Tusculum College has reached a historic milestone with the entrance of its 2008-2009 crop of new students who have matriculated and are taking classes, a group that appears to be the largest of its type in college history.
That is just one of several positive factors that Tusculum College leaders have identified in statistics relevant to the academic year that started in August.
Tusculum College enrolled the apparent largest “true entering matriculated class” in its history, according to Vice President for Enrollment Management Jacqueline Elliott.
Those 344 newly entered Tusculum students also boast an average academic Grade Point Average of 3.22, higher than the 3.17 average GPA of last year’s counterpart group, Elliott noted. The current year’s entering group has an average score of 1010 on the SAT Reasoning Test, formerly known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), bettering last year’s average of 990. Scores on the ACT admission test held steady with last year’s.
Of Tusculum College’s new entering students, 138 are first-generation college students, meaning they are the first in their families to attend college.
Two-hundred-seventy-five of the students were traditional new freshmen who paid deposits, enrolled and began attending classes. Fifty-seven others were transfers to Tusculum from other schools, while 12 are international students.
The entering group is ethnically diverse. Two-hundred-fifty-seven students are classified as white, non-Hispanic, two students are American Indians, five are Asian, 66 are black, six are Hispanic, two are Mexican American, and six are classified as “other.”
Twenty-three American states are represented among the entering students. Besides those who come from the United States, students in the group also come from Australia, Canada, Croatia, England, Ireland, Taiwan and Ukraine.
Tusculum College’s tougher standards, improving numbers and heightened selectivity have improved its ranking on one of the nation’s most famous and closely watched college listings, the U.S. News and World Report’s annual higher education edition
Tusculum College, classified as a “southern regional masters two South” institution in U.S. News, moved up this year in the magazine’s ratings and is now ranked among schools positioned just below the top schools sharing Tusculum’s classification.
Unlike many of the small colleges in its region, which compete with other baccalaureate institutions, Tusculum College has to compete in the U.S. News rankings with other masters-granting institutions as well, because of its classification.
Factors relevant to the improved ranking for Tusculum College include an alumni giving rate that put the college at level 47, up from 53 last year and 72 the year before that.
Also, Tusculum College’s small average class sizes – 78 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students – was a factor in the higher tier level.