Incoming freshmen class breaks records in valedictorians, diversity

Students on Fairfield Way wait for a UConn bus and Gampel Pavillion stands directly behind. This year, UConn welcomes its most diverse class with the highest academic statistics. (Marissa Dibella/The Daily Campus)

The 5,100 freshmen entering the University of Connecticut for fall 2016 include more valedictorians, more salutatorians and greater diversity than any previous class, according to a university press release.

About 3,800 freshman (including a record 156 valedictorians and salutatorians) will start classes at the main campus in Storrs on August 29. Another 1,300 (including 25 more valedictorians and salutatorians) will start at the regional campuses.

A May 9 press release shows UConn received a record high number of over 35,900 applications this year and also a record high number of Connecticut residents applied.

Incoming students are representing 22 countries, 44 states plus Puerto Rico and 164 municipalities in Connecticut.

The number of valedictorians and salutatorians has risen. (Courtesy/ UConn)

The number of valedictorians and salutatorians has risen. (Courtesy/ UConn)

This comes at a time when UConn’s tuition is higher than ever: $11,224 per year for in-state students and $33,016 for out-of-state, according to UConn’s Undergraduate Admissions website. The tuition rises came about the same time as several extensive cuts to UConn’s state funding, which were announced over the course of the last year.

The May 9 press release additionally noted that Connecticut’s high school-age population is shrinking as the state’s population ages.

The average SAT reading and math score for the freshman class was 1233, just one point shy of 2014’s all time record of 1234, according to a 2014 story in UConn Today.

The average SAT score has risen to an all-time high for incoming freshmen. (Courtesy/UConn)

The average SAT score has risen to an all-time high for incoming freshmen. (Courtesy/UConn)

The university’s press release shows a long-term rise in the admitted classes’ scores, which were 1140 in the year 2000, 1189 in 2005 and then 1221 in 2010.

This year’s admitted Honors students had a combined score of 1402.

Seventy-one percent of incoming freshman are Connecticut natives. Ninety percent of valedictorians and salutatorians are from in state.

Thirty-seven percent of incomings students come from minority backgrounds.

UConn has also demonstrated a long-term rise in the diversity of its accepted classes: up from 14 percent minority background students in 1996, 21 percent in 2010 and 26 percent in 2012.

Overall, about 23,600 undergraduates will resume UConn classes all over the state on Monday, including 1,100 transfer students. About 19,000 will start at Storrs.


Chris McDermott is the news editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at christopher.mcdermott@uconn.edu.