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Freshman class diverse, academically well prepared

by Karen A. Grava - September 29, 2008


The freshman class that arrived at the Storrs campus this fall was the most diverse and best prepared in UConn’s 127-year history.

The class this year, for the first time, has average SAT scores of 1200 – eight points higher than the class that entered last fall, and up 88 points since 1997.

The class that arrived on campus comprised 3,604 students, a 13 percent increase over last fall. Each of the regional campuses also experienced enrollment growth.

UConn had planned to expand the freshman class at Storrs modestly this fall, since its push to graduate students in four years has been so successful it created space for more students, says M. Dolan Evanovich, vice president for enrollment planning, management, and institutional research.

UConn students typically graduate in 4.3 years, the fifth highest rate among publics in the country, behind only the Universities of Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan, and Illinois.

Although the number of applications was virtually the same as it was last year, the yield – the number of students who accepted UConn’s offer of admission – grew. In addition, the “summer melt” was lower than it has been in years, Evanovich says.

“The demand this year reflects continuing recognition on the part of students and their families that UConn is a terrific value and provides an excellent education at a reasonable cost,” he says.

“Admissions planning this year across the country has been especially difficult because we are in a deep recession, the loan crisis is affecting middle class students and their families, and students and their parents are trying to make difficult decisions. Clearly the economy changed student behavior.”

The class includes 20 percent minorities at Storrs, and about 30 percent out-of-state students. It also includes 146 valedictorians and salutatorians enrolling at all campuses, and 337 enrolled in the Honors Program. More than 900 of the freshmen were in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

“Statistically, this class is the largest, most diverse, and academically best prepared class we have ever enrolled,” Evanovich says.

The admissions program for next fall will be adjusted to accommodate the changes in student behavior, he says, and the University will be more conservative and selective in the admissions process.


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