Seton Hall University has seen a rise in its geographic diversity over the past three years thanks to a high number of out-of-state students.
After taking in a university record 16,000 applications in 2014, up from 12,800 in 2013, Seton Hall’s geographic diversity, or the amount of students from various areas, is growing. In this year’s class, 35 percent of incoming freshmen are from outside the state of New Jersey, according to Alyssa McCloud, vice president of enrollment management.
McCloud said that just under three percent of students come from foreign countries, meaning that roughly 62 percent of students at the Hall come from the Garden State.
The University is not used to seeing such numbers from other states.
“Historically it has always been 30 percent,” McCloud said. “If you look back at our numbers for many, many years, it’s always been hovering around 30 percent, sometimes a little less. In 2012 it was at that 30 percent mark and last year it went to 33.”
When compared to other universities, Seton Hall’s numbers are par to the course, according to collegefactual.com. For example, at St. John’s University, 30 percent of students come from states other than New York. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is at 38 percent.
Rhode Island’s Brown University has the highest percentage of out-of-state students, 95.5 percent.
“We’ve always historically been a school that has served our community more locally,” McCloud said when asked about the difference between Seton Hall’s enrollment and Brown’s. “I would say the last decade or so we’ve been more actively and deliberately recruiting students from other states. I think that we want to have a rich campus with lots of students from lots of states, but we also want to help and serve our local community.”
This year’s incoming class features students from 40 states, although all 50 states are represented among the student body, according to the school’s website. Additionally, the University is home to students from 54 different countries. According to collegeexpress.com, Seton Hall has a diversity rate of 42 percent.
This year there was a large jump in the number of students coming from Texas. Last year, seven students from the Lone Star State decided to call South Orange home. This year, that number more than doubled with a total of 17 Texans now attending Seton Hall.
One of those students is sophomore Mari Eboli, who was born in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, but comes from Dallas.
She cited Seton Hall’s programs as a major factor in her decision to pick a school so far east.
“I’m a diplo major and a PR major,” she said. “Both the dilpo program and Dr. Nyberg are the greatest. I’m just in love with everything that I’m doing.” Dr. Nyberg is the advisor to public relations majors.
Now, her biggest challenge is New Jersey’s weather.
“Texas is always warm,” she said. “That’s the thing that is hardest for me. As soon as November starts I want to go home and not come back.”
Eboli has noticed that she is not the only one who is not from around these parts. She said that her friends Cherish Carrillo and Teagan Sebba are from California and Colorado, respectively.
Then there is Selene Presseller, who comes from Scottsdale, Ariz., which is 2380.5 miles away from South Orange. She wanted to experience the other side of the country.
“I picked Seton Hall because I wanted an adventure,” Presseller said, “I wanted to go far away from home in order to be able to experience a new perspective. People always talk about the severe contrast between East coasters and West coasters and now I can honestly say that I have lived it and that I know the difference really does exist.”
She also talked about the drastic change of seasons and the fact that a pizza is not called a “pie” in Arizona.
For Seton Hall, the representation from so many different parts of the country is nothing but good news.
“We want a diverse student body,” McCloud said. “We want students to be enriched with different perspectives. We’re very glad to see this because for us, what I think it means, is that around the country more and more people are thinking about Seton Hall and that’s good for everyone.”
Gary Phillips can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @GPhillips2727.