Incoming Class of 2026 Yields Record-Breaking Application, Enrollment Numbers

Incoming Class of 2026 Yields Record-Breaking Application, Enrollment Numbers

Class of 2026 members pose for photos during Orientation.

Class of 2026 members posed for photos during Orientation.

Setting records as the University's largest and academically strongest group of first-year students, the Class of 2026 is also making history as part of Fairfield's biggest-ever applicant pool.

Fairfield University has once again been blessed with an amazing applicant pool that is focused on academic success, leadership within their communities, and a desire for our shared Jesuit values.

— Corry Unis, Vice President for Enrollment Management

Before the academic year has even officially started, Fairfield University’s Class of 2026 is already making history. In addition to being a part of the largest applicant pool on record, this year’s group of first-year students is also the biggest and academically strongest in the University’s 80-year history, with more than 1,340 new Stags slated to join campus in the fall.

The newly minted Stags were selected from a record-breaking pool of 13,358 applicants and come to Fairfield with an average high school GPA of 3.74. Students represent 24 states in addition to Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, as well as ten countries, including New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Spain, among others.

“Fairfield University has once again been blessed with an amazing applicant pool that is focused on academic success, leadership within their communities, and a desire for our shared Jesuit values,” said Vice President for Enrollment Management Corry Unis. “We are so excited to welcome the Class of 2026 and have no doubt that these students will make a lasting impact within our community at Fairfield.”

In addition to breaking enrollment and academic records, the incoming class also boasts the largest number of legacy students (199) in Fairfield’s history, as well as the largest number of first-year students from Jesuit high schools (94). The numbers of first-generation students and students representing diverse populations have also increased from the previous year.

The Class of 2026 also welcomes the University’s first cohort of Company Scholars, an elite group of 15, first-year students from Cristo Rey Network and Jesuit High Schools who represent diverse identities and are engaged in academic excellence and community service. Students admitted into the program receive a four-year, full tuition scholarship to Fairfield, inclusive of room and board, and are connected with faculty mentors, academic and career advisors, and study abroad and research opportunities designed establish a network of support statistically proven to increase retention rates.

“The Company Scholars program further enhances our commitment to serving a diverse population and making sure that a Fairfield education is affordable and accessible,” Unis said. "By building upon our preexisting relationships with Jesuit and Cristo Rey high schools, we are able to explore this new pathway of access and find ways to remove barriers so students can experience the amazing opportunities Fairfield offers, both in and out of the classroom.”

Fairfield’s continued high placement in national college rankings includes distinctions in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2022, as well as on research website Niche’s 2022 Best Colleges in America list. Fairfield is also ranked among the top five-percent of colleges in the nation by College Factual’s Best Quality Rankings, and was named a national leader in return on investment by the Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. To learn more, visit fairfield.edu/rankings.

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Last modified: 07-14-22 7:45 PM

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