WHO IS THE CLASS OF 2021?

By Annalisa Purser, communications specialist, University Marketing & Communications

This fall the University of Utah welcomed its largest, most diverse and most academically prepared incoming class. First-time freshman enrollment increased more than 14 percent over the previous year, for a total of 4,119 students.

These students came from across the country and the world, representing almost all 50 states and 36 countries. More than 29 percent of the first-time freshmen were domestic students of color, mirroring the demographics of Salt Lake County. Additionally, this group maintained the impressive 3.61 average high school GPA of the previous incoming class and earned an increased average ACT score of 25.3.

“We were delighted to see a 60 percent increase in applications for admission to the University of Utah this year,” said Mary Parker, associate vice president for enrollment management at the U. “The caliber of education and experience students receive at the U is no longer a secret. Students and their families know that the U prepares them for a successful future, and we’re excited to welcome so many new students to the U family.”

Overall, the campus saw a 2.2 percent increase in enrollment, with a total of 32,760 students – 24,635 undergraduates and 8,125 graduate students. This growth comes on the heels of the institution’s largest graduating class, which was celebrated earlier this year when more than 8,500 students earned more than 9,000 degrees.

The campus was positioned to receive such a large incoming class because of its recent success helping students reach graduation in a more timely manner. The six-year graduation rate, which is the national standard for measuring completion rates, has steadily risen during the past five years, working its way toward a level in line with the nation’s best institutions.

“As more students complete their degrees in less time than in the past, we have the institutional capacity to bring more first-year students to campus,” said Ruth Watkins, senior vice president for Academic Affairs in a letter to campus earlier this year. “Our students have achieved this success because we provide a high-quality education while maintaining affordability through scholarships; because we use data to improve advising and student support; and because more students are participating in engaged learning experiences, which help students succeed in their programs and stay on track to graduate.”

Visit orientation.utah.edu for more information on The Center for New Student & Family Programs.