Entering Class Has Record GPA

Katie Smith

Kent State University’s newest freshman class has made history with the highest incoming grade point average to date – 3.3.

More than 75 percent of the freshman class has a 3.0, said Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management T. David Garcia, but high GPAs aren’t their only academic achievement.

Garcia said, “We’re almost at a 23 ACT. We’re at about 22.8, which is higher than last year, so we’re making progress there as well.”

This year’s freshman class’ GPA is not a coincidence. Garcia said, Kent State is trying to increase its academic freshman profile, which “is defined as looking at a student’s GPA and standardize test score.”

Kent State’s “First Choice” initiative also provided $7 million more in scholarships to this year’s freshman class than last year’s according to a Kent State press release.

“Any time you’re building the academic freshman profile, you have to coincide that with scholarship programs,” said Garcia.

Looking forward, Garcia said the class of 2017 has raised the bar for freshmen in years to come.

“The message that future students need to understand is if they want a spot here at Kent State, they need to apply early and on time, and have the strong GPA and strong test score to be admitted to Kent State,” said Garcia.

This year’s freshman GPA is a point of pride for the class of 2017, said Nicole Pineda, freshman special education major.

“I think our class’ GPA represents us as a whole and shows where our focus and priorities are,” Pineda said. “My GPA is really important [to] me because I don’t want to pay to come to school and not care about it.”

Similarly, Julia Cicchinelli, freshman electronic media production major, said, “I think it means our class will be determined to maintain the reputation and therefore work hard.”

Garcia credits the high GPA to a freshman class more engaged than previous freshman classes that brings leadership qualities with them from high school.

This class could also potentially be the largest freshman class to date and surpass the 4,284 mark set by the freshman class of 2011, Garcia said, which would exceed the university’s goal for 4,200 enrolled freshmen.

Official enrollment numbers will not be available until after the last day to withdraw from a semester-long class without receiving a “W,” which is Sept. 8 according to the Registrar’s Office.

The majority of freshman applications are still coming from Northeast Ohio. Garcia noted there has been an increase in applications from the Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo areas.

The Honors College has also seen an increase in enrollment. Garcia estimated that 100 more students are enrolled in the Honors College than last year.

While no specific college has seen a significant growth in enrollment, Garcia said “the College of Business Administration is seeing a greater increase in incoming freshmen.”

Garcia said, building the academic freshman profile adds value to a Kent State degree for alumni and future graduates, Garcia said it also makes faculty, staff and students proud Golden Flashes.

“For students that are currently enrolled they feel good about where they decided to go to college, and for faculty and staff, it’s a good feeling to know that you’re working at a place that’s really starting to see some strong results… [and] successful outcomes,” Garcia said.

Contact Katie Smith at [email protected].