Class of '05 raises academic bar at Fairfield University


"Fairfield admit rate falls below 50 percent"

The Class of 2005 entering Fairfield University this year is bringing a new academic level to the campus. Drawn from a record 7,128 applications, the Class of 836 students is comprised of 178 merit scholars with a 1293 SAT average; 46 percent of the class boast SATs over 1200, and the overall average for the class is 1180, up 73 points from five years ago.

This is the fifth consecutive year that Fairfield has had an increase in its freshman applications, up 10 percent from last year and 36 percent from five years ago. R. Edwin Wilkes, associate academic vice president for enrollment management, said he was especially pleased that Fairfield had dipped below the 50 percent mark in its admit rate. Five years ago Fairfield admitted 71 percent of its applicants, this year 49 percent. "In the fall of 1999, the year when the most recent statistics are available, only five percent of the 1,650 four-year colleges and universities in the country had admit rates under 50 percent," he noted.

In other areas, Fairfield is enrolling 120 students of color in the first-year class, the largest in the University's history. Last year 91 enrolled. The first-year class hails from 26 states, Puerto Rico, and 12 foreign countries.

Mr. Wilkes credited an increase in the number of visits by prospective students to campus for the favorable statistics and to an outstanding Admission team "that provides prospective students and their parents with important information during the process and then is very good with follow-up." Additionally, numerous faculty and administrators throughout the campus community meet with our visitors during the year to answer their specific questions." The number of student visitors to campus last year was 9,653, a 20 percent increase over last year and up 156 percent in four years. "A much higher percentage of campus visitors apply and eventually enroll than students who do not visit," he said.

Fairfield University is among 12 percent of schools nationwide with Phi Beta Kappa chapters and is consistently ranked among the top regional universities in the North by U.S.News & World Report. Students have garnered 26 Fulbright Scholarships since 1993 along with several other prestigious national awards.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 1, 2001

Vol. 34, No. 47