A record number of students applied to the University of Vermont this year, and this week, UVM welcomes its new class—the most academically talented in school history. Incoming students earned an average GPA of 3.53 on a 4.0 scale and an average SAT score of 1197, a 12-point increase over last year. The Class of 2019 also boasts a record number of Green & Gold Scholars—top students from Vermont high schools. Thirty-four of these talented students have enrolled at UVM.
An estimated 2,400 students comprise the Class of 2019. They hail from 40 states and 18 countries. New international students add to the growing population on campus; this year, a projected 4.1 percent of undergraduates are international students. Adding to the diversity of the new class, 11.5 percent of first-years are ALANA (Asian-American, Latino, African-American, Native American and multi-racial) students, of whom 16 percent are first-generation college students and 11 are Vermont New Americans. First-time, first-year student enrollment from outside New England has also increased to 40 percent this year, up from 37 percent five years ago.
The Class of 2019 arrived on campus Friday, Aug. 28. All UVM students, an estimated 11,862, began classes Monday, Aug. 31.
New this year
Students return to a campus in the midst of transformation, as major construction and renovation projects began over the summer months. Residence halls were razed to make way for UVM Medical Center’s new inpatient bed replacement facility and UVM’s new first-year student housing and dining project. Angell Hall was also demolished as part of the creation of UVM’s new STEM Complex.
New academic programs this year include UVM’s sustainability requirement. Beginning this fall, all newly matriculating undergraduates will be required to complete the university’s general education requirement in sustainability, in addition to existing core requirements in writing, information literacy and diversity.
Also new this fall is the Wellness Environment program, a residential life experience that encourages fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and mentorship. It’s the brainchild of Dr. Jim Hudziak, a pediatric neuropsychiatrist in UVM’s College of Medicine and features personal fitness and nutrition coaches for every student, daily yoga and meditation sessions, a mentorship program matching every student with a Burlington youth and a neuroscience course all students take taught by faculty in UVM’s highly ranked College of Medicine.
At the root is the idea that, if curious college students understand how behavior, good and bad, affects their brains—via “gorgeous neuroscience,” in Hudziak’s words—they’ll opt for healthier choices.