Newswise — The University of North Florida has started the fall semester with its largest and most diverse freshman class to date. A record 2,648 freshmen entered UNF in August, contributing to the University’s largest enrollment in history at 17,304.
Not only has the University’s student body grown, but it includes students from a wide variety of cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities. UNF students come from 48 U.S. states, two territories and 56 countries. A record 38% of freshmen identify as a minority, including 10% African-American and 13% Hispanic.
“I’m proud of our continued growth and dedication to quality and diversity,” said UNF President David Szymanski. “We continue to focus on excellence, building a high-quality student experience and creating the next generation of outstanding leaders.”
Many of UNF’s new freshmen are making history of their own, being the first in their families to go to college. An estimated 36% of students in the freshman class are first-generation college students—that’s more than one in three freshmen.
The high-achieving freshman students who started at the University this fall had an average high school GPA of 4.3. Many joined the Hicks Honors College, which also hit a record enrollment of 231 this semester—up 20% from last year.
UNF has initiated several new programs to help incoming students succeed in and outside of the classroom. Freshmen participated in a first-ever “Flight School,” an all-day event familiarizing students with the University and its traditions as well as providing opportunities to meet key leaders, including President Szymanski.
“We want to provide an environment where our students will thrive,” said UNF Provost Dr. Simon Rhodes, who joined the University in July. “We continue to enhance our student resources, including new support teams and peer mentoring programs that will advance student success.”
In addition, an estimated 35% of incoming freshmen are Pell Grant recipients. Enrollment in UNF’s Graduate School also reached a record high this fall at 2,393 students, and the credit hours taken by students across the University are up by nearly 4 percent.
UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.