Contacts:

Rhonda Zurn, College of Science and Engineering, rzurn@umn.edu, (612) 626-7959

Preston Smith, University News Service, smith@umn.edu, (612) 625-0552

Number of freshmen women also remains at an all-time high

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (10/19/2011) —A recently released profile of the students in the College of Science and Engineering fall 2011 freshman class shows that the college continues to attract the best and brightest students. The current freshman class is also the largest incoming class in history with 917 students compared to 823 students just five years ago.

The average ACT composite score of incoming College of Science and Engineering students increased from 30.1 last year to 30.4 in fall 2011, the highest of any college at the University and the highest ever in the college. This is nearly three points higher than the 27.5 average ACT score 10 years ago. The current Universitywide average ACT composite score this year is 27.5 compared to 24.5 a decade ago.

The College of Science and Engineering has about half of the University’s National Merit Finalists while the college’s freshmen only make up about 17 percent of the incoming class on the Twin Cities campus. In addition, 98.4 percent of this year’s incoming first-year students graduated in the top 25 percent of their high school class.

“We are very pleased that we continue to attract top-notch students into our science, mathematics and engineering programs,” said Paul Strykowski, College of Science and Engineering associate dean for undergraduate programs. “We think prospective students see that we value both classroom instruction and research to create a quality educational experience for undergraduate students.”

The number of women first-year students in the college also remained at an all- time high with 232, which is 25.3 percent of the incoming class. Just 10 years ago the college had just 151 women first-year students (17.9 percent).

The overall number of applications for admission into the College of Science and Engineering has skyrocketed in recent years from about 2,500 applications in 2000 to more than 9,000 for this year’s incoming class.

“We know that students today often apply to more schools, but we have seen a tremendous growth in the number applications that we expect will eventually level off,” Strykowski said. “We’re not exactly sure why there has been such an increase in previous years, but we believe that our college’s outreach efforts to K-12 students are a contributing factor in attracting more students into our science and engineering programs.”