Freshman enrollments at Eastern Connecticut State University this fall exceeded the University’s target, with 979 first-year students starting their college careers on Eastern’s Willimantic campus. Eastern’s new freshman class also has a stronger academic profile than previous classes.
The average GPA of incoming freshmen is 3.03 this year, up from 2.99 last year. Thirty-one percent of the first-year students were ranked in the top quarter of their high school class and 72 percent were in the top half, both representing significant increases over the previous classes.
The middle 50 percent range on the combined Critical Reading and Math SAT scores are up as well. This class has a middle 50 perecent SAT range of 940-1100, reflecting gains on both the Critical Reading and math subsections of the standardized test. Similarly, the middle 50 percent range (19-24) on the ACT Composite improved this year.
“Eastern continues to attract more students in the top quartile of their graduating class as public awareness grows about the strength of our liberal arts mission,” said Eastern President Elsa Nunez. “Our students combine the theoretical framework acquired in class with a variety of applied learning experiences to gain a competitive edge in the professional marketplace after they graduate.”
Ned Harris, Eastern’s director of enrollment management, said, “New facilities such as our Science Center, Student Center and residence halls that have been added over the past few years all contribute to the increasing excitement about Eastern. The word is also getting out about the support that students receive from our faculty in small classes, virtually all of which have less than 40 students, and from professional staff in our Advising, Math and Writing Centers.”
Eastern’s new freshman class is diverse as well. Brian Lashley, assistant director of institutional research, said that of the 979 new full-time students, 23 percent are minorities. Also, while 94.6 percent of students are Connecticut residents, 5.4 percent are out-of-state or international students.