The Freshman Class of 2021 exits the Eagle Bank arena following the preamble ceremony on the Fairfax Campus. photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University

Incoming Class of Fall 2017 Makes Mason History

IT IS THE LARGEST AND MOST DIVERSE SINCE THE UNIVERSITY WAS FOUNDED

By Lydia Antonio-Vila, Staff Writer

Mason welcomed its largest incoming class in the university’s history this fall, with 6,359 new students on campus.

According to the office of Admissions, 3,497 of this semester’s incoming students were freshmen and 2,862 were transfers. Seventy-five percent of transfer students came from Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA).

“Many [NOVA] students decide to choose Mason because of our similar communities,” said one admissions officer.

He emphasized the close-knit relationship between the two schools and programs like the Guaranteed Admissions Agreement that help students transfer to the university.

The admissions officer also mentioned that one factor in Mason’s popularity is the school’s strategic location outside of D.C. The opening of Mason’s Korean campus in 2014 and the many study abroad partnerships with universities around the world have also given the school increased exposure and helped to recruit foreign students.

The diversity of its international student population is another reason that Mason’s incoming class stands out this year. Students from last year’s class came from 83 different countries, but the admissions office reported that the 2017-2018 class includes students from more than 130 countries.

Some new students are the first in their family to attend college. According to admissions data, 37 percent of incoming freshmen are first generation students. Admissions officers said they take these situations into consideration as part of a “holistic approach” when accepting new students.

According to the admissions officer, the wide variety of courses at Mason could also help explain the school’s growing class size.

“We offer a wide range of opportunities for all students,” he said, including “over 200 degree programs that help students maintain a personalized [college] experience.”

Photo Courtesy of Evan Cantwell/Creative Services