Class of 2017 upholds standard of excellence

Out of the 9,037 students who braved the competitive college admission process this past year and applied to Geneseo, 1,122 students have enrolled as members of the Class of 2017. According to Director of Admissions Kristine Shay, both the application and enrollment numbers are consistent with past years.

“We continue to enroll the best and brightest from [New York State] who are also very engaged and active in their high schools, surrounding communities and often internationally,” Shay said.

The class’s academic profile shows that the mean SAT score for the freshman class is a 1300. The middle 50 percent received between a 1240 and 1360. The mean ACT score is a 28, with 50 percent attaining a 26 to 29.

In addition to this, the mean high school average is a 93. The middle 50 percent fell between a 91 and 96 average. Eighty percent of the freshmen were in the top 25 percent of their class in high school. Based on this profile, the class of 2017 is similar academically to previous classes.

“Classes don’t change year to year so much; it’s more trends that you see when you’re looking at things like that,” Shay said. “I would say that it’s as strong as the ones we’ve been fortunate to enroll in recent years.”

“Honestly, they’re doing everything; they’re engaged,” she said. “Bright students are often very engaged outside of the classroom. We’re really fortunate that we accept such high-quality students.”

According to Shay, the admissions staff uses a pooled review process in order to select the students who will make up the freshman class each year.

“We take a look at their academics first, but we often have more students who are academically qualified than we can admit, so then we factor in their co-curricular activities and do the best that we can to find those that fit and show an interest in the college,” she said.

According to Shay, 52 percent of this incoming freshman class is from the downstate area of New York. This includes students from Long Island and New York City.

“There are a lot more from downstate than in previous years. There are over 50 percent from downstate now, whereas it was closer to 25 percent 10 years ago,” she said.

There are four declared majors that have drawn a majority of these students’ interest: biology, business, psychology and political science. As in prior years, many incoming freshmen are also undeclared, making it one of the top two majors selected by the freshman class along with biology.

According to the class of 2017 profile, the male-to-female ratio is 43 to 57 percent. This is the same ratio as last year’s freshman class and is similar to prior enrollment statistics. Of this year’s class, 24 percent is comprised of multicultural students.

While the incoming classes tend to follow the same trends every year, Shay said she sees a more global mindset among students today than in prior years.

“I was a student here in the ‘80s, and we weren’t as globally aware. Students are coming to us out of high school already having studied abroad and definitely wanting to do it again as part of their college experience,” she said. “They are more aware of international issues. It’s not all about me; it’s more of a giving service.”

Shay also said she noticed that students’ motivations behind choosing to attend Geneseo are changing.

“We do focus groups every year with the freshman class, and we’ve seen some changes there,” she said. “A few years ago, they’d say the value is why they chose to come. Now what they’re saying is that they applied because of the value, but they chose Geneseo because it’s where they want to be.”