With the May 1 national deposit deadline passed, the University of New Hampshire’s Durham campus is set to welcome its highest-achieving incoming undergraduate class ever this fall, a significant milestone that reflects key achievements in several areas that align with UNH President Jim Dean’s strategic pillars.
The Class of 2027 will arrive with the highest average GPA of any incoming undergraduate class in UNH history, as well as the highest percentage of merit scholarships received and the highest number of students ranked among the top 10% in their high school classes.
Dean’s strategic priorities for UNH include the aspiration to be among the nation’s top 25 public universities in the most important measures of academic performance and feature a focus on enhancing student success and wellbeing and expanding academic and research excellence.
“Bringing in a class of this caliber is an achievement we can all be proud of, and it’s a testament to the talent and character of the students as well as the tireless work of our faculty and staff to ensure that everyone can find their best fit here,” Dean says. “These students will continue to elevate UNH as a place that offers an invaluable educational experience, and we can’t wait to see the incredible things they will accomplish here.”
The first-year class was carefully selected with an emphasis on ensuring that students are positioned to succeed at UNH and beyond. They will have access to a deep and diverse pool of experiential opportunities beginning in their first year, all of which help fuel UNH’s strong job placement rates – 94% of 2021 grads were employed or furthering their education within seven months of graduation and 86% earned jobs in fields related to their major.
The class boasts a UNH record 3.66 average GPA – representing significant growth in 10 years since the 2013 class arrived with a 3.35 GPA – and includes 259 honors students and seven valedictorians.
UNH will continue to work with transfer applicants, but the current incoming students already represent a wide spectrum of backgrounds and situations, as well. More than one in five students in the class will be the first in their family to attend college, as 23% of the group is first-generation. Class members come from 43 states and 14 countries and include 10 veterans and 72 recruited athletes.
The incoming class will also benefit from several new offerings focused on improving the student experience by enhancing overall wellbeing.
“UNH has invested significantly in student success over the last year” says Provost Wayne Jones. “Among several new initiatives are a robust residence life curriculum and the new Institute for Student Success, designed to holistically guide students through the transition to UNH and offer ongoing support throughout their journey. We’ve also invested in additional mental health counseling services as well as an academic advising program to better individualize the guidance available to each student.”
Jones added that UNH has also invested in additional professional advisors to enable faculty to fill deeper mentorship roles and has supplemented its college-based tutoring centers with university supported peer tutoring that is free for all students.
The new programs, expanded investment in the student experience and carefully selected class were strategic decisions made not just to align with the president’s outlined priorities but also to help UNH continue to fuel the state’s evolving workforce needs – 54% of 2021 graduates remained in New Hampshire to live and work.
“We are incredibly proud of the students who have committed to the UNH Class of 2027 and know they will be amazing additions to the Wildcat community,” says Kimberly DeRego, vice provost of enrollment management.