Rutgers welcomes largest first-year class in its history
To kick off this upcoming academic school year, Rutgers has greeted the largest and most diverse incoming class in its history, with most of the approximate 7,100 students arriving on campus this past week for Welcome Week events, said Salvador Mena, vice chancellor of Student Affairs, in an interview with The Daily Targum.
The Class of 2023 will also have the highest mean SAT score in history, with students averaging a score of 1318, the University announced last week.
The reason the first-year class is so large is because more people are accepting their offers of acceptance, Mena said. The University will now have more than 50,000 students studying at Rutgers University—New Brunswick, with 36,000 of them being undergraduates.
“This is an exciting time, of course for students, but also for the city of New Brunswick," said New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill, in an interview with the Targum during a move-in event on Wednesday. "We welcome new students and other students back. And it is their home, and we want to make sure that they understand that this is a home that appreciates them.”
The incoming class will also have the largest percentage of international students ever, with 12% of students coming from countries such as Taiwan, China, South Korea, India, Canada and Vietnam, according to the University, along with approximately 80% of the first-year class being from in-state.
The demographics of the incoming class for the Honors College differed from the overall class. Approximately 28% of students are out-of-state, with 6 to 7% being from international areas, said Honors College Administrative Dean Paul Gilmore.
Beyond the numbers, the students said they are looking forward to their first year of college here at Rutgers.
“Honestly, I’m excited about the socials. We were talking about when we’re gonna hang out, and talking about themes like sleepovers and karaoke. I know that I’m going to have a close-knit group of people apart from my own classes,” said Thalia Melendez, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year.
Evelyn Gordillo, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year, also expressed enthusiasm.
“I'm excited for all the support I'm going to get. I can’t wait by the time I graduate, to be someone who has a bunch of confidence and is doing something they have wanted to do for a long time," she said.
Although the University put together the first-ever Welcome Week, which held events for first-year and transfer students starting on Wednesday, bringing in a large amount of new students always has its issues. On Aug 21, the Targum confirmed and posted on social media that there were 51 incoming first-years set to live in temporary housing in a few residence hall lounges, with more than 150 students on a housing waiting list. Now, as of late last week, there were 35 students on a housing waiting list, Mena said.
“Those are students that applied very late. You know, so as spaces become available, we’re getting them in. Considering where we were at earlier in the summer, that’s a good place to be,” Mena said.