05:12 AM

Ohio State marks new school year with most talented and diverse freshman class ever

The Ohio State University expects to enroll its most talented and diverse class ever, as more than 7,000 new freshmen begin their college careers with the start of autumn semester on Aug. 25.

This year, as part of President Drake’s 2020 Vision of access, affordability and inclusive excellence, the university has frozen tuition, fees and room and board for Ohio students. It is the fourth consecutive year for a tuition freeze. In addition, the new President’s Affordability Grant initiative will provide awards to approximately 12,000 students from all 88 Ohio counties. (Approximately 7,500 low-income students will benefit from $1,500 grants, and approximately 4,500 middle-income students will benefit from $1,000 grants.)

“We are proud and delighted to welcome the outstanding class of 2019,” said President Michael Drake. “We owe it to our students and families to continue our work of elevating excellence while improving affordability and access.”

Thousands of students will move into residence halls on Saturday, Aug. 22. The university has constructed four new residence halls as well as dining and event spaces on north campus as part of the Second-Year Transformational Experience Program.

The incoming class is expected to be one of the very best based on a variety of measures, according to Dolan Evanovich, vice president for strategic enrollment planning. “The demand for the Ohio State brand of education is at an all-time high,” said Evanovich. “Prospective students and their families understand that our high-quality education coupled with efforts to keep costs down and increase financial aid have positioned Ohio State as the first-choice university for the best, brightest and most diverse students.”

The number of applications to join the incoming Columbus campus class increased to 45,921, up from more than 42,000 last year and more than 26,000 in 2010.

According to projected figures, the incoming class averaged a record 28.9 ACT score and a record 62 percent graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Also, a record number are minority students and 22 percent are domestic first-generation college students. The students are expected to come from all 88 Ohio counties, 47 states and 20 countries.

Joseph Steinmetz, executive vice president and provost, said the continued improvements in the quality and diversity of the freshman class align with the university’s mission and values. “With so many applications for this class, we are proud to finally welcome this new group of students to campus. Ohio State is committed to their success.”