New crops of diverse college freshmen hit CT

Move-in day for freshmen at Yale University in New Haven,  Aug. 22, 2014.
Move-in day for freshmen at Yale University in New Haven, Aug. 22, 2014.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s college freshman population comes from all over the world, according to numerous colleges.

Yale University welcomed 1,361 freshmen Friday. It represents “all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and a record 56 foreign countries,” said Dean of Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan. “For the first time in Yale’s history, California is the home state with the greatest representation in the freshman class; 14 percent of the members of the Class of 2018 call the Golden State home. Over 13 percent of the freshman class attended high school outside of the United States, more than from any U.S. state except California, and 37 percent of freshmen speak a language other than English as their first language, or the language primarily spoken in their home.”

“Yale also is also welcoming 37 new students who were admitted through the transfer program and Eli Whitney Students Program for non-traditional students. Before coming to Yale, these students attended 35 different colleges, including 11 two-year colleges,” the university said in a statement. It also reported its largest-ever group of Latino freshmen. About 30,000 people applied to the Ivy League School.

LINK: Move-in day at Yale

“The most popular selections were in Yale’s STEM (Science, Technology. Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines, with 40 percent freshman choosing a STEM major as their top academic interest. Thirty-one percent listed a social science field as their top choice; 17 percent, a major in the humanities; and 12 percent, undecided. Yale College students formally declare a major at the end of sophomore year,” the school added.

The University of Connecticut in Storrs (part of Mansfield) welcomed 3,600 freshmen and 800 transfer students, and 1,400 freshmen and 200 transfer students to the satellite campuses, said Tom Breen, deputy university spokesman. Eighty percent are from Connecticut and 20 percent total from outside the state or the United States. Ninety-nine countries are represented, Breen said.

“They’re basically from all over the world,” the spokesman said. “It is our most diverse class in the school’s history.” Thirty-four percent of the class is non-white, compared to 27 percent last year, and an additional seven percent are international students, he added.

Connecticut College, a private liberal arts college in New London, reported a freshman class of 502, compared to 490 last year. Twelve percent have international background, representing 21 countries, and 18 percent of freshman are non-white, U.S. students, said Deborah MacDonnell, spokeswoman.

The class represents 30 U.S. states, and 90 percent were ranked in the top fifth of their class, she added.

At Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, 1,600 new students, including transfers, arrived on campus, said Kevin O’Sullivan, executive director of undergraduate admissions. The students’ origins include Alaska, Brazil, China and India. “We have a pretty diverse group,” he said. It’s also the largest class again. Last year, 1,100 was the school’s largest class, he noted.

Academically, the new class represents a large group of honors students, who arrive with grade-point averages of about 3.95 out of 4.0. About 10,000 students applied for admission, according to O’Sullivan. He credits the enrollment increase to expansion of dorms and offerings, such as the Jack Welch school of business, named after the former GE executive and a planned college for health professions.

 

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