Record-setting 40,000 apply to Class of 2026

02/21/2020 Top Top Drone Photos of UConn Campus. Top down drone shots of various UConn locations.
(UConn Seal / Fairfield Way). Photo by Eric Wang/Daily Campus.

More than 40,000 graduating high school students applied to the University of Connecticut’s Class of 2026, marking a record high for the university.  

The university released admissions decisions to students this past weekend. According to a UConn Today article published last week, the university expects to enroll 3,900 in its first-year class.  

In recent years, there has been a trend of rising application numbers for the university. This year’s record number of applications follows uncertainty regarding the pandemic, changes in the economy and the nationwide and regional decline in the number of high school graduates.  

“Although those demographic trends have posed challenges for higher education on a broader scale, UConn’s reputation for quality has helped it capture a larger portion of that shrinking applicant pool without compromising on its academic rigor,” read the article.  

Aside from the 3,900 students who were offered admission to the Storrs campus, 1,625 others are expected to enroll at the Hartford, Stamford, Waterbury and Avery Point campuses combined. For these regional campuses, applications will continue to be accepted through May 1.  

850 transfer students from other colleges and universities are also expected to enroll at UConn, 145 of which will be enrolling in the Spring 2023 semester.  

University spokesperson Stephanie Reitz noted that, while the expected number of applicants might not match the actual number of students who choose to enroll at UConn, the university is confident that subsequent classes will continue to show talent and diversity.  

“We won’t know specifics about the final size and demographic makeup of the new class until the deadline has passed to accept admissions offers, but the applications give us confidence that the next group of students will be as talented and diverse as those that have come before it,” Reitz said in an email.  

This was UConn’s second year of its three-year pilot test-optional policy, meaning students could choose whether or not to submit their SAT and ACT scores as part of their application to the university. Last fall, 65% of first-year students applied without test scores.  

According to the article, the university has found that “while students who score very highly on the SAT and ACT tend to be successful at very high levels, the scores are not correlated to success at other ranges.”  

Historically, the university has seen 77% of the student body from Connecticut, the remaining 23% being out-of-state or international students. This trend is expected to “continue in the coming academic year and into the foreseeable future,” according to the article.  

Reitz emphasized the significance that alumni and current students’ experiences at UConn have on high school graduates’ decisions to apply to the university.  

“We know applicants are drawn to UConn because of its academics and research opportunities, but we also know that the experiences of current students and alumni can play into their decision,” said Reitz. “The word-of-mouth on UConn is strong, and we hear consistently from new first-year students that they picked the University because they knew others who attended UConn and loved it, whether it’s older siblings, friends, their parents, or even their grandparents.”  

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