The University of Connecticut’s class of 2023 has set the university record for highest percentage of students of color at the Storrs campus with 41 percent, according to a class of 2023 fact sheet.
About 5,450 freshmen are joining across all UConn campuses, with 3,650 students attending the Storrs campus, according to the fact sheet. The 41 percent of incoming students of color at the Storrs campus does not include the approximately 500 international students.
Vern Granger, director of undergraduate admissions, said every year the university tries to “recruit, admit and enroll an academically prepared and diverse class” and said he is pleased that this class reflects that goal.
“This year’s class reaffirms my belief that quality and diversity are not mutually exclusive, as we anticipate an increase in the percentage of the class who are students of color and the second-largest reported SAT average in UConn’s history,” Granger said.
The average SAT score for incoming freshmen is 1296, Granger said, which is lower than last year’s score of 1306. However, this class will have the most valedictorians and salutatorians in UConn history, 176, narrowly beating last year’s count of 175. In comparison, ten years ago the count was 87, according to UConn Today.
Granger said though SAT scores and class placement are just one component of the holistic review process used by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, academic performance helps to see how a student could potentially succeed in college.
“A student’s academic performance in high school is one of the most important predictors [of] success in college,” Granger said. “Students who performed at the top of the graduating class represent students who were successful in challenging curriculums, which has a strong historic correlation to academic success at UConn.”
About 580 freshmen at Storrs and 22 at Stamford will be joining the UConn Honors program, which is also a record high, according to the fact sheet.
Another record was broken as this class had over 39,000 applications. By comparison, UConn received 13,600 applications in 2001, according to preliminary figures released Aug. 21.
More than three-quarters of the 5,450 freshmen enrolling across UConn’s campuses come from Connecticut. They are from 162 of the state’s 169 towns and cities, as well as 28 other states, two U.S. territories and 35 countries, according to the fact sheet.
In addition to the incoming freshmen, there will be about 1,000 transfer students, 87 percent of whom are from Connecticut. Almost one-third of them are transferring from Connecticut’s 13 community colleges, UConn Today said.
All incoming freshmen, except those with specified extenuating circumstances, will be required to live on campus, The Daily Campus reported in January. Granger said historically, most freshmen live on campus and seem to benefit from it, so he thinks this class will benefit too.
“Historically, over 96 percent of incoming freshmen to Storrs chose to live on campus, so we do not anticipate a huge adjustment for new students,” Granger said. “The decision to make this a requirement supports the research that students who live on campus perform better in the classroom compared to those who live off campus.”
Kellyjohana Ahumada, a first-semester political science major from East Haven High School in East Haven, Connecticut, said she is looking forward to living on-campus with the rest of the class of 2023.
“I’m so excited to live on campus,” Ahumada said. “The campus isn’t only beautiful, but I can’t wait to meet people and get to properly experience what the school has to offer.”
Members of the incoming class are eager to meet their peers and begin their college experience, said Denise Blake, a first-semester speech, language and hearing sciences major from Granby Memorial High School in Granby, Connecticut.
“I chose UConn because during my college search I was looking for a big school that had a lot of spirit,” Blake said. “UConn also felt more like a college town and I liked what the school had to offer like clubs, majors [and] entertainment.”
Rachel Philipson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.