The Class of 2013 — incoming freshmen who will graduate as the College celebrates its sesquicentennial — includes more honors-at-entrance students and a higher proportion of honors students (14.5 percent) than in any year in the College's history.

The increase in top academic students in the freshmen class of 572 coupled with a slightly lower admission rate resulted in a class average GPA of 3.40 and an SAT average (critical reading and math combined) of 1091.

"In this difficult economic time, it's gratifying that so many outstanding students and their families believe a Saint Mary's education is a sound investment in their future," says Michael Beseda, vice provost of enrollment.

The incoming class is notable in other ways. Ethnic diversity reached record levels, with more than 46 percent of incoming freshmen identifying themselves as minorities. Latinos made up 23.9 percent of the class, Asian Americans 13.5 percent, African Americans 7.2 percent and Native Americans 1.5 percent.

Saint Mary's also saw enrollment from Lasallian secondary schools reach 11.8 percent of the class — a level not seen in three decades.

With the global recession continuing, new undergraduates, including 123 transfer students, also had unprecedented levels of financial need. More than 86 percent of new students received some type of institutional need, compared with 72 percent two years ago. Nearly 32 percent are eligible for federal Pell Grants, exceeding the College's Lasallian commitment to providing economically disadvantaged students with a high-quality education by ensuring that 25 percent of new students qualify for the grants.

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