SRU welcomes Class of 2023


Students at Convocation

Slippery Rock University is expecting a freshman class of 1,599 students when the fall semester begins Aug. 26.

Aug. 23, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. —Slippery Rock University expects to start the fall semester with a freshman class that is similar in size to last year's, albeit one that reflects an improved academic footprint.

The average high school GPA of the incoming Class of 2023 is 3.46 with the percentages of freshmen who ranked in the top half (72.6%), quarter (35.5%) and tenth (12.6%) of their graduating high school classes all reflecting increases year over year.

"The increases of new academic programs, matched with the steady increases in the quality of the students that are enrolling at SRU, are all indicators that the institution is thriving," said Amanda Yale, chief enrollment management officer. "The numbers look great, but the real impact is felt once the students are here and everyone is strengthened by a shared learning experience."

Based on the number of deposits, SRU is expecting a freshman class of 1,599 students when classes begin Aug. 26, which is more than the 1,554 full-time, first-time freshman cohort from fall 2018. Official enrollment numbers will be determined on the 15th day of class.

Students like Hannah Degidio, a freshman music education major from Industry, and Tiffany Jolayemi, a freshman industrial and systems engineering major from Murrysville, exemplify the quality that Yale referenced. Degidio was valedictorian at Western Beaver High School and Jolayemi had a 3.97 GPA at Franklin Regional High School, as well a 1,330 SAT score.

What also makes Degidio and Jolayemi similar is they are from western Pennsylvania, another distinguishing characteristic of the Class of 2023. Of the 1,599 expected freshmen, more than 90% are in-state students, including 80% from western Pennsylvania.

"I looked at a lot of schools but SRU is close enough to home that if I need something or I want to go see my parents, it's all right there, but it's far enough away that I still get to be independent," Degidio said.



"Whether they are from Pennsylvania or elsewhere, we provide all of our students with a high quality education," said Yale. "We are continually pleased to see that SRU remains an institution of choice for many students from our state and especially from the counties in western Pennsylvania."

While location plays a part in the decision for many students, there are still many other institutions in western Pennsylvania for students to choose from, Yale noted. For students like Degidio, she made her choice because of SRU's faculty.

"Out of all the colleges that I visited, the SRU faculty were the most welcoming and friendly and they were beyond helpful with all the questions I had," said Degidio, who named Jonathan Helmick, associate professor of music, as being helpful. "They've been nothing but resourceful and always pointed me in the right direction."

Degidio first visited SRU as a high school sophomore and made her decision after attending Opportunity Knocks, an overnight program for accepted underrepresented students to stay with a current SRU student, attend a class and interact with faculty, staff and other students.

"I'm looking forward to all the opportunities that SRU provides," said Degidio, an Honors College student who is of Hispanic ethnicity. "I get to push myself through (Honors College), and with all the different clubs, like SOL (Student Organization of Latinos/Hispanics and Allies) where I get to learn more about my culture. I'm also looking forward to going to sporting events and being a part of the overall community."

Jolayemi chose SRU for the engineering program and to compete on the SRU track and field team.



"I'm excited to learn and meet new people, especially all my new teammates and coaches," Jolayemi said. "I like the campus and the location because it's far enough away where I can get away but I can go home on weekends if I wanted to."

Each member of the Class of 2023 also comes to SRU with a different story - even if they are siblings. Twins siblings Dean and Ilisa Chasser, from Lancaster, were born in New York 12 weeks premature and each weighing only two pounds at birth. Dean was born with an abnormal development of lung tissue, and Ilisa with a brain breed which required an extended hospital stay.

"We overcame all the illnesses that could otherwise have affected us for life, and now we are perfectly fine," Ilisa Chasser said.

Ilisa Chasser


Ilisa Chasser, a dual early childhood education and dance major, made her decision before her brother, recognizing SRU for its affordability and opportunity to pursue both her passions in dance and teaching. Despite making his college decision shortly after his sister's, Dean Chasser, an undeclared business major, was the first to recognize SRU's value. Dean Chasser said that a presentation from John Rindy, director of career education and development, convinced him that whatever he would decide to major in, the access and versatility of disciplines would set him up well for career success.

"We visited campus three times and every single time we visited we have grown to love it even more," Dean Chasser said. "From everything that I heard and experienced from the staff members and faculty, the value of the education that I would get would be far superior to any of the other schools that I was looking at."

Dean Chasser


The Chasser family also recognized the benefits of both siblings attending the same school, both for convenience for family travel and maintaining their lifelong bond

"We grew up together and we are best friends," Ilisa Chasser said. "We knew it would be really hard to be apart so we chose to go to the same school and we believe we'll get the best education possible at SRU."

No matter where they came from or their backgrounds, when members of the Class of 2023 arrive at SRU for move-in day Aug. 22 and the first day of classes Aug. 26 they will go through a momentous life change. They will be part of a campus community of nearly 1,600 fellow freshmen and more than 8,500 students overall, supported by nearly 1,000 faculty and staff.

"I'm nervous but I'm super excited all at once," Degidio said. "I wouldn't say it's overwhelming, but it's the right push that I need to get to the next chapter in my life."

For more information about SRU's Week of Welcome, visit

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