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Dean Burdick’s Welcome to the Class of 2014

By Jonathan Burdick

Welcome again to the University of Rochester Class of 2014! I’m looking forward to meeting you on campus this summer and fall.

As enrolling students, you will receive important information within the next few weeks about housing and dining, orientation, health care and many other facts and figures from the campus offices that are also eager to meet you.  Look for it, because included will be several forms you need to return and a checklist of dates.

We’re expecting to enroll about 1,170 students in Rochester’s 160th incoming College class, much bigger than last year and among our largest ever. I’ll post many details and comparisons about your extraordinary incoming Class over the weeks ahead on our website and blogs, but some major interesting facts (mostly for the College only) are…

  • Largest applicant pool: 12,697 for the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering alone, plus thousands more for the Eastman School of Music
  • Biggest geographic spread: even though we have more students from New York State than last year, for the first time they’ll be less than 40% of the total. Almost half of our students are coming from other US states and 12% are coming from 57 different countries.
  • More diverse backgrounds: 1/3 are native speakers of languages other than English and nearly a third are students of color.
  • In one way we’re always balanced: the class will be 51% male and 49% female.
  • The top interests for majors are still engineering (219), biology (153), undeclared (106) and economics (101), but your interests are widespread. It’s a record year for several social sciences: anthropology, history, and international relations; one science department (physics and astronomy); and one humanities department (modern languages). That’s well-timed because Rochester has also had a great year attracting new faculty in many of the same disciplines.
  • Average SAT (1996) and GPA (3.76 unweighted) are both new records.
  • More than 50 International Baccalaureate Diploma recipients and 26 National Merit Scholars are both records.
  • More high school award winners than ever in all four categories (Bausch & Lomb, George Eastman, Frederick Douglass/Susan B. Anthony and Xerox)
  • A record 14% are coming with a Rochester family connection (parents, grandparents, and/or siblings attended)

Now that you are up to date about your class, I need your help.  It’s time to decide what we’ll be asking the  Class of 2015 applicants to tell us about themselves on our application supplement.  You not only know Rochester, but you just went through the application process yourself.  So, send us your best ideas about what you think those questions should be.  We’re looking for 2-3 questions that will:

  1. provoke interesting, candid answers
  2. help us understand the student better than the Common App alone
  3. help us understand how Rochester will be a good potential fit

Please understand that our goal is to provoke answers that will highlight the best of each applicant, not to impress people with clever questions.  Creative questions are great, but too often they lead anxious students to write safe, dull answers.

You can submit your questions as a comment to this blog post if you want them to be public, or send private email suggestions to

The Admissions staff wants to review your submissions by May 21, 2010 to consider including them in next year’s supplement. You can submit as many questions as you like. If we choose your question, we’ll give you a $100 campus bookstore credit as a thank-you for helping us.

Enjoy your proms, ceremonies and summer months (winter for some of our Africans and South Americans!) I’ll be glad to see you soon.

Jonathan Burdick
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
University of Rochester

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