This year’s incoming undergraduate class is the “biggest and brightest” class of students to ever enroll at Temple, according to university admissions officials.
“We have more new students than we’ve ever had before,” said Tom Maxey, Vice President for Enrollment Management.
“The students in this class are of the highest quality of any class we’ve ever admitted.”
Even as the standards for admission rise, the number of annual applicants continues to increase, said Admissions Director Timm Rinehart.
This year 6,121 freshman and transfer students were enrolled.
“Our goal was to increase the quality of the class and keep the numbers the same as the year before,” Rinehart said.
“But the crop of students was so good we ended up increasing the number we admitted.”
Rinehart says the growing numbers have forced his office to be increasingly more selective when it comes to admission acceptance.
In turn, he said, this results in a class with higher academic qualifications.
According to an annual admissions report by Temple Student Information Services, the average SAT score for this year’s freshman student is 1068 (up 22 points from last year) and the average high school grade point average was 3.20 (up from 3.05).
“We denied more students this year than last year,” Maxey said.
“This shows our selectivity and reflects Temple’s growth as a more difficult university to get into.”
Rinehart said the acceptance rate of 67 last year was lowered to 61 percent this year and the number of freshman denied rose from 4,416 last year to 5,860.
“One thing that separates this class is that they want to be here,” Rinehart said. “Many of these students have chosen Temple over other good colleges.
This tells us that the students applying want to come here and are choosing Temple for what the university has to offer.”
Andy Lofaro, 19, is an undeclared freshman from Lower Merion, Pa.
“I applied to three schools,” he said.
“But I chose Temple because I liked that it offered me the chance of being closer to home and going to school in the city.”
Another growing admission trend, Maxey said, is an increase in applicants from farther away.
“This class has students from all 50 states and over 100 countries,” he said.
According to the TSIS report, just over 70 percent of Temple’s incoming students come from Pennsylvania.
“One area we’ve seen a lot of growth in is the Scranton area,” Maxey said. “This year we have over 80 kids from there.
Last year it was just over 20. This shows Temple is making some serious gains on areas that were traditionally Penn State country.”
Freshman Ellen Minsavage is one of these students.
“Temple was my first choice,” the 18-year old Nanticoke, Pa. native said.
“I love being in a big city and living on such a diverse campus. There’s so much to do without ever getting bored.”
While students from around the country are coming to Temple in ever-increasing numbers, the percentage of students from Philadelphia has been dropping, according to Rineheart.
“While the number of students being accepted from the city isn’t going down, the percentage of students from the city is less than what it used to be,” he said.
“There’s still a raw increase in the number of Philly students, but in terms of growth it is from the suburbs, the rest of state, and other states that we’re seeing our biggest growth.”
Chris Powell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org