For the third consecutive year, Seton Hall University has recorded its largest freshman class in its history.
Seton Hall’s freshman class of 2023, amassing more than 1,615 students who began classes last week, were among the 23,000 that applied. Since 2014, the incoming freshman class sizes continued to grow, despite the increasing difficulty of other private universities to get funding.
Dr. Robert Kelchen, an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in Seton Hall’s Department of Education Leadership Management and Policy, notes that Seton Hall is an outlier when compared to other private institutions.
“Other colleges are struggling because there are fewer college-age students than there were 10 or 20 years ago and the competition for students is fierce,” Kelchen said. “Seton Hall has become more attractive because of its student body, academic programs and new campus facilities. This matches trends from around the Northeast, where many smaller private colleges are struggling while larger ones, like Seton Hall, are doing pretty well.”
The University’s close proximity to New York City, a 40-minute train ride to the most visited city in America, and more importantly, a haven for post-graduate opportunities, is another important factor for prospective students.
“Seton Hall has worked hard to be an attractive option for students, especially those who want to attend a larger university that is close to New York City,” Kelchen said.
Due to the annual increase in students, it has become difficult to retain the same room from the year before. The room retention requires students to have an entire suite matched to keep a room rather than the roommates in each dorm like past years.
Anthony Aliberti, a junior majoring in criminal justice, realizes the difficulty of rooming with his friends since freshman year.
“I think you should be able to live with whoever you want; you should not have to meet such a high quota of people in a room,” Aliberti said. “I do see that there’s so many people and we have to accommodate for everyone. You could easily fix that by making it a bit harder to get into housing or admit less people.”
Last year was the first year that some freshmen were placed in upperclass dorms due to the high volume of enrollees on campus. Neumann Hall, typically reserved for upperclassm students, had freshmen on its first floor. While the upward trend of enrollment is an encouraging sign for a school of around 10,600 students, housing gets a bit difficult on the 58-acre campus.
Dr. Alyssa McCloud, Seton Hall’s vice president of enrollment management, explained why the rates keep increasing.
“I think this is because people are recognizing how many wonderful things are happening at Seton Hall,” McCloud said. “The wonderful outcomes for our students getting great internships and jobs and all the outstanding research being done by our faculty and how closely they work with our students.”
She went on to say that, “because we opened the interprofessional Health Sciences Campus recently, it gave us additional room on this South Orange campus, so I am happy to see us continue to build our community with bright and talented students and hopefully continue to do so.”
The recent health science campus in Nutley, N.J. is among the recent benefits that continue to gain attention from prospective students. Last year, Seton Hall added new graduate programs to its fall curriculum such as a Master of Science in Physics, a Certificate in Global Studies, and a Certificate in Population Health Management, among others.
“It is really a place that brings together great minds together office great things,” McCloud said. “We are all so blessed to have an amazing admissions team who works very hard and provides exceptional service to students throughout the process.”
Evando Thompson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.