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UA boasts most diverse freshmen class in university history for Fall 2017

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Heather Newberry | The Daily Wildcat

Wesley Smith, left, and Joseph Montoya, right, move into Arbol de la Vida dorm on Sunday, Aug. 20. 

The University of Arizona introduced its most diverse freshman class this fall semester, with test scores reaching new heights as well. The UA enrolled roughly 10,000 freshman from all 50 states to join the more than 30,000 other students on campus.

“We are honored to welcome all of our new and returning Wildcats to campus,” said Kasey Urquidez, vice president of management and student affairs advancement and dean of undergraduate admission, in a press release. “The entering class is our most diverse ever, with increases in academic quality and test scores. We are thrilled with the continuing growth of outstanding Arizona residents selecting the University of Arizona as their institution of choice.”

Additionally, the UA has retained a record number of freshman and sophomore students with new data-based programs aimed at providing financial aid and support for wavering students, according to Vincent Del Casino Jr., vice president of academic initiatives and student success.

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“As a result of this collaborative, cross-institutional work, we are confident that we will be well above our Arizona Board of Regents’ goal of 83 percent retention,” he said in the release.

Enrollment is also up for in-state students, as the number of freshmen from Arizona has increased 7 percent since 2015. The number of freshmen admitted from Pinal, Yuma and Pima counties has increased 75, 18 and 16 percent respectively.

Academic performance of incoming freshmen from Arizona is at an all-time high with a 39-percent increase in students with a cumulative 3.5 high school GPA and scoring above 1300 on the SAT. The average GPA of Honors College students is 3.86 with an average 1395 SAT score and 30 ACT score.

Heather Newberry | The Daily Wildcat

Cars lined up in front of move-in tents outside of Coronado dorm on Sunday, Aug. 20. 

The university boasts 46 percent of incoming freshmen come from “diverse backgrounds.” Of the students who are Arizona residents, 52 percent fall into this category.

This semester’s enrollment also reflects a 3 percent increase in transfer students and a 1.4 percent increase in students enrolled in graduate and professional programs.

UA also welcomes 10 Flinn Scholars, Arizona students awarded a more-than-$115,000 scholarship for demonstrating leadership and academic excellence.

The university will also offer five new majors, a new minor, eight new undergraduate certificates and a new graduate certificate this year.

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The new majors include bachelors of science in animal and biomedical industries and architectural engineering, masters of science in cybersecurity and marketing and a professional science masters in applied nutrition. The new minor is in new testament language and literature.

Melissa Vito, senior vice president for student affairs, enrollment management and strategic initiatives, also attributes the increase in diversity and retention to the university’s targeted programs.

“Today there are more Wildcats coming to campus, more families celebrating their students’ success and, ultimately, more students who will graduate with degrees from one of the world’s great universities,” she said in the press release. “It’s a great day for our students and for Arizona.”


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