Higher SAT scores make freshman class impressive

The statistics on the 2005 freshmen class showed that this year it was more difficult to get into the University of Miami, although most other numbers show that admission trends have remained stable since to last year.

According to Alexander Ramos, assistant director of admission, in 2004 the mid-range of SAT scores was 1,200 to 1,360. This year, the average has risen slightly, to 1,210 to 1,370. This means prospective students will have to perform better on the test to get into the University in the coming years.

“We are becoming more selective because the applicant pool has grown,” Ramos said, adding that when the University receives more qualified student applications, the standards get higher.

But that is not to say that fewer freshmen are being admitted, Deanna Voss, senior associate director of admission, said.

“Each year we have more applications, but we’re always shooting to have a class size of 2,250,” she said.

In fact, there were 2,276 enrolled freshmen for the 2005-06 school year out of almost 19,000 applications.

But SAT scores are not the only factor determining student admission. Voss said that the most important factor in the admissions process is how well students did, and what they did, in high school. In fact, roughly two-thirds of freshmen were in the top 10 percent of their high school class at graduation.

And even if SAT scores went up, Voss said that high school GPAs have stayed the same for prospective students, at a weighted 4.1 (rounded to the tenth).

“If you rounded [the GPA] to two or three decimal places, then it could be higher,” she said.

For 2005, there were 1,175 females and 1,101 males enrolled in the freshman class, Voss said, meaning that 52 percent were female and 48 percent male. These numbers did not necessarily reflect the female-to-male ratio of the student body, since 58 percent of the total student body is female and 42 percent is male. The total percentages of males and females did not change from 2004 to 2005.

Just over half of the new freshman class came from out of state. The states with the most incoming freshmen were New York and New Jersey. In addition, 43 percent of freshmen came from Florida and 18 percent of that from Miami. Four percent more were international students, and out of 3,000 transfer applicants received, a total of 651 transfer students were admitted.

Ramos said that since there was not a great jump in freshmen enrollment for this year, housing had no trouble dealing with the new students. In 2004, he said, 78 percent of freshmen students lived on campus and this year 81 percent do. So there are actually fewer freshmen commuter students this year than last, which may surprise some due to the scarcity of parking spaces at UM.

Voss said that all in all, the numbers for the 2005 freshmen were pretty normal.

“Nothing major jumped out at us,” she said.

Of course, these numbers have absolutely nothing to do with current students at UM, Ramos said. But high-school students looking to get into UM should be prepared to work harder to be accepted.

Sam West can be contacted at s.west2@umiami.edu.