Incoming Class Tops
The University of Connecticut’s incoming freshman class will be the most academically successful and most diverse ever, with SAT scores and the number of minority students enrolling in Storrs up significantly – accelerating a trend that started when the UConn 2000 program was enacted 10 years ago.
“Few public colleges in the nation have experienced gains in SAT’s similar to UConn’s,” says University President Philip E. Austin. “A rise in average SAT scores of even several points is significant. Our gain of 79 points over the duration of the UConn 2000 program is remarkable.
“There is no doubt that the physical transformation of the campus through the UConn 2000 program, along with the enhancement of the academic program and recruitment of outstanding faculty to supplement an already strong professorate, have helped make UConn the first choice of high-achieving students in Connecticut,” adds Austin.
The average SAT scores of incoming freshmen who have paid deposits for the fall semester is 1192 – up 12 points compared to the average score of freshmen who entered the University last year, says M. Dolan Evanovich, vice provost for enrollment management.
The growth in the scores is dramatic and virtually unprecedented in public higher education. Increases in the average SAT scores of incoming students have been recorded every year at UConn since 1996.
Climbing SAT scores are not the only measure of UConn’s attractiveness to high-achieving students. The University expects that the freshman class entering in fall 2005 will include 115 valedictorians and salutatorians, nearly three times the 40 who enrolled in 1995.
The quality of students entering UConn is also evident in their class standing in high school. The number of Storrs freshman enrollees from the top 10 percent of their high school class more than doubled between fall 1995 and fall 2004. More than a third of this year’s freshman class are ranked in the top 10 percent of their class.
The number of minority students enrolling at UConn has increased in each of the past 10 years. For fall 2005, the number of minority students who have paid deposits for Storrs is up 25 percent compared to last year, and minority enrollment will represent 19 percent of the incoming Storrs class, compared with 17 percent last year.
Since 1995, freshman minority enrollment at UConn’s main campus has increased 125 percent. University officials attribute these gains to increased outreach to Connecticut’s minority communities and to its support of a variety of support programs and cultural centers and institutes.
“Increasing student quality and diversity have been two main goals during the past 10 years,” Austin says. “We’re delighted to report our remarkable forward progress on both fronts.”
The Storrs campus’s incoming class of some 3,200 students was chosen from 18,597 applications. Applications for admission are up 88 percent in the last 10 years: in 1995, there were 9,874 applicants.
Evanovich says, “There has been a tremendous increase in our standing among prospective students. There is unprecedented demand among both in-state and out-of-state students. Applications from out-of-state students now consistently outnumber in-state student applications, even though there are limited openings for non-residents. This is an indicator of the increasing recognition of UConn’s quality and value.”
All of Connecticut’s 169 towns are represented among the 70 percent of incoming Storrs freshmen who are state residents. The class enrolling this fall will also include students from 38 states and eight countries.
For the third consecutive year, out-of-state applications outnumbered in-state applications. No more than 30 percent of any class can enroll at UConn from out-of-state.
“More high-achieving students than ever are seeking admission to the University of Connecticut,” says Austin. “The result is a brain gain for the state, with many more of Connecticut’s best students staying right here for their education and more high-achieving students from out-of-state coming to Connecticut to attend UConn.”
When the General Assembly enacted UConn 2000 in 1995, it not only provided $1 billion in funds to renew, rebuild and enhance the University’s campuses, but also issued two challenges to the University: keep more of Connecticut’s high-achieving students in state so they will graduate to become part of a highly skilled and intelligent workforce, and increase private investment.
Private giving has gone from about $8 million a year in 1995 prior to UConn 2000 to more than $75 million last year. The University recently completed a capital campaign that raised more than $471 million, 57 percent more than its $300 million goal.
Access to a UConn education is available at many locations in the state, and the University anticipates that the incoming classes at the regional campuses will again be larger and stronger. Final numbers are not available until September, however, as application deadlines for the regional campuses extend through the summer.