Freshman class force to be reckoned with

Josh Dean

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The class of 2014 learned of its status as strongest-ever freshman class at ULM.

Administration recently released enrollment figures for this semester. The class of 2014 with 1,314 students brought ULM’s total enrollment up to 8, 527. Though this total figure was a 1.5 percent decline from the fall 2013 semester, the university’s new freshman class entered with high academic qualifications.

The university released the estimate of the academic figures of this freshman class in President Nick Bruno’s 2014 State of the University Address.  

According to this estimate, 64 incoming freshmen entered with an ACT score of 30 or higher. The estimate also said that 135 entered with a 4.0 high school GPA.  Each of these figures increased by 5 students from last year.

The estimate also said that the average GPA of these incoming freshmen increased to a 3.51. The address noted that the majority (54 percent) of this freshman class came from a region outside of Monroe and Ruston.

This freshman class has the highest-ever number of TOPS eligible students at 86 percent, highest-ever average score of 23 on the ACT, highest-ever number of 4.0 high school GPAs and highest-ever number of students with an ACT score of 30 or higher. 

Skylar Grass said she is proud of her freshman class.

“I take it as a huge accomplishment to be able to be in this class with all these amazing people,” said Grass, a freshman pre-pharmacy major.

As this freshman class is rather large, Grass said it is special because it is full of “bright people” that will have a group effect on students to inspire them to work hard to achieve their ultimate goals.

Freshmen also attribute the qualities of this class to the recruitment of high ability students from the local area and other regions as well as internationally.

Clayton Williams said he believes  ULM made it a number one priority to recruit the best students possible. 

“With the amazing scholarships and other possibilities that were listed when I applied, there was no way I could turn this university down,” said Williams, a freshman pre-pharmacy major.

The scholarships and opportunities made Williams believe that the university recognizes the hard work that students put into their academics during their high school careers.

“The university is really great as what people say it is. It feels like one big family honestly,” Williams said.

Williams said he noticed the willingness of the upperclassmen to help out the incoming freshmen. Williams is an out-of-state student that did not know many people initially, but he said he was welcomed “with open arms.”

The strong freshman class enters as the university implements yearly increases in admissions standards.