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Historically talented and diverse class enrolls at Ohio State

A new report highlighting enrollment numbers at The Ohio State University shows the university is seeing historic success as it celebrates the 150th anniversary of its founding.

The annual Autumn Semester Enrollment Report is a deep dive into the student composition of the Columbus and regional campuses. The report includes key data about Ohio State’s undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

The successes outlined in this year’s report bolster the university’s efforts to strengthen its position as a leading, national flagship public research university.

One of the highlights: This class is smart. The new first-year class on the Columbus campus posts a record-high average ACT score of 29.5. That’s a 0.2 percent increase from 2018.

The class assembled this year is the most academically prepared and diverse in our university’s 150-year history,” said President Michael V. Drake.

The university’s commitment to access and affordability continues to see results. More than 1,300 students from low- to moderate-income families are part of this class – a 7.8 percent increase in Pell-eligible students from last year.

Ohio State’s Buckeye Opportunity Program covers the cost of tuition and fees for Ohio students who qualify for Pell Grants. The program is part of an overall commitment of more than $150 million in need-based aid to students since 2015.

The new numbers show that more students are turning to Ohio State for their education. University enrollment is 68,262, an increase of 0.2 percent from 2018, and enrollment at the Columbus campus is 61,391, a 0.4 percent increase.

For many of these students and their families, college is a brand new experience. Among the Columbus campus entering class, 1,809 are first-generation students an increase of 10.8 percent over the 2018 entering class.

The class of 2023 is the most diverse in university history. New first-year student ethnic minority representation increased to a record 1,937 students on the Columbus campus – 25.4 percent of the class. Enrollment of new first-year students who are Hispanic or Latino increased 18.9 percent. African American and Asian student enrollment saw double-digit increases.

Students are also thriving at Ohio State. Preliminary data shows the first-year retention rate is 94.1 percent.

Four- and six-year graduation rates are the best in university history. Sixty-seven percent of the students arriving in 2015 graduated within four years, an increase of 2.4 percent over the class that started in 2014. The six-year graduation rate is 85.8 percent for students arriving in 2013, an increase of 2.3 percent over the previous class.

“Our graduation rates are the best they have ever been, and I am proud and gratified by the work that our students, faculty and staff have done to allow us to achieve these historic highs,” Drake said.

The achievements coincide with an historic year for Ohio State’s medical enterprise. Research funding to the College of Medicine grew by $50 million during the 2019 fiscal year to $268.5 million. The Wexner Medical Center has seen steady increases in the number of patients each year as well as better patient outcomes.

The university-wide achievements highlight the start of the academic year during which Ohio State is marking its sesquicentennial with a series of celebrations and events honoring the university’s land-grant mission. Drake said these successes show that Ohio State continues to illuminate a pathway to education, research and health care that creates vibrant futures.

“Our university’s commitment to people and their potential over a century and a half is truly transformative — an incredible legacy that serves to guide our future together as Buckeyes.”


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