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Last modified: Wednesday, August 25, 2010

IU Bloomington first-year class: improved academics, more financial aid

Editors: To speak to Evan Jameyfield or other first-year students who have agreed to be interviewed by news media, please contact Steve Hinnefeld at University Communications, 812-856-3488 or

Aug. 25, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The 2010-11 freshman class at Indiana University Bloomington has once again set high marks for academic achievement. And during a time of widespread economic stress, the campus is increasing spending on financial aid to keep IU Bloomington affordable.

Michael McRobbie

Michael McRobbie

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Some 7,020 first-year students are enrolled for the fall semester. (Note: This figure has been updated as it is slightly different from those preliminary figures released on Aug. 25 which projected 7,050 first-year students.) For Indiana residents in the group, the average SAT score is 1181, the highest ever for in-state students.

"Once again, thousands of students who could have their pick of American colleges and universities are choosing to attend Indiana University," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. "This fact speaks volumes about the quality of an IU education. Many of these students will remain in Indiana after graduation, resulting in a net 'brain gain' for the state. Their skills, drive and leadership will be of great importance to our economic future."

"I am delighted to welcome another diverse and high-achieving first-year class," said Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson. "It is gratifying that so many excellent students from Indiana and around the country -- and around the world -- have chosen IU Bloomington. We are doing all we can to ensure that the cost of college will not be a barrier for these young men and women and their families."

Statewide enrollment across Indiana University's eight campuses is expected to be about 109,000, an increase of 2,000 from last year's previous record, according to Neil Theobald, IU vice president and chief financial officer.

The Bloomington campus increased funding by 17 percent this fall for its 21st Century Scholars Covenant and Pell Promise financial aid programs, which combine with state and federal funds to meet the full cost of attending IU for students from low-income families.

Today (Aug. 25) is official move-in day at Bloomington residence halls for first-year students. Welcome Week activities continue through the weekend, and classes start Monday (Aug. 30).

"We have a very well qualified freshman class this year," said David B. Johnson, interim vice provost for enrollment management. "We are particularly pleased that, while we are enrolling the most academically talented students from Indiana in IU history, we are also providing more dollars to students through our need-based programs than ever before."

Highlights for first-year students include:

  • The average SAT score for all first-year students is 1199, the second highest ever and just a few points shy of the record of 1203 set in 2009. (The figures include scores for students who took the ACT exam, converted to the equivalent SAT score).
  • Their average high school grade-point average was 3.69 on a 4-point scale, up from 3.67 last fall.
  • 41.2 percent of Indiana residents were in the top 10 percent of their high-school class, the first time the figure has topped 40 percent.
  • The share of Indiana students who completed the state's academic honors diploma increased from 2009-10.
  • The number of high-school valedictorians rose to 149.
  • 13.3 percent are members of U.S. minority groups (African American, Asian American, Hispanic or Native American), up from 13.2 percent last year.
  • Nine and a half percent of this first year class are international students, including another record number of students from China (472).
David Johnson

David Johnson

To address concerns about affordability, IU Bloomington is increasing support for need-based financial aid programs. Four years ago, the campus provided $1.2 million for the 21st Century Scholars Covenant program and $1.16 million for the Pell Promise program. This year's expenditures are projected to be almost $6.5 million for 21st Century Scholars Covenant and $3.14 million for Pell Promise for 2010-11.

Also, merit-based scholarships are helping attract more top first-year students such as Evan Jameyfield, of Highland, Ind., who plans to major in chemistry and attend medical school.

Jameyfield graduated from Highland High School, where he played varsity basketball and was active in National Honor Society, Student Council and French Club. He received an IU Prestige Scholarship, an automatic award for students with high grades and test scores, a full-tuition Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship and several other awards.

Evan Jameyfield

Evan Jameyfield

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While his parents and older brother attended Ball State, Jameyfield was drawn to IU Bloomington by the size and diversity of the student body and the variety of academic opportunities.

"I looked at the University of Michigan," he said. "Both IU and Michigan have good medical programs. But, really, the IU campus is just beautiful, and the scholarships helped out a lot."

For students in IU's Hutton Honors College, average SAT and ACT scores are the highest they have been in the 44-year history of the honors program, said Matthew Auer, dean of the college. The students include dozens of National Merit and AP Scholars, a National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar, the author of an award-winning children's book, a winner of an exclusive journalism scholarship and many others who have earned extraordinary recognition for achievement.

Preliminary figures show that 63 percent of first-year IU Bloomington students are Indiana residents and 37 percent are nonresidents.

The large freshman class combined with an increasing number of returning students living in campus housing means that about 230 students will start the fall semester living in residence hall floor lounges.

Some students received a "temporary" assignment to a floor lounge and are expected to move to a permanent room within one to three weeks, said Pat Connor, executive director of Residential Programs and Services. Others received a "supplemental" assignment and are likely to live in the lounge through the fall semester, after which they will move to a regular room.

Connor said slightly more than 10,900 students are living in residence halls, including the newly opened Union Street Center; and another 1,200 are living in on-campus apartments.