By Ashlie Coplein
Washington College opened the 2010-2011 academic year by welcoming the class of 2014 to campus for its first-year orientation.
“This is our largest entering class, but it is only 10 students greater than the 2008 entering class, so it is not the first time the college has been in this position” said Kevin Coveney, admissions head “The original new student goal for this year was 400 freshmen and transfer students, and we came in at 448.”
The entering class is the largest in WC history. The total undergraduate enrollment is approximately 1,200, 420 of whom are first-year freshmen students.
New students moved in on Aug. 26 and participated in a wide variety of orientation events, including the new student welcome and playfair.
The class is the most diverse and is also one of the most accomplished in the school’s 228-year history. The student body has a 57/43 female to male ratio. Students come from 21 states, and many places throughout the world from Argentina to China. Fifty-four percent are Marylanders, with 51 students representing the Eastern Shore. Forty percent were members of the National Honor Society, 60 percent took Advanced Placement coursework, 57 percent played a varsity sport, and 31 percent held a leadership position during their high school career. The students have the highest collective high school GPA seen in 10 years, along with impressive standardized test scores.
“The increase was difficult to predict,” Coveny said.“We had the same number of admitted applicants as the year before and, although we projected a slightly higher yield rate (the percentage of admitted applicants who actually enroll), it was not until mid-April that we had firm evidence that the entering class might be one of our largest.”
“The additional 48 students is a small over-enrollment figure by most measures but it does create certain challenges with regard to academic life and campus life,” said Coveney. The size of this year’s freshman class has not impeded on first-year students’ campus experiences.
“There’s always someone there to help you and the availability of tutors and resources in the library will definitely help me through my classes. Thus far, I believe that Washington College is the perfect choice for me. Everyone has been extremely helpful and friendly. The staff, faculty and my fellow classmates have welcomed me with open arms. I already have made a lot of new friends.” said Assem.