Raymond Arke | News Editor
Another year, another record-setting group of students. This year’s incoming freshman class is expected to be among Duquesne’s largest classes ever, according to the most recent estimates from the university’s Enrollment Management Group (EMG).
As of August 15, the Class of 2021 totals 1,569 students, beating previously large years of 1,556 in 2016 and 1,547 in 2013 to possibly make it the largest in Duquesne history, according to the enrollment office.
However, the statistics are still likely to change.
“Final enrollment figures are still pending; information is based on preliminary enrollment statistics available in mid-August,” Kelley Maloney, the director of Marketing and Communication for EMG, said.
Paul-James Cukanna, Vice President for Enrollment Management, said he is happy with the newest batch of students.
“We are quite pleased with this incoming freshman class. They are an academically talented and diverse group of students who will be a great addition to the University community,” Cukanna said in a statement.
Not only is this freshman class possibly the largest, but it is also among the most diverse. An estimated 16 percent of students identified as some sort of minority on their application. This is slightly down from previous years. The Class of 2020 contains 18 percent minorities and the Class of 2019 has 17.1 percent minority students.
The diversity of the class also extends to the places students call home, with some coming from all across the country and world. This is the largest group of freshman to come from outside Pennsylvania, with 32 percent representing 26 states, and including the territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is larger than the last two years’ classes, which consisted of 31 and 28.4 percent out of state students respectively, according to previous reporting by The Duke.
So far, the enrollment office estimated that over 10 countries will be represented in the new class from places such as Brazil, China, Canada and many others. The number of nations represented is expected to grow as more international students arrive, Maloney said.
Additionally, a large majority of the Class of 2021 had been set on coming to Duquesne. Ninety-four percent of freshmen listed Duquesne as either their first or second choice of school. The reasons they picked Duquesne varied, with the primary ones being its urban location, programs of study, size and academic reputation, Maloney said.
Maloney also said that the Class of 2021 had among the highest SAT scores of any previous class. The mean score, having been converted to fit the redesigned test, was a 1206 out of 1600.
Along with the high test scores, this class was among the most selective. The acceptance rate for fall 2017 was 72 percent, which compares to 74 percent in Fall 2016, and 75 percent in Fall 2015.
The number of students with family members who are alumni has also increased from previous years. The enrollment office reported that 24 percent of freshmen had a family member who graduated from the university. This is up from 22 percent last year, according to the Fall 2016 Enrollment Update produced by the EMG.