Freshmen class largest ever for VCU

This fall semester, VCU welcomes a record-breaking freshmen class.

With 3,250 students enrolled, the class ranks as VCU’s largest in history. Their grade-point averages and SAT scores are also higher than any other freshmen class in the past.

“It’s wonderful when you increase the number of students and their quality,” said Delores Taylor, director of undergraduate admissions. “We are very pleased about that.”

The number of freshmen applicants increased from 8,500 last fall to 9,400 this fall. This year’s SAT scores are about 10 points higher than last year, while the grade point average rose from 3.14 to 3.18.

“There are more, better students who want to come to Virginia Commonwealth University,” said University President Eugene P. Trani. “The reason is a combination of increasing awareness toward the quality of programs at VCU” and the larger number of people who want to attend college this year.

Taylor agrees that VCU’s academic program is on top of the list of things that attract new students to this institution. However, she points out that the increasing number of prospective students who visit VCU with their families before enrolling also contributes more to this year’s larger freshmen class.

“They see the construction, they see our great location and they see our good programs,” she said. “They know that they will be coming to an institution with great state-of-the-art facilities.”

But incoming freshmen are not the only beneficiaries this fall. With 38 percent minority students, the freshmen class notably contributed to VCU’s diversity. Many of these increases are in the numbers of the Hispanic and Asian student population.

“The diversity (of the freshmen class) is amazing,” Trani said. “And diversity is a core value to our institution.”

Still, calculating statistics on diversity at VCU could become increasingly difficult, because Trani said a growing number of VCU students do not report their ethnicity.

Moreover, this semester, the number of out-of-state freshmen almost doubled.

“Those students will increase our diversity, pay more money to our university and enable us to hire more faculty,” Trani said.

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