Class of 2020 enrollment dips with decrease in applicants

Geneseo ushered in 1,235 new first-year students from an approximated application pool of 8,747. Along with the freshman class, the college welcomed 283 transfer students and 84 graduate students. According to Geneseo’s website, the freshman enrollment and application numbers show a dip from the class of 2019, which had 1,353 students out of 9,188 applicants. The volume of transfer students similarly represents a slight decrease from 291 last year. Conversely, Geneseo graduate students rose from last year’s 56 students.

“There’s a shrinking population of high school students,” Vice President for Enrollment Management Meghan Arena said. “Every year we have fewer numbers of potential students to reach and so there are fewer people in the pipeline.”

While it is a trend affecting other parts of the country, Arena notes that it has affected the places Geneseo specifically targets.

“The Northeast in general is experiencing a bit of a decrease,” Arena said. “This is particularly true of the counties where we get most of our students from, like Suffolk County, Monroe County, Nassau County and Erie County, which all experienced declines in the number of high school graduates in the double digits.”

The class of 2020 has academically followed the past three classes, with a mean high school average of 93. The average SAT score rose 16 points from the class of 2019, from 1217 to 1233.

In addition, the class of 2020 has 39 valedictorians and salutatorians, according to Geneseo’s website. The website also reports that for students where that information is available, the average high school class rank was in the 83rd percentile.

“They are a really great group,” Arena said. “This is another group of students who started nonprofits before they got here. They were doing undergraduate research before they got here. They were volunteering in their communities. We’re thrilled to have another great class to carry on the Geneseo tradition.”

The demographic makeup of the class of 2020 also differs somewhat from past classes. While the ratio of male to female freshmen shifted significantly downward from 53:47 in 2014 to 37:63 in 2015, it ticked back up to 41 percent male and 59 percent female this year. The proportion of first-years defined as multicultural shifted downward from 21 percent for the past two years to 20 percent for the class of 2020.

History education major freshman Ali Coggins approves of the first week of coursework she has received.

“I love all of my classes so far,” Coggins said. “I’m taking five this semester—with two experimental classes—and they’re all really great and interesting.”

“Geneseo’s been peaceful, calm, very welcoming and loving,” pre-biology major freshman Marc Choi said. “It’s been especially loving because everyone here is just so nice.”

Coggins had more to say about how Geneseo is shaping up against her hopes for school.

“I love it here,” she said. “It’s amazing, and it’s exactly how I hoped college would be.

Clarification: September 23, 2016

In this article we referenced the estimated number of graduate students. The actual number of new graduate students is 33  for a total of 90 graduate students. 

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