Fresh on the heels of record-setting recruitment results last year, with 400 new students arriving in fall 2016, Centre College is poised to set new highs yet again in terms of class size, academic profile and diversity for students entering in fall 2017.
May 1 is recognized as National College Decision Day, when prospective students are expected to declare their intentions by making an enrollment commitment with their college of choice. At this writing, Centre has surpassed last year’s record number, with 415 commitments for the Class of 2021.
In terms of geographic diversity, 33 states and 12 countries are represented in the incoming class, the latter contributing to a total commitment of 9 percent for international students. The current student body is represented by 46 states.
Men slightly edge out women, 51 to 49 percent, and the class is evenly split between Kentucky and out-of-state students. Forty-three percent intend to be student-athletes, participating in Centre’s 21 men’s and women’s varsity sports.
The academic profile matches Centre’s best ever, with midrange ACT composite scores of 26 to 31 and more than 60 percent of students ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class.
Centre’s continuing goal to becoming an increasingly diverse campus is being fulfilled with this entering class as well. Eighteen percent of incoming students come from underrepresented populations and 20 percent are first-generation college students.
Part of the success may be attributed to several new scholarship programs created as part of Centre’s $200 million Third Century Campaign fundraising effort, which have broadened the College’s family of scholarships. Two-thirds of the campaign’s overall goal is devoted to increasing the endowment for student financial support.
The new (full-ride-plus) and Grissom (full-tuition-plus) scholarship programs—the latter devoted to first-generation college students—have been added to the full-ride-plus Brown Fellows Program, founded in 2009.
In addition to these three premier scholarship programs, prospective students are drawn to Centre through its decade-plus relationship with the Posse Foundation that brings 10 new Posse Scholars per year from the Boston area. Others come as Bonner Scholars, working to fulfill the Bonner Foundation’s goal to alleviate poverty and improve education through community service and civic engagement.
Centre College has been on a path of modest and measured growth the last several years, and the successive record-setting recruitment efforts suggest that prospective students and their families see Centre as a wise investment for their future.
Outcomes data supports that decision.
The College’s Center for Career & Professional Development tracks data on an annual basis, with the most recent report, for the Class of 2016, showing that 97 percent of graduates were employed or pursuing advanced study within a year of graduation, based on a 98 percent response rate. The four-year placement average is 96.5 percent.
That same group of graduates also participated in high rates of internships and undergraduate research projects, coming in 11 percentage points higher than the previous year at 93 percent.
by Michael Strysick
May 11, 2017