October 9, 2009
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab
SRU's incoming freshman class brings higher GPAs, class rank
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's position as the region's premier undergraduate residential university was affirmed by the fall 2009 entering freshman class, 12 percent of whom come from the top 10 percent of their high school class.
"Our goal has been to continue to improve the quality and diversity of our student body," said Amanda Yale, associate provost of enrollment services. "This year's entering class compares very favorably to last year's, with 42 percent of this year's freshman ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school class compared to 39.6 percent last year."
"The quality of students applying and enrolling at SRU continues to increase each year. This year's freshman class brings with it solid grade-point averages, determination and study abilities that we believe will serve as a solid foundation for their success at SRU," Yale said.
The numbers show 83.6 percent of those enrolling this year came from the top half of their graduating class, compared to 80.4 percent a year ago. Entering students carried a 3.39 grade-point average in high school - the same as those entering a year ago.
Yale said this year's entering freshman class of 1,545, remains almost the same as a year ago, when 1,546 freshmen enrolled. The new-student SAT average also remained nearly identical, 1026 compared to 1030.
SRU President Robert Smith told the class at the beginning of the semester, "The University has determined that you can meet its demands. You can be successful. You can reach your dreams. The choice is now yours."
Monday marked the 15th day of fall semester classes, the day the University must report its official enrollment to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Data show 8,648 students enrolled for fall 2009, up from 8,458 last year, representing a 2.25 percent increase. Fulltime undergraduate enrollment was marked at 7,158, part-time at 365 and post-baccalaureate and non-degree seeking students numbering 302. This fall's enrollment generated 120,508 academic credit hours, up from 118,211 a year ago, representing a 1.94 percent increase. The increase is primarily in new transfer and graduate students and improved student retention. Graduate students increased to 823 as compared to 767 last year, representing a 7.3 percent increase.
Yale said freshmen retention numbers were also were positive for fall, hitting the 80 percent mark for the first time ever, and up from 79 percent a year ago. She said retention numbers for African-American students rose to 80.26 percent this year, up from 78.35 percent a year ago.
African-American enrollment also grew this year to include 97 freshmen, up from 82 last year for a total of 423 at SRU. Hispanic students increased by 24 students to a total of 102. International student numbers increased to 95, up from 91 in 2008.
The male-to-female student ratio remained at 43 percent male, 57 percent women, nearly identical to a year ago.
Enrollment for out-of-state students also grew this year by 6.3 percent. Current out-of-state enrollment is at 773 students, up from 727 last year. The top five states sending students to SRU this year are Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Maryland and New Jersey. The largest numbers of students enrolled are from Allegheny County, followed by Butler, Lawrence, Mercer and Beaver counties.
"In order to stabilize the growth of the freshman class and continue our efforts to improve the quality of the student body, this year, more than 1,700 students were denied admission. Some of these students go on to our local community college and plan to apply to SRU as transfer students," Yale said. "In total, we had more than 5,920 applications, which reflects about a 2.5 percent increase over those applying in 2008."
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.