By Amina Bhotti and Laura Sanicola
In October 2003, newly-appointed Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university, launched a strategic plan entitled Toward 2016, in which he outlined a variety of university initiatives put in place to achieve ultimate goals in 2016. The plan’s mission is for Fordham “to regain national prominence and preeminence among Catholic institutions.”
McShane planned to have average SAT scores in the 1350-1400 range and students that perform in the top quartile of their high school class. Furthermore, the plan intended for the acceptance rate to be driven down to 40 percent and for the university to have 25 percent of its population from the greater New York metropolitan area and 30 percent minority and international students.
It is now one year until the culmination of Toward 2016. The admissions statistics from this year’s entering class show significant progress in increasing undergraduate diversity and competitiveness from reported figures in 2005, but indicate that several objectives appear to have been too ambitious.
In 2015, Fordham received over 42,000 freshman applications, making this the 24th consecutive year in which the university has received its most applications in history. Of the many students that applied, 47 percent were accepted compared to 50.4 percent in 2004. However, this falls seven percent short from the projected acceptance rate for the class of 2020.
The accepted students from the Class of 2019 will have an average high school GPA of 3.7, as the Class of 2018 had before them.
The middle 50 percent of the accepted Class of 2018 had combined Critical Reading and Math SAT scores of 1307, while this year’s middle 50 percent of accepted students have an average SAT score of 1315. If yearly SAT scores increase at this rate, the plan will still miss the mark of having SAT scores in the 1350-1400 range.
The male to female ratio of accepted students has also widened this year, with 61 percent female, and 39 percent male. Compare that to last year’s accepted students, which included 43 percent male and 57 percent female students.
There is also more ethnic diversity among the accepted students for the Class of 2019 than there was for the Class of 2018, with about a 1 percentage point increase in the number of Asian students, 2 percent increase in Black/African American students and a 2 percent increase in students that identified with multiple races.
The geographical breakdown of the Class of 2019 is also diverse, with students coming from all over the US as well as abroad. The majority of these students are from New York (28 percent), New Jersey (13 percent) and the New England states (13 percent), with the next biggest group representing the West Coast, including 1,800 students from California (10 percent of admitted students). International students, making up 9 percent of the admitted students group, represent nearly 100 countries outside the U.S.
Compared to the Class of 2018, the geographical representation is much more more widely distributed. Last year, over a third of admitted students hailed from New York, while this year, more states and countries are being represented.
“We are excited to have recruited and selected a diverse and talented class,” Dr. Patricia Peek, director of Undergraduate Admissions at Fordham University, told The Fordham Ram in reference to the enrollment statistics for the Class of 2019. “Beyond the academic achievements…our admitted students are leaders, volunteers, artists and more. They will bring various experiences, perspectives, aspirations and dreams that will continue to enliven our campus communities.”
The information about the Class of 2019 has not been released on Fordham’s website as of yet, but Peek asserted that it is always available on request.
The National Response date for colleges and universities to report their data is May 1. “At Fordham, we begin to publish the new class data after May 1 when we have the most updated information on the enrolled class,” Peek said. “Interim data has been shared with our admitted students at events throughout the spring and the official prior year data is available on our website until the new data is finalized.”
At present, Fordham has received over 1,000 deposits of accepted students, which is a significantly higher that for the Class of 2018. According to Dr. Peek, Fordham’s goal is to have an incoming class of around 2,100 students.