Thursday, February 9, 2023

Freshmen: better than rest of U

August 29, 2001

Student enrollment numbers may not have increased much from last year, but the academic talents may have.

Although exact numbers won’t be available until a quarter of the way through the first semester, more than 6,800 students have enrolled at MSU, and the grade-point averages and ACT scores were at an all-time high.

“This is academically the strongest group we’ve ever had,” said Director of Admissions Gordon Stanley.

According to statistics, the average freshmen GPA is 3.5 or higher, and the average ACT score was 24. In addition, a quarter of those enrolled had ACT scores of 27 or higher with a high school grade point average of 3.89.

A record number of 6,824 students enrolled last year. This year’s enrollment will more than likely eclipse the record, but it shouldn’t be much more, Stanley said.

MSU spokesman Terry Denbow said the enrollment probably won’t increase too much in the coming years, but said it’s great to see more and more students applying.

The Office of Admissions and Scholarships received about 24,000 applications this year, topping last year’s 22,700 and setting a record for the university.

“We are trying to be elite without trying to be elitist,” Denbow said. “I do know that there is a commitment, and the opportunity to educate here and the message is resonating to a lot of people and we are proud of that.”

Incoming freshmen are also pleased to be part of such an accomplished class.

Martha Smith, a mechanical engineering freshman, said she is proud her class is being recognized for its academic efforts.

“I definitely think that this is good for the university, with the riots in the past,” she said. “But it just shows that more and more students with good academics still want to come here.”

Even though there might be a few more freshmen on campus, Stanley said the problem with overcrowding should not be a problem.

Even though there are a few students crunched together because of renovations to Shaw Hall, he said the freshmen class is doing well at accommodating.

Classroom sizes in the last five years have been within 100 students.

“We are not looking to get much bigger,” Stanley said. “The professors are better able to predict and prepare for class sizes.”

The incoming class also takes into account international and transfer students, of which there are about 1,850 of the 6,800.

“The number of out-of-state students and international students have been growing incrementally larger,” Stanley said.

Stanley also said it’s difficult to get an accurate count of international and transfer undergraduate students, because some people drop out.

“This is the strongest incoming class in the last 25 years,” Stanley said. “And we are becoming a little more geographically diverse.”

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