SPOKANE, Wash. — The 1,257 first-year students Gonzaga University welcomed to campus this fall represent the strongest academic class in its 132-year history — stronger than the previous two entering classes, which were tops all-time. The first-year students moved into campus residence halls on Aug. 23 and took part in New Student Orientation through Aug. 26. Classes began Aug. 26-27.
“The Gonzaga class of 2023 is the strongest academic class in our history, as well as our most diverse. More than their academic talent, they are students deeply involved in leadership, service to others, community engagement, the arts, athletics, and more. The new class brings to Gonzaga myriad stories and experiences that will light up the classrooms and campus,” said Erin Hays, director of undergraduate admission. “We are impressed by their desire to learn, hard work, motivation, care and concern for others, and we look forward to their contributions to the community.”
Preliminary data show Gonzaga’s Class of 2023 has a 3.82 grade-point average and test scores of 28 (average ACT composite) and 1,280 (average SAT composite). Last year’s 1,200 first-year students entered with a collective 3.78 GPA, 28 ACT and 1,260 SAT composite scores — a near mirror image academically of the 1,265 students in the Class of 2021 (3.79 GPA, 28 ACT and 1,257 SAT composite scores).
A snapshot of this class reveals it’s packed with leaders: 19 student body presidents, 59 class presidents or officers, 843 with leadership experience, 238 members of student government, and 909 involved in significant volunteer activities. The class also includes 83 students who took part in speech or debate, 1,126 participants in athletics or outdoor activities, 303 musicians, 106 theater participants, 76 ecology/sustainability club members, and 632 who were employed part-time while in school.
Demographically, the entering class includes (approximately) 55% women and 45% men. Once again, the largest group of first-year students, 43.5%, hails from the state of Washington (47% in 2018). California remains Gonzaga’s No. 2 state with 22.3% of incoming first-year students (same as 2018). Oregon is home to 9.2% of the class (8.6%, 2018), while 5.1% of students hail from Colorado (5.3%, 2018), followed by Arizona and Idaho (2.8% each), Hawaii (2%), Montana (1.4%), Alaska (1.2%), Texas (1.1%) and other states.
This class represents 34 states — from as far away as Alabama, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Tennessee (to name a few) — along with the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico and a U.S. military base in Germany. The class includes 19 international students from Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, Honduras, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mali, Panama, Russia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
With respect to religion, 39.7% of the first-year students indicated they are Roman Catholic. The class includes students from nearly two dozen other faith traditions.
In addition to the first-year students, Gonzaga also welcomes 114 (approximately) undergraduate transfer students from diverse educational interests and experiences — with a passion for learning and community engagement — who are eager to share their many talents with the Gonzaga community.
Official enrollment figures won’t be confirmed until Sept. 30. However, Gonzaga estimates a total enrollment of 7,450 students this fall, including an estimated 5,300 undergraduates, 1,700 graduate students (master’s and doctoral), approximately 380 Gonzaga School of Law students, and 70 other students (non-degree programs).
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