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Class of 2021 Brings Diversity, Academic Talents to The Hilltop

August 23, 2017

Laura Lemire
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7240

When 571 new students begin New Student Orientation on Thursday, they will be part of the largest, most diverse, academically talented, and gender-balanced classes in several years, if not in the history of the college. The 550 freshmen, and 21 transfer students will soon call Saint Anselm College their new home.

"The Office of Admission and Financial Aid, with the assistance of the entire campus community through various open house and yield programs, has helped to enroll the largest incoming class in a decade," says Eric Nichols, vice president of Enrollment and dean of Admission. "I'm pleased that we were able to meet or exceed all of our enrollment goals and do so within our existing financial aid budget. The Class of 2021 is a special group and I look forward to them arriving on campus."

As measured by high school grade point average (GPA), this is the strongest academic incoming class on record, with an average high school GPA of 3.28: 17% of the class was invited to participate in Saint Anselm's rigorous Honors Program, with an average high school GPA of 3.74.

The most popular majors for the class include: nursing, business, criminal justice, biology, politics, psychology, education studies, communication, computer science, and forensic science. A faculty advisor will work directly with each student who has not yet selected a major as they explore the college's various offerings, and complete some of their core courses during their first year of study.

"Our distinctive Liberal Arts curriculum prepares students for careers, graduate studies, and, perhaps most importantly, living a life of meaning," says Dr. Mark Cronin, dean of the college. "This class arrives with outstanding academic credentials. And while we anticipate great success for all of our students, we also know that some will find the adjustment to a college-level curriculum a demanding experience. For this reason, the college has comprehensive academic supports services in place - from peer tutors, faculty advisors, and class deans, to the Academic Resource Center. We encourage students to take advantage of these resources, and we encourage them to connect with their faculty, who look forward to engaging with the class of 2021 in and out of the classroom over the next four years."

Students hail from 25 states and five foreign countries. Four new students may become familiar with one another in the airport as they travel to and from California over the next four years. Three students will make their way north from Georgia to experience life as an Anselmian. International students beginning their Saint Anselm experience come from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Nicaragua and Vietnam.

The class arrives as the most gender-balanced class since 2011: 12% of the class describes themselves as racially diverse, representing the most diverse incoming class in the history of the college.

Dr. Ande Diaz, Chief Diversity Officer for the college shares a common experience with the Class of 2021: she recently arrived on the Hilltop, and is learning the ins and outs of the campus as she begins her work to recruit, retain and strengthen an intentionally diverse and inclusive environment on campus. "The composition of the incoming class speaks to Saint Anselm College's commitment to building a diverse community," she says. "Our efforts to welcome international and minority students to Saint Anselm is a top priority, and this class is an outstanding example of that commitment in action."

Among the many talents that the Class of 2021 brings to Saint Anselm College, 150 students will participate as student-athletes at the varsity level. This is the largest recruiting class in seven years.

"We look for well-rounded student-athletes who can compete to win in the classroom and as a member of their team," says Daron Montgomery, director of Athletics. "Saint Anselm College continues to invest in our athletic facilities, coaches, and the student-athlete experience. We are committed to providing our student-athletes with a premier experience that brings them success throughout their time at the college."

First-year students arrive Thursday, August 24 for Move In Day, followed by a three-day New Student Orientation Program. Classes begin for all students on Monday, August 28.

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Story by Cory True '09

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