Class of 2018: Diverse, Accomplished and Largest Ever

Class of 2018: Diverse, Accomplished and Largest Ever

Members of incoming class come from 40 states and more than 60 countries
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Amber Hopkins-Jenkins

One played a lead role in a hit Broadway musical and appeared in 11 episodes of the TV soap opera One Life to Live; another competes internationally in freestyle skiing. Yet a third has had an article published in the peer-reviewed journal Optics Express after taking 13 advanced placement courses.

The men and women who make up the Class of 2018 at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, come from 40 states and more than 60 countries. Collectively, they comprise one of the largest enrolling classes in Rutgers’ history, and will be joining a community of students from more than 100 countries and 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Courtney McAnuff, vice president for enrollment management, calls them “one of the most academically talented and diverse groups of students to ever enter the university.”

More than 33,700 students applied for slots in the class – a record-number of first-year applicants, admissions officials say.

First-year students at convocation.
Photo:Jody Somers
A total of 7,850 first-year students are enrolled across the Rutgers system: approximately 6,400 at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, including Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences; approximately 1,000 at Rutgers University-Newark; and approximately 450 at Rutgers University-Camden.

About 4,400 transfer students are also enrolled universitywide.

About 12 percent of the incoming student body comes from out of state, roughly a 6 percent increase over last year’s figure. China accounts for most of the foreign students enrolled, followed in order by India, South Korea, Taiwan, Ecuador, Nigeria, Malaysia, Canada, Brazil and Egypt.

On the academic front, more than 190 first-year students universitywide earned the title of valedictorian or salutatorian at their high schools. Their average SAT was 1808 for regularly admitted students, a four-point increase over last year and 310 points higher than the national average.

Across the three major campuses, 58 percent of the incoming students were in the top 20 percent of their high school classes; in New Brunswick, 64 percent earned that ranking.

And what will they be studying once they settle in?

The most popular major for the Class of 2018 is business, followed by biological and biomedical sciences. Rounding out the top five are engineering; health professions and related clinical sciences such as pre-med and pharmacy; and psychology.

Count Nicholas Frost among those headed for engineering.

A varsity basketball player from Tewksbury, Frost saw his article – “Temporal Phase Mask Encrypted Optical Steganography Carried by Amplified Spontaneous Emission Noise” – published in the January 2014 issue of the online journal Optics Express.

An editorial he wrote appeared in the journal Laser Focus World the same month.

Frank Dolce of Sussex County, who is enrolling in the bachelor of fine arts program at the Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, played the role of Michael in Billy Elliot the Musical, co-written by Elton John. In addition to his appearances One Life to Live, he also appeared in the movie Doubt and was a series regular in the Fox-TV drama Sons of Tucson. His soon-to-be classmate Krzysztof Zembroski, who will be a student at School of Arts and Sciences in New Brunswick, has conquered what he describes as “some of the most dangerous mountains in the world” as a competitive skier.

The experience allowed the Sparta resident to acquire friends from Poland, France, Austria, Finland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia and Korea, he says.

As a high school junior, Matthew Guariglia of Wayne created a club he dubbed D.O. Explore, which arranges for students to learn directly from health care providers. He is enrolled in Rutgers University-Camden's BA/DO joint degree program with Rowan University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine, with hopes of working one day with New Jersey’s underserved populations.

Sara Prado of Clark, a graduate of Arthur L. Johnson High School, recently won the Helping Hands Homecare Scholarship presented by DECA, an international association for high school and college students and teachers of marketing and entrepreneurship. She’ll be starting at the Rutgers Business School in Newark, with plans to major in marketing and an eye on a career in marketing and promotion for Broadway theaters. 

In addition to representing a wide variety of accomplishments, the incoming students also continue to make Rutgers one of the most diverse university campuses nationwide, with about 47 percent coming from African-American, Latino or Asian backgrounds.

Almost 3,000 of them are the first in their families to attend college.  Another 1,250 have a parent or parents who attended Rutgers.

The admissions office also reports that more than 9,600 first-year and transfer students will be receiving financial aid for the academic year.

Media Contact
Amber Hopkins-Jenkins