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Last modified: Thursday, September 14, 2006

IU Bloomington welcomes record incoming class

Sept. 14, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The 7,259 members of the fall 2006 incoming class at Indiana University's Bloomington campus have been IU students for only three weeks, but they already have set notable records.

They make up the largest incoming class in IUB history, up from last year's total of 6,949. The previous record for new students came in 2002, when 7,080 enrolled for fall classes.

The new class also brings with it the highest average SAT scores of any recent year. Its members scored an average of 1,121 on SATs, a 10-point improvement over last year's class. This improvement occurred in an academic year when the national average SAT score dropped by seven points.

Additionally, the incoming class includes more valedictorians and National Merit Scholars. In fall 2004, 87 newcomers were class valedictorians and 48 were National Merit Scholars; in fall 2005 those numbers rose to 116 and 52, respectively. This fall, 123 new IU students were class valedictorians, even when some schools no longer recognize the honor, and 63 were National Merit Scholars, 47 of them from Indiana.

Michael A. McRobbie, IU interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, expects that the number of students wanting to attend IUB will continue to increase, as will applicants' academic credentials, as the university raises admission standards.

"We saw an extraordinary increase in applications this year," he said. "The result is an incoming class that is the largest and among the best prepared academically in IU's history. If the surge in applications continues -- and I believe it will -- IU Bloomington will have a very strong pool of applicants to draw from when we implement our enhanced admissions standards in 2011."

McRobbie said there are many reasons for the increased interest in IUB, including more competitive scholarships available to top students, the campus' rich array of academic offerings and student activities, and a campus culture lauded for warmly embracing and nurturing undergraduate students.

"With its increasingly diverse student body, top-flight faculty and many cultural opportunities, IU Bloomington offers an exceptional university experience for young people," McRobbie said.

This year's incoming class may be approaching a "high-water" mark at IU for total number of students, said Roger Thompson, vice provost for enrollment management. Overall enrollment at IU this semester stands at 38,247, a total that includes undergraduate, graduate, professional and non-degree students.

"Whether we can admit this many new students next year is a question we'll address due to a limited amount of space available," Thompson said. "But what is clear is that the competition to attend Indiana University has increased. It will be harder to get into IUB in coming years than it has been in the past."

Thompson credited IU faculty and staff for their various efforts in bringing this group of freshmen to the Bloomington campus.

"This record incoming class is a testament not only to the great academic foundation at IU, but also to the hard work of the many members of our academic community and enrollment management team," Thompson said.

Enrollment figures for minorities entering IU with this incoming class also are of note, with most ethnicities showing increases.

While African American enrollment in the incoming class declined slightly, those students entering IU this year have average SAT scores that are 27 points higher than the average in 2005. Also, last fall's number of 412 African Americans entering as new students represented a record at IUB. This year's African American incoming enrollment is 345, the third highest in recent years.

Asian American enrollment increased from 237 students to 277 students; Hispanic enrollment increased from 146 students to 166 students; and Native American enrollment increased from 19 students to 23 students.