By the numbers

Audra Gamble

The statistics for the Grand Valley State University class of 2018 are in, and the numbers don’t lie.

This incoming class of freshmen is the largest yet at 4,226 students. However, the standard of academic achievement has not changed much. In fact, the average high school grade point average of the class of 2018 rose slightly.

The mean GPA of the class of 2018 is 3.54, a small increase from the class of 2017’s mean of 3.52.

While the average GPA of the new Lakers rose, the percentage of first generation college students fell. Last year’s incoming class consisted of 38 percent first generation college students while this year’s class has 35.4 percent. There are 18 student veterans entering GVSU this year, compared to 19 student veterans last year.

The new group of Lakers is made up of students from all around the U.S. and abroad. Approximately 92 percent of the freshmen are from Michigan, but 7.6 percent are from out of state. Students came to GVSU from all over the U.S., including Alaska, Florida, New Jersey, Texas and Colorado.

Additionally, 0.83 percent of the new students are international. Some of the countries represented by the international students are: Australia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Chile, Ghana, South Korea, the Netherlands, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

The incoming class reported that 16.5 percent of the new students have an ethnic background that is a minority. This is a slight increase from the full university’s statistics from the previous academic year, where the percentage of minority students was 15 percent.

“That 15 percent of students of color represent years and years of slow growth,” said Phillip Batty, director of institutional analysis. “We have done that consistently. For public, four-year institutions in the United States, 28 percent of students are students of color. Clearly, students who attend Grand Valley are going to get their education in an environment that is considerably less diverse ethnically than what they might find elsewhere. The university continues to work on changing that balance.”

While the most popular major among the freshmen is “undeclared,” with 20.6 percent of the class falling into that category, the top declared majors are biomedical sciences and nursing. Six percent of the incoming class entered as BMS majors and 6.8 percent of the freshmen are entering as nursing majors.