Biggest yet most selective freshman class

With an increase in the size of the incoming freshman class, conversations on how to best satisfy students’ needs have started among University administration.

The size of this year’s freshman class increased roughly 5 percent from last year’s more than 3350 students.

While the class size has grown, University Vice Provost for Academic Affairs John Fischer said the University is continuing to be more selective. For the third year in a row, this year’s class is the best prepared for their higher education than any in the past.

“It’s beginning to sound a little bit like a broken record, but it’s a really good broken record,” Fischer said.

He said students are still enrolling to come to the University this fall, and they will continue to enroll through Friday.

“You don’t know until they show,” he said. The total and exact number of freshman won’t be known until all students arrive on campus and begin classes.

University administration is having conversations revolving around the influx of freshman, but Fischer said there are no residential concerns.

While over 6,000 students, both freshman and upperclassmen, will live on campus this year, he said there isn’t a lack of residential spaces as fraternities and sororities have moved from designated spaces in Falcon Heights and Conklin to the new Greek housing options on Wooster Street.

Most freshman will live in Harshman, Kreischer, Founders, Conklin and Centennial.

The conversations are focused more on continuing the academic experience promised to freshmen as students at the University.

Fischer said one of the main focuses will be on increasing and improving experiential learning including internships, co-ops, student organizations and other hands-on experiences that further a student’s education outside of the classroom.

Another focus will be on the BGP or BG Perspective courses. Two years ago there was a dip in enrollment when the graduating class of 2018 came into the University. After that dip the BGP classes were altered, becoming more intentional in their offering to create the best general education.

To become more intentional, the number of classes dropped from roughly 300 to 150. Fischer said there has been a lot of feedback showing to be benificial.

Unrelated to the number of incoming freshmen, there are also 70 new professors on campus this year, each bringing new ideas and skills, Fischer said.