NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In an effort to make Rutgers University's enrollment process more competitive and selective, University President Robert Barchi set out to shrink the size of this year's freshman class.
But those efforts were surprisingly unsuccessful, leaving the state university with its largest incoming class yet.
"What Rutgers is planning to do is to reduce the size of the first year class by about 300 students," Courtney McAnuff, the Vice President of Enrollment Management, told New Brunswick Today earlier this year.
"This reduction will result in admitting a class with higher SAT scores. The 300 not admitted would have had the lowest scores of the admitted students."
But despite the plan, the main Rutgers in New Brunswick and Piscataway ended up with 6,579 first-year undergraduate students, an increase of 99 students over the previous year's class.
"The size of the entering first-year class is slightly larger than last year," University spokesperson EJ Miranda said yesterday. "The yield (the number of students accepting admission) was higher than projected, resulting in a slightly larger entering class."
As a result, nearly 400 students are without housing, according to an article released yesterday by The Daily Targum's Sabrina Szteinbaum.
Factors such as Rutgers' absorption of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ, and joining of the Big 10 athletic conference may have contributed to students' increasingly deciding to select Rutgers for their undergraduate education.
Still, the university has achieved its goal of increasing the average SAT score of the freshman class.
"The average SAT scores for this class are up 8 points compared to last year and exceed the national average SAT scores by more than 300 points," said Miranda.
According to collegeconfidential.com, “The majority of successful [Rutgers] applicants had SAT scores of 1600 or higher, an ACT composite of 22 or higher, and a high school average of a B+ or higher.”
The "strategic plan" set in motion by Barchi, which intended to limit the size of this year's incoming class, received mixed reviews among the faculty and students.
But Lisa Klein, a professor and President of the American Association of University Professors – American Federation of Teachers, had a very optimistic outlook.
“I think the quality of students has increased, and I like to think that it is because the dedicated teachers in the public schools do a great job of educating our students,” said the leader of the Rutgers union.
“We admit just under 50% of our applicants, which makes us fairly selective among our peers in the Big 10.”