IUPUI is on track to have its largest and most academically talented group of full-time freshmen when classes start Aug. 19. The group also will be one of the most ethnically diverse in campus history.
The latest figures show 3,689 freshmen were enrolled at IUPUI, a 27.3 percent increase over 2011 and a 14.5 percent increase over 2012.
The SAT scores of these students are higher than past freshman classes. Nearly two-thirds of incoming students finished high school with academic honors, and the entering class will have an average high school GPA of almost 3.40.
Some 205 of the freshmen had SAT scores of 1300 or higher, a 46.4 percent increase compared to 2011 and a 5.7 percent increase over 2012. Some 2,241 students completed high school with academic honors, a 56.5 percent jump over 2011 and a 27.8 percent increase over 2012.
More than one in four of the freshmen are ethnically diverse. Nearly 20 percent of incoming students are 21st Century Scholars.
There are several reasons for the surge in freshman enrollment, said Chris Foley, director of undergraduate admissions. “The first is the growing reputation of IUPUI as a premier destination for students.”
The campus has gone from not being on the radar to being a first choice for some of Indiana’s top students, he said. “We are attracting a lot of students who are well prepared and who would never have considered us in the past.”
Another reason for the surge is University Tower, said Rebecca Porter, associate vice chancellor of student services and executive director of enrollment services. The former four diamond University Place Hotel was converted to a residence hall for 560 students. The amenity-filled rooms feature a private bath, wired and wireless Internet connections, a skyline view of downtown Indianapolis, informal learning spaces, a game room, a fitness center, a laundry facility and a dining hall.
The campus will now have nearly 2,000 students living on campus.
“We’ve clearly established that we are a college you can go away to, even if you are from Indianapolis,” Porter said.
A third reason is affordability, Foley said. “Students see the value of a world-class IU or Purdue degree in an urban setting.” Students will pay on average $8,096 for tuition and fees to attend IUPUI for the 2013-14 academic year.
Diversity also plays a role in the growth of first-time, full-time students, Porter said. “Students come to IUPUI and see there is already a diverse community here. In terms of faculty and students, we are an urban and diverse campus, which is attractive.”