted for the fall, Silverman said. About 200 Yale undergraduates apply to medical school each year, Undergraduate Career Services Director Philip Jones said in November.

Fifty-four percent of the applicants this year are men and 46 percent are women, which is consistent with previous years, Silverman added. The average MCAT score of applicants rose this year to 11.9 points for each of the test’s three sections, up from 11.8 in 2009. A perfect score for each section is 15.

The Yale School of Medicine was ranked sixth in the 2009 U.S. News & World Report survey of American medical schools.

While the School of Medicine will receive 13.4 percent less funding from the University’s endowment for the upcoming fiscal year, the budget cuts will not affect financial aid, Alpern said. Compared to Yale’s other professional schools, the School of Medicine is least dependent on funding from the University’s endowment, he said: The majority of the school’s operating budget comes from grants and revenue from faculty members practicing at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Alpern explained, adding that only a small portion comes from tuition.

Correction: Feb. 17, 2010

An earlier version of this article misrepresented a quote from Ryan Park ’12. Park said he has not yet begun to worry about medical school applications because he is a sophomore. Also, an earlier version of the graphic accompanying the article incorrectly stated that only 11 Yale College graduates were accepted into the School of Medicine for the 2009-’10 school year. In fact, more graduates were accepted, but only 11 decided to matriculate. The article also misstated the name of the Association of American Medical Colleges.