Kicking off the school year

Summer vacation is over, and school is back in session. So, what are Arizona’s universities up to?

Arizona State University (ASU)

ASU welcomed about 8 percent more students than last year. As stated in an ASU press release, “Ten years ago, when a new leadership team was brought in to transform the university, there were less than 1,000 traditional students on campus.” ASU Online increased by about 22 percent, admitting about 36,300 students.

In addition, the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU saw an increase in applicants and students for the Fall 2018 Juris Doctor class. As stated in an ASU press release, “ASU Law received over 3,300 JD applications, a 64 percent increase over last year.”

Andrew Jayne, assistant dean of admission and financial aid, said in a press release that the increase in applicants is due to “the ease of applying, the school’s rising reputation, and the school’s ideal location.”

In addition to the increase in applicants, the ASU Law 2018 Juris Doctor class is more highly credentialed than the 2017 class. The school explained, the 2018 class has a “median grade-point average of 3.76 and a median LSAT score of 163.”

Grand Canyon University (GCU)

As GCU transitions to a nonprofit status, it added three community leaders to its Board of Trustees.

According to a GCU press release, “Peggy Chase, President and CEO of Terros Health; Dr. Lupita Ley Hightower, Superintendent of the Tolleson Elementary School District; and Marion Kelly, Director for the Office for Community Affairs at Mayo Clinic, have been added to the seven-member board that oversees the nonprofit university.”

GCU’s expects 7,200 new students, and the average GPA of the 2018 incoming class is 3.5.

When Fall 2018 classes begin, GCU will have about 20,500 fully admitted students on it Phoenix campus, a tremendous increase from the less than 1,000 traditional students on campus a decade ago.

GCU also boasts its stellar campus that was just ranked No. 7 on Niche’s 2018 Best College Campuses in America.

“Nearly all of our facilities have been built in the last 10 years and we work closely with our student leaders to understand their needs. But, more than just our state-of-the-art facilities, I think this ranking reflects the culture of our campus,” Brian Mueller, president of GCU, said in a press release. “There is a spirit of community and engagement that is evident in everything from Chapel services to campus activities and athletic events.”

Northern Arizona University (NAU)

NAU was named a member of the 2018 class of Excellence in Assessment designees, joining just four other members who were also recognized for their commitment to student learning, internal improvement and advancement in student success.

“Northern Arizona University’s achievement of Excellence in Assessment has been an almost two decades long process of developing and improving the structures, procedures and uses of assessment, while simultaneously nurturing an institution-wide culture of assessment,” said Carly Banks, NAU media relations officer.

The university also established the new College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences. NAU’s new college is in response to the growing interest and demand in engineering-related fields.

University of Arizona (UA)

UA welcomed an incoming class “with a 7 percent increase in the number of students entering with an unweighted 4.0 grade point average and a 16 percent jump in students with an unweighted GPA between 3.75 and 3.99,” according to a UA press release.

Applications rose 20 percent since last year, and 45 percent of the incoming freshman class are from diverse backgrounds. The UA press release also said international enrollment increased.

“The incoming international freshman class is up 36 percent – in stark contrast to national trends – reflecting the UA’s commitment to bold new recruiting strategies and growing reputation as a global university,” Brent White, dean of global campuses and interim vice provost for global affairs, said in a press release.

Sierra Ciaramella

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