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New students strengthen UNT’s academic caliber

There are 33,550 students enrolled at UNT this fall, or 4.7 percent more students than last year, and among them is the largest — and possibly brightest — group of straight-from-high-school students in the university’s history.

While commonly called the “freshman class,” these students don’t all enter UNT as freshmen because many have enough Advanced Placement or dual credit courses to begin college classified as sophomores, says Allen Clark, director of Institutional Research and Accreditation. Additionally, there are UNT students, both new transfers and continuing, who are classified as freshman by the number of hours completed, who are not in their first year of college.

There are 3,885 students in the “freshman class,” including students in the Texas Academy of Math and Science and dual admits. This group has the university’s highest average SAT score — 1105 — in the university’s history. This score significantly surpasses this year’s national SAT average of 1021 and the state’s SAT average of 993. Additionally, both the national and state SAT averages fell this year, while UNT’s average increased three points.

This fall, UNT enrolled 10 National Merit Scholars into its new Honors College. More than 200 other new students joined them in the one-year-old college.

Nearly 50 percent of the more than 8,000 graduating high school seniors who were accepted to UNT for this fall actually enrolled and are attending classes.

However, UNT denied admission to 32.1 percent of the individuals who applied this year.

"At the same time that we are seeing significant, continuous growth, we are actually turning more students away than ever before because they do not meet our admission standards," says Joneel Harris, outgoing associate vice president for enrollment management.

As a university with a history of providing students with opportunity, Harris says UNT still admits some students on a case-by-case basis and always will.

Additional facts about this year's "freshman class:"

More than 14 percent were ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school classes.

Nearly 55 percent (or 2,178) are women, while about 45 percent (or 1,707) are men.

While UNT still draws the majority of its freshman students from Texas (96 percent), 3 percent of them call 37 of the other 49 states and the District of Columbia home and 1 percent traveled from 44 foreign countries to attend UNT.

In the last five years, UNT has seen a steady increase in the percentage of minority freshman students enrolling and this year's class is no exception. The class includes:

  • 500 African American students, which is 13 percent of the class;
  • 30 American Indian students, which is almost 1 percent of the class;
  • 269 Asian students, which is 7 percent of the class;
  • 2,574 Caucasian students, or 66 percent of the class; and
  • 457 Hispanic students, which is 12 percent of the class and the highest number of Hispanic freshmen enrolled in the last five years.

Additionally, there are 55 non-resident alien students — students from foreign countries.

Read other stories in this issue:
September 2006

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