Class of 2017: the most diverse in University history

Tatham Elise Dilks

Contributing Writer

The University’s student population is becoming more diverse, and the class of 2017 serves as evidence.

The global presence on campus is now larger, with international students representing 9.8 percent of the first-year population, compared to the class of 2016’s 8.9 percent internationally affiliated students.

Another demographic that has seen growth this year is students of color, or students “who identify as Black or African-American, Latino or Hispanic, Asian, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska native or two or more races.” Compared to last fall, the percentage of representation for students of color enrolled as first-years has increased from 15 to 17.5 percent.

Increases like these are the result of an admissions office that, as Dean of Admissions Robert Springall put it, is now aiming to “push the expectations of [how] the typical Bucknellian looks and speaks.”

Associate Dean of Admissions for Multicultural Recruitment Marylyn Scott and Admissions Counselor for Multicultural Recruitment Mohammed Ahamed are joining the University community alongside the Class of 2017 to help push expectations in the Admissions Office.

These additions to the admissions staff reflect a determination to make the University a place where, as Springall predicts, “more voices are heard and expectations about what an academic community looks like and does are higher.”

More impressive than the demographic diversity of the Class of 2017 is its academic achievement. The average GPA for the entering class, as well as its SAT and ACT scores, are slightly higher than those from recent years.

More notable still is the soaring increase in Merit Scholars. The Class of 2017 boasts 35 Presidential Fellows and 92 Deans Scholars compared to the Class of 2016’s 18 Presidential Fellows and 79 Deans Scholars. 

“We are particularly proud of these characteristics,” Springall said.

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