Class of 2014 sets university record of applicants

By Ashley Berger

Hannah Cohen/Collegian
As another school year opens, the University of Massachusetts welcomes another freshman class to its campus. This year, those freshmen happen to be the largest number of incoming students in UMass history.

A record 31,000 students applied to UMass last year, a six percent increase compared to last year, which also saw record enrollment. The Class of 2013 had 29,469 applicants and enrolled approximately 4,100 students. Of the 31,000 applicants this year, 4,500 declared to attend UMass, making the Class of 2014 the largest entering freshmen class in University history.

A large factor in the increase in enrollment can be attributed to out-of-state students. Within the past year, out-of-state enrolment has soared from 800 to 1,150 students, making up roughly one-fourth of the entering class. This rising trend of those from outside the Bay State choosing UMass as opposed to their native states’ colleges or universities will likely help the university’s financial state, as out–of–state students pay about $12.000 more in tuition than residents.

Admissions made a significant attempt to try and attract more and more out-of-state students this year.
UMass spokesperson Ed Blaguszewski said this shift in where students call home will continue to be beneficial for the campus in years to come.

“This number reflects a growing interest for UMass as a university for in-state students as well as out-of-state students,” he said. “And as the number of Massachusetts students increases, so does the number of out-of-state students.

“This will create an increase in revenue, and that money principally benefits the Massachusetts residents, because they pay a significant amount more to attend the University. It is a great help to all the students.”

Though UMass has made an effort to attract students from different parts of the nation, it still remains an attractive option to some Massachusetts residents because of its proximity to home.

Freshman Annemarie Ellsworth said her decision to head to Amherst was influenced by her ability to go back home.

“I chose UMass not only because it has many great programs, but because it was so close to my home in central Massachusetts,” she said. “I knew that I would be able to go home if I ever got homesick.”

Fellow freshman Reagan Eckler said she chose UMass over other schools which intrigued her because of her familiarity with the area and the school’s diversity in classes.

“I felt the most at home here and had fun when I visited on weekends, so I knew I would have fun going here,” she said. “Also, it had so many options for majors and I really liked how I potentially have the ability to create my own, which, coming in as undecided, I thought would be a great opportunity.”

While the number of applicants has grown, the demographic make-up of the pool is generally the same. Women continue to contribute , accounting for half of the class, while ALANA (African, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American) students make up about 21 percent of the class.

The academic profile of the incoming class is comparable to last year, with an average SAT score of 1167 and a high school GPA of 3.61.

Due to the increased class size, the overall enrollment of UMass will grow to about 20,140, up by 500 from last year.

Blaguszewski said he has high hopes for the class.

“The freshmen this year are very bright and very accomplished. They have shown outstanding test scores and grade point averages from their high schools,” he said. “We’re very excited to have them on campus and very happy to welcome back all of our returning students.”

Ashley Berger can be reached at [email protected]