Freshmen numbers steady despite economy

by Beacon Staff • September 16, 2009

They drowned the Office of Admissions in paperwork, keeping pace with the Class of 2012 with 6,943 undergraduate applications, only one less than the number received from the previous class.,They may have survived screaming Orientation Leaders and the Date Doctor, but this week, Emerson's class of 2013 officially began their reign as the campus newbies. All 768 of them.

They drowned the Office of Admissions in paperwork, keeping pace with the Class of 2012 with 6,943 undergraduate applications, only one less than the number received from the previous class.

From those clamoring for purple-and-gold, 2,900 students were accepted. Three more decided to make Emerson home than in the class of 2012, pleasing the administration, according to Director of Undergraduate Admission Sara Ramirez.

"I think each class has its own personality and qualities," she said. "This class is equally as strong as others before them."

The swarm was the first to be accomodated by the brand-new Colonial Building residence hall at 100 Boylston St. The new dorms can house an extra 372 students, a far cry from the classes of 2011 and 2012, many of whom were forced into temporary lodgings at the nearby Doubletree hotel and Courtyard by Marriott due to lack of dormitory space.

With a new dorm smack in the middle of campus, the freshman students seem like a nice and energetic bunch to Vice President of Enrollment MJ Knoll-Finn.

"This class managed to volunteer with various social organizations, while still engaging in their own interests," Knoll-Finn said. "They're an eclectic group, like the classes before them."

The class of 2013 boasts a variety of characters, including a student featured in the Katherine Heigl-vehicle 27 Dresses, a creator of a video for a non-profit organization in Bolivia, Screen Actors Guild members, and several Obama campaign volunteers.

The freshmen also hail from all over, Ramirez said. Students come from 41 different states and 21 countries, with 27 international students in the bunch, according to statistics provided by the Office of Academic Affairs. Last year's freshmen class featured 28 international students from 16 countries.

They maintained an average high school grade point average of 3.59 and an average standardized test score of 1215, seven points lower than last year's class.

However, Ramirez said while Emerson's standards for admission are certainly higher than they were a few years ago, the class of 2013 performed at the same average level of academic excellence as recent classes.

"I think standards have risen a lot through the years, but [standards for admission] this year were similar to last year," Ramirez said.

While Emerson class sizes have continued to grow over the last few years, Knoll-Finn said her office was nervous about reaching its class goal of 770 students because of the flagging economy. Missing it by only two students, Knoll-Finn said, is proof that Emerson still manages to appeal to the masses.

"Emerson is still a very attractive institution to students," she said. "This class clearly worked hard to be here, and want to be here."