The University of Connecticut’s Class of 2026 has set the record for the most diverse first-year UConn class in the history of the school.
More than a quarter of the Class of 2026 will be the first in their family to attend college. The first-year class also holds 175 valedictorians and salutatorians, according to UConn Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.
UConn welcomed more than 5,800 first-year students to campus late last week. A record 4,074 students will be attending the Storrs campus, up from 3,700 last year. The remaining 1,750 students will be attending the regional campuses—UConn Stamford, Hartford, Waterbury and Avery Point, down from about 1,800 last year.
The number of accepted students were chosen from a record-setting 43,102 applicants, around 95% of whom wanted to specifically attend the Storrs campus. UConn Storrs is also welcoming 705 students from other colleges and universities, and around 210 students are transferring from UConn’s regional campuses.
UConn’s Class of 2026 is the most racially and ethnically diverse UConn class yet. Forty-seven percent are students of color, of which 26.5% represent race and ethnicities traditionally underrepresented in higher education. This 26.5% includes Black, Hispanic, Hawiian/Pacific Islander, American Indian and Alaskan native students.
UConn’s Class of 2026 is also already highly academically accomplished. The class includes 82 valedictorians and 93 salutatorians, around 85% of which attended high school in Connecticut. A record setting 555 students were also accepted into the highly competitive UConn Honors College.
On the Storrs campus 56% of first-year students are residents of Connecticut. Including the regional campuses, about 68% of all first-year students are from Connecticut. They represent 158 out of 169 Connecticut towns. They also come from 42 states, 38 countries and 9% are international students.
The number of out-of-state students in the Class of 2026 is 34%, the same as last year. Nine percent are from other nations, up about 6% from last year, but about the same as before the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the entire UConn population, about 75% are from Connecticut, a number UConn expects to continue moving forward.
Around 30% of the Class of 2026 are eligible to obtain Federal Pell Grants, up 22% from 2010.
“That’s an increase from 22% in 2010, and an indicator that UConn is succeeding in its commitment to providing access to talented students regardless of their financial circumstances”, Reitz said.
About 65% of first-year students also chose not to submit standardized test scores in their applications. UConn announced in spring of 2020 that it would extend the schools test-optional status until at least 2023.
“We continue to focus on ways to reduce barriers to a UConn education, and our evaluation of admission applications is another example of that. Our holistic review of applications is not dependent on any single factor, like a standardized test score, which provides us the opportunity to build an amazing class of students that supports our mission of embracing diversity and cultivating leadership,” UConn Director of Undergraduate Admissions Vern Granger said in a UConn Today article.
All figures are preliminary, with final numbers to be determined on the 10th day of the semester.