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Freshman class to be smaller than last year

There are fewer freshmen coming to the University this year, but they will be better prepared to succeed academically.

As of Thursday morning, there were “a little over 3,000” incoming fresmen, Castellano said.

That’s a decrease from last year, when at this time there were roughly 3,500 students.

But “it’s a fluid situation” and the final number will be available after 15 days of classes, Castellano said.

About 100 students from Thursday’s SOAR session had yet to register.

There were 26 days of orientation over the summer, said Marissa Soltis, a student assistant in the office of New Student Orientation and First Year Programs.

The number of freshmen will also change because some students’ classes were dropped due to financial issues. As those issues are resolved and classes are re-added, the class will grow.

“Over the next couple of days we’ll get students that are last minute,” Castellano said.

She mentioned two students who moved into other schools, didn’t like them, moved out and decided to come to the University instead.

After the University has an official enrollment number for this semester, official retention can be determined.

“We certainly want to retain our students,” said Andy Alt, assistant vice provost and director of advising, but the primary goal is to help students be successful.

If students are engaged, know what is expected and know what resources are available to them, they will be successful and retention will follow.

Helping students is about “making sure students have the access and knowledge” to resources including the Learning Commons, learning communities and linked courses.

Another aspect is “continuing to better support our undecided students,” Alt said.

About 75 percent of last year’s freshmen were retained from last fall to this fall, Castellano said.

About 70 percent of the freshman class starting in 2012 was retained to fall 2013.

Castellano called the increase “significant” and attributed it to last year’s freshman class being better prepared academically.

Admissions is “continuing to improve the academic profile” of incoming students, Castellano said.

The average composite ACT score of incoming freshmen was 22.72, up from 22.62 last year. The average GPA rose to 3.33 from 3.31 last year.

The criteria for admission hasn’t changed, Castellano said. Instead, Admissions has focused on recruiting students likely to be successful and complete their degrees.

About 85 percent of the class is from Ohio, while 15 percent are out-of-state students. Many of the out-of-state students are from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois (particularly Chicago), Pennsylvania and New York, Castellano said, though students come from across the country and around the world.

The class is about 60 percent female and 40 percent male, Castellano said. Twenty percent of the class identifies themselves as multicultural.

“We’re continuing to attract a diverse class, which is great,” Castellano said.

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