Honors College sees biggest freshman class ever

Leila Archer

After 75 years, the Honors College is still going strong and has its biggest freshman class ever to prove it.

Coordinator of Admissions Carolyn Sampson said there are 345 students enrolled this semester – about 40 more students than the previous largest semester, which was Fall 2006.

Sampson believes that increased enrollment is because “more highly qualified” students are applying early to Kent State.

She said the college did not change admission requirements. Incoming students are still required to have a minimum ACT score of 26 (1180 SAT), be in at least the top 15 percent of their graduating class and have a 3.5 GPA throughout high school. The college did not change scholarship requirements either.

In order to increase enrollment, many colleges might drop credentials and offer more money to incoming students, but that was not the case for Kent State.

“The Honors College did not change admissions or give out more scholarships,” said


Emma Rucker, a freshman fine arts major from New Martinsville, W.Va., said that she chose Kent State’s Honors College because she had a high enough GPA, and the college gave her a lot of money.

“It boiled down to the money,” she said.

Rucker also said she looks forward to the opportunities the Honors College provides, such as study abroad and service opportunities.

When she visited the campus, Rucker said she was advised to live in the honors residence halls.

For the first time this year, the first two floors of Stopher Hall house exclusively honors students. Sampson said the addition of Stopher Hall may have also attracted students to the college, but the decision to do this was not made as a result of the large incoming class.

In the past, many prospective students have been turned off by not being able to get a room in the honors dorms, Sampson said.

“They want to join a community,” Sampson said, adding that students and families like the location of the Honors College and the fact that they will be surrounded by other honors students.

Although enrollment numbers for this year are not out yet, in the past the trend in majors has been primarily architecture, pre-med, journalism and fashion majors.

Many of the honors students are from Northeast Ohio, however, there are always students from other areas of Ohio, as well as out of state.

This year there are four international students in the program. Sampson said these students chose Kent State because it was one of the quickest universities to respond to their applications.

Sampson added that retention rates have been good – most students returned to the Honors College for their sophomore year.

Contact Honors College reporter Leila Archer at [email protected].