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USI continues trend toward better-prepared students

Freshman GPAs at an all-time high

August 30, 2014

For the second year in a row, the University of Southern Indiana's incoming class has the strongest credentials in its history. The 2,611 first-time undergraduate, transfer and graduate students entering the University this year will be well-prepared to begin an academic journey that will give them the knowledge they need to succeed. Of those incoming students, USI welcomed 1,546 new freshmen to the graduating class of 2018. Average high school GPAs for incoming freshman are at an all-time high at 3.27. USI was one of the top two college choices for Tri-state area high school valedictorians.  

While remaining an institution of opportunity, the University intentionally continues to raise its academic standards, admitting students most likely to succeed at a four-year university. For the first time, no conditionally-admitted students, who may not be as prepared for a successful four-year college career, were admitted.

Total enrollment, including undergraduate and graduate students, fell from 9,902 students in fall 2013 to 9,364 students for the 2014 fall semester. USI saw a 10 percent increase in transfer students this year.

"Our incoming freshmen average GPA is higher than it has been in our nearly 50-year history," said Dr. Linda L. M. Bennett, president. "Additionally, over the past two years, the size of our graduating class has increased by 18 percent. While this is good news for USI and our matriculating students, we have to continue to look at ways to attract new students. The reality is that the demand and competition for these students is higher than ever. It's our job, both as an institution and as a community, to make sure students are knowledgeable about the excellent educational opportunities that await them here at USI."

USI has taken numerous steps to solidify its place in Indiana higher education.  This semester USI has launched new core requirements and two new tracks for adult learners in its Bachelor of General Studies program.  Enhanced admission processes are being implemented and the University's brand and image are being promoted across the region. Student satisfaction survey results indicate USI is a first choice for students across the state.

"The affordable excellence delivered at USI is recognized in our region, state and increasingly in other parts of the world," said Dr. Ronald Rochon, provost. "Our alumni are more than 35,000 strong.  They are in positions of influence and making significant contributions in this community and beyond. The quality of our USI graduates is a solid leading indicator of future success."

USI continues to prepare top high school students for college work through the College Achievement Program (CAP). In 2013-14, CAP partnered with 29 high schools in 14 counties to offer 1,931 students more than 10,500 college credit hours across 44 courses, and at a significantly reduced cost. Statistically, students who complete CAP courses are better prepared and more likely to graduate college in four years.

Strong partnerships with area community colleges also are important.  An increasing number of well-prepared transfer students are coming to the University from two-year institutions.

Profile of USI's Student Population
The majority of students at the University of Southern Indiana come from Vanderburgh and contiguous counties. Students come from 89 Indiana counties; 35 other states; and 52 countries. Minority and international students make up nearly 12 percent of the student population. Nearly 24 percent of USI students are 25 years of age or older. Full-time students continue to be in the majority and 950 graduate students are enrolled. 

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