Editorial: UConn’s Incoming Freshmen are Refreshingly Diverse

UConn’s class of 2023 boasts a wide array of impressive feats. Its 5,450 members can stake claim to record-breaking numbers such as academic performance, in-state residents, minority representation and selectiveness. As America’s diversity increases, it’s only fitting that each state and its universities follow suit. 

 Although UConn isn’t classified as an Ivy League school per se, its academic reputation continues to rise. The university’s Honors Program welcomed 580 Storrs freshmen—from last year’s all-time high by about 30 students. This year’s class also contains 176 valedictorians and salutatorians , slightly surpassing last year’s record 175. While the class of 2023’s average SAT score of 1296 doesn’t match up to last year’s average of 1306, the overall academic accomplishments of the class supersede those of any other class to date. 

State pride among UConn freshmen is as strong as it’s been in recent years, with roughly 77 percent hailing from 162 of Connecticut’s 169 towns and cities. Of course, out-of-state students offer valuable perspectives and should also consider UConn home, but it’s encouraging to see such a high retention of Connecticut residents within the state’s flagship public university. 

People of color continue to gain ground within UConn’s population, comprising 41 percent of this year’s freshmen (not including international students). Considering that almost 40 percent of Americans belong to an ethnic minority, UConn has done an admirable job of mirroring our country’s eclecticism. 

At first glance, this year’s hefty tallies of 5,540 freshmen and approximately 1,000 transfer students might suggest a high acceptance rate. Yet this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, competition reached a peak this year of over 39,000 applications. Thus we get the best of both worlds—a burgeoning student population that also meets a high threshold of competence. 

As UConn students join a larger pool of peers, their exposure to a population more representative of the country’s should serve as a stepping stone to successful real-world interactions and experiences. Simply put, UConn’s incoming freshmen are refreshingly diverse, and future classes should maintain and strengthen this quality. 

Thumbnail photo from Hartford Courant.