Wednesday August 14, 2013

Moving on Up

The most selective first-year class in University history moves onto campus Aug. 17, joined by a record number of international students.

While it's getting harder to get into the University of Dayton, the University is gearing up to make sure the Class of 2017 finds it easy to get settled.

The University will welcome nearly 1,900 first-year students Saturday, Aug. 17, with a highly coordinated move-in operation and four-day orientation designed to help them quickly become part of the campus community and embark on their academic careers.

"The University of Dayton is becoming increasingly selective, with some of the best academically prepared students around the country choosing the quality and value of our Catholic, Marianist education," said Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president for enrollment management and marketing. "This is especially significant in view of the shrinking number of college-aged students nationally and in Ohio, and increased competition for the best students."

The University achieved a new record in selectivity for this year's first-year class, improving to 52 percent from 55 percent last year. The University's selectivity has improved by nearly 30 percentage points in just 10 years.

The number of first-year students from outside Ohio is expected to hit 55 percent. Since 2006 that figure has jumped nearly 18 percentage points. The greatest growth is coming from Tennessee, Nebraska, Michigan, Kansas, Iowa, Florida and Puerto Rico. Nearly half of the total student body is from outside of Ohio.

The University also expects to set a new high in international enrollment with an estimated 13 percent of the total student body hailing from other countries. International enrollment has shot up from just 2 percent in 2010. China continues to send more students to the University of Dayton than any other country, with enrollment from the Middle East growing. Last year, one in 10 students on campus came from outside the U.S.

This year's class is among the best academically prepared as measured by college entrance test scores and high school grade point averages, equaling last year's historic high levels, according to Kumarasamy.

With undergraduate enrollment estimated at about 8,000, total enrollment including graduate and law students is expected to top 11,000. University officials accepted fewer students than last year, consciously controlling the first-year class size after three-straight years of stronger-than-projected enrollment, which led to high demand for campus housing.

Other new developments for the 2013-14 school year:

  • Orientation will again include a service component, with first-year students asked to personal care items to the House of Bread, a local nonprofit community kitchen serving anyone in need. Last year's service effort netted shoes and socks worth $8,000 for local children in need. 
  • This is the first class to receive a four-year financial guarantee that their scholarships and grants will grow dollar for dollar each year to match tuition increases. What they pay for tuition the first year is what they will pay their senior year.
  • The University will launch the first major revision of the undergraduate curriculum in 20 years this fall with the Common Academic Program. The new curriculum is grounded in Catholic, Marianist values and educational outcomes and is focused on preparing students to succeed in the 21st century. 
  • New student orientation manuals have gone mobile for the first time, with orientation information available via mobile devices. Students and families can access program schedules, maps and share photos and news via social media.
  • About 400 students will move into a newly renovated Founders Hall, which underwent a $10 million fast-track renovation over the summer. Founders is the oldest residence hall on campus. 
  • In December, the University will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Christmas on Campus, a long-standing student service tradition, which brings together students, more than 1,000 Dayton city school children and the campus community for a holiday celebration that includes music, games and gifts. 

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, executive director of news and communications, at 937-229-3257 or

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