As freshmen GPAs rise, SHU’s acceptance rate drops

Katherine Boland/Staff Photographer

Katherine Boland/Staff Photographer

The Class of 2020 has surpassed last year’s record high average SAT score and high school GPA, setting SHU’s new record for the most academically impressive freshman class to date.

According to Alyssa McCloud, vice president of Enrollment Management, this fall’s incoming class boasts an 1152 SAT score average and a 3.55 average GPA. This is in comparison to last year’s SAT score average of 1144 and average GPA of 3.5.

“It is a strategic goal that we increase our selectivity and the quality of our incoming students to create a more rigorous academic experience for our students,” McCloud said.

McCloud added that Seton Hall is also boasting an acceptance rate that is 9 percent lower than last year’s, as well as a class made up of 50 percent male and 50 percent female students.

“Last year we admitted about 75 percent of our applicants; this year we only admitted about 67 percent,” McCloud said. “This is also part of our strategic goal to become more competitive and selective and this metric has also been improving. In 2009 it was 83 percent.”

Shirantha Stanislaus, a peer advisor and junior psychology major, said in an email interview that he noticed an academic change in the freshman class since he’s been a PA over the course of two years.

“During orientation, they always say that the current incoming class has the highest test scores and GPA that they’ve ever admitted, and that Seton Hall is starting to get more and more selective each year,” Stanislaus said. “It’s all true, they aren’t just saying that.”

Stanislaus added that he noticed the class sizes for majors such as physics and biology growing every year while not sacrificing the quality of the student.

“Just by simply speaking to (students) you can tell that each year they are becoming more and more intelligent and academically prepared,” Stanislaus said.

There are currently about 1246 students in SHU’s newest class of students, 34 percent of which are from out of state.

McCloud said the amount of students admitted was intentionally lower than last year.

“Last year we overenrolled and had too many students (1408) and this caused a strain on housing, and we didn’t want to do that again,” McCloud said. “Our enrollment number this year was right on target with our intentions.”

McCloud added that the average SAT score for incoming freshmen has seen a 102-point increase since 2009.

McCloud said that as a result of these higher scores, students can look forward to “more intellectual discourse in the classroom” and “a higher level of challenge.”

Brianna Bernath can be reached at

Author: Brianna Bernath

Brianna Bernath is a Journalism/PR and Philosophy double major at Seton Hall University, where she serves as Assistant News Editor of The Setonian. She is currently an intern at CNBC's "Mad Money with Jim Cramer". You can follow Brianna on Twitter @briannabernath, where you can find her most recent work.

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