Sacred Heart University’s class of 2022 will be the most academically talented in the history of the 55-year-old University. Continuing its rise as one of the top 10 fastest-growing Catholic universities in America over the last decade (Chronicle of Higher Education), more than 1,550 students have committed to enroll as first-time freshmen at the University in the fall. This represents an 80 percent increase in full-time freshman enrollment dating back to the fall 2012 semester.
The 1,556 freshmen were selected from the largest and most geographically diverse, as well as most academically talented, applicant pool in the history of the University. Additionally, Sacred Heart will also welcome 120 incoming freshmen to its highly competitive Thomas More Honors Program. The profile of this group of students was a 3.96 GPA and average standardized test scores of over 1,300 on the SATs. A record-breaking 10,598 prospective freshmen, from 42 states and 60 countries, applied for admission to SHU, the second-largest Catholic university in New England.
More than 350 incoming freshmen are members of the National Honor Society, indicating their strong commitment to both academic excellence, leadership and service. “Our admissions committee sought to identify students who demonstrate academic achievement, intellectual and professional integrity, who value compassionate service to others and who take leading roles in the communities they serve. We couldn’t be more excited about welcoming Sacred Heart University’s class of 2022 to our community,” said Kevin O’Sullivan, executive director of Undergraduate Admissions. The SHU class of 2022 also includes 123 legacy students, that is, students who had a parent or sibling who graduated from, or are currently attending, Sacred Heart.
The University saw increases in enrollment across the undergraduate Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Health Professions and the Jack Welch College of Business, while maintaining its enrollment in the highly competitive College of Nursing. Specifically, enrollment in the STEM fields within SHU’s College of Arts & Sciences increased by 16 percent over last year. This growth in enrollment is supported by the launch of new academic programs over the past few years in molecular and cellular biology, coastal and marine science, neuroscience, biochemistry, computer engineering and game design & development. SHU’s game design & development program has already garnered national recognition, ranked among the best in the country by The Princeton Review at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Sacred Heart has already announced plans to launch a new undergraduate academic program in cybersecurity, beginning in fall 2019 to continue the growth of STEM offerings at the University. There was also significant growth in students pursuing interdisciplinary studies, which is the undergraduate academic discipline for aspiring elementary teachers who intend to continue on to the Farrington College of Education and earn their master’s in teaching as part of SHU’s innovative five-year program.”
The Welch College of Business also experienced record enrollment success, with a nine percent increase in new student enrollment over last year, supported by the addition of a new academic program in hospitality, resort & tourism management. This program will take advantage of Sacred Heart’s recent acquisitions of both Great River Golf Club in Milford, as well as the former General Electric (GE) Headquarters in Fairfield, now referred to as West Campus. The new West Campus serves as an innovation hub, providing expansion for the new School of Computer Science and Engineering, which is focused on computer engineering, computer gaming and cybersecurity, to develop programs in STEM fields such as health and life sciences, science and technology.
Applications to the College of Nursing increased 12.7 percent over last year, supporting the national trend for a demand in undergraduate nursing programs. According to the inaugural rankings from NursingSchoolsAlmanac.com, SHU’s undergraduate nursing program ranks third in the country among Catholic universities, behind only Villanova and Georgetown. Admission to the program reflected that, with only a 40 percent admit rate.
Students of the incoming class of 2022 didn’t just achieve high marks in the classroom, they are also very involved outside of the classroom and will continue to share their time and talents on SHU’s campus. Recently recognized as #18 in the country in The Princeton Review’s top 20 “Most Engaged in Community Service,” SHU’s longstanding strong commitment to social justice and serving others is reinforced with more than 430 new incoming students who have already made a commitment to continue service efforts during their undergraduate years.