Wednesday August 18, 2010

Historic Class

Incoming students from more than 40 states will make University history when the largest class since the Vietnam War era moves onto campus and starts classes.

More than 2,050 first-year students from more than 40 states will move onto the University of Dayton campus, making it the largest first-year class since the Vietnam War era and the greatest number of out-of-state students in the school's 160-year history.

Ohio's largest private university and one of the top-10 Catholic universities in the country has attracted approximately 300 enrollment deposits above its goal. Enrollment confirmations stayed steady and even increased during the summer at 20 percent ahead of last year. Total undergraduate enrollment is projected at 7,200.

More than 46 percent of the class hails from outside of Ohio, a new record for the University, which has seen out-of-state enrollment climb steadily. Illinois, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, New Jersey and Wisconsin make up the top 10 states for this year's entering class.

The class is more ethnically and geographically diverse, with twice the number of African-American students than last year's class, and the University also continues to attract top students academically based on test scores, grade-point average and the number of honor students in this year's class.

"The quality of this year's incoming class is reflective of the mission of the University of Dayton to recruit and retain academically gifted students and offer them a transformative education in the Catholic, Marianist tradition," said Daniel J. Curran, president. "We welcome their energy and ideals as they join our campus community."

In addition to the domestic enrollment increase, the University has seen an estimated 27 percent increase in international undergraduate enrollment in the first-year class. The class will include students from 12 countries, with the majority of students coming from China.

University officials also are seeing strong enrollment in majors beyond the traditional strengths in business and engineering. Enrollments in communication and English have increased, along with significant increases in pre-physical therapy, pre-medicine, mechanical engineering and biology.

With the enrollment increase, the University will house more than 2,000 first-year students in four residence halls this fall, a 23 percent increase over last year.

Already one of the most residential campuses in the nation, the university expects a total of 5,975 students to live on campus, the highest number of on-campus residents in the university's history. More than 90 percent of undergraduates live on campus.

"Housing students this year has been manageable because of careful planning and the measures already in place to meet the needs of our diverse student population," said Steven Herndon, assistant dean of students and director of residence life.

Over the last few years, the University has built or acquired additional residence facilities, he said. To accommodate the record high numbers, the university leased a number of apartments near campus for about 66 upper class students. A small number of first-year students will be housed in triple-occupancy rooms, which will be decreased as enrollment changes.

First-year students move into residence halls Saturday, Aug. 21; upperclassmen move into residence halls and the student neighborhood Sunday, Aug. 22. Classes begin Wednesday, Aug. 25.

The University of Dayton remains one of the most affordable private, Catholic universities in the nation. U.S. News & World Report's 2011 edition of "America's Best Colleges" listed the school in the top 100 of its ranking of national universities.

The Princeton Review's 2011 edition of The Best 373 Colleges lists the University of Dayton as one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education.

The University made five of The Princeton Review's top-20 lists: eighth in "Everybody Plays Intramural Sports," 16th in "Happiest Students," 18th in "Easiest Campus to Get Around," 19th in "School Runs Like Butter," which rates how smoothly the school is operated, and 20th in "Best Quality of Life." The Princeton Review also named the University of Dayton one of the best colleges in the Midwest.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, director of media relations, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.