TUCSON— The University of Arizona will welcome its largest, most diverse and most academically prepared incoming class in university history, with about 8,900 first-year students starting classes on Monday.
That's a 5% increase over last year's incoming class of 8,483. This year's class sets a university record for diversity, with 47% of first-year students self-identifying with ethnicities other than white. That's up from 45% last year.
The university also had a 13.5% increase in enrollment for male students of color, helping to reverse a national trend of declining college enrollment among that student population.
This year's class is also the most academically prepared, with an average unweighted, core high school GPA of 3.67.
"The University of Arizona is committed to being one of the most inclusive universities in the world, and I am so excited to welcome our largest and most diverse class this year," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. "This is a talented and driven group of students, and I look forward to seeing them take advantage of the many opportunities the university has to offer as they work toward their education and career goals."
The university received more than 51,000 first-year student applications, which is a university record.
The incoming first-year students represent all 50 states, with the highest numbers coming from Arizona, California, Washington, Colorado, Illinois and Texas. The class includes about 1,100 W.A. Franke Honors College students, 75 National Merit Scholars, 106 National Hispanic Scholars and 10 Flinn Scholars – the most of any university in the state.
Almost 30% of the incoming class self-identified as first-generation college students.
The most popular majors for this year's class are pre-business, engineering, biology, and physiology and medical sciences. The university is also welcoming at least 2,700 new transfer students, with transfer student enrollment continuing through the first week of classes.
About 1,200 of those transfers are Arizona Online students. The transfer student class is 53% diverse and 49.3% first-generation students.
The university received more than 9,200 transfer student applications this year, setting another record. This year's total UArizona enrollment will surpass 50,000 and will continue to grow as more students complete registration.
All enrollment data is preliminary until the census next month.
This year's enrollment increases reflect the university's commitment to its strategic plan and ongoing recruitment and marketing efforts, said Kasey Urquídez, UArizona vice president for enrollment management and dean of undergraduate admissions.
"We have an incredible, hardworking team of counseling, recruiting, admissions, engagement, scholarships and financial aid staff, as well as all our campus partners, who go above and beyond to make personal connections with every student we enroll and help ensure they have access to everything they need to succeed at the University of Arizona," she said. "I'm so proud of their dedication and of this year's incoming class. This is an exciting start to another great school year at the University of Arizona."