With orientation approaching, the class of 2022 is getting ready to bring new stories, perspectives and interests to Gonzaga.
According to Julie McCulloh, dean of admissions, there is always a spike in applicants in a big year at the university.
“Basketball might garner interest and help kids apply but, it’s really going to come down to academic fit, financial aid, is it in a part of the country the student wants to be in, what other schools did the student get into, McCulloh said. “So, whether they come or not is actually a different story.”
Lina Waughman, 18, is an incoming first-year student from Woodinville, Washington.
She said she committed to Gonzaga for the community and the academics.
“I love all the chances and opportunities I now have,” she said. “The classes made me excited to learn.”
McCulloh said that this class seems to be intellectually curious.
“This class struck me as being really thoughtful in their answers and why they want to study something and they have given thought to what they want to do, she said.”
This year’s class is the smallest of the last three to enter Gonzaga with 1,203 students as of July 12. However, this number is not official until the students arrive on campus in August.
McCulloh said that her department’s goal has been between 1,200 and 1,250 students for the past few years and it has been able to successfully meet this goal with the class of 2020 having 1,270 and the class of 2021 with 1,257.
The size of classes was very appealing, Waughman said. As an incoming biochemistry student the small classes and the opportunity for undergraduate research was one of the main reasons she loves GU.
When broken down, the 1,203 students making up the class of 2022 are 53 percent female and 47 percent male. This breakdown remains consistent with the last three years.
Racial diversity remains consistent with the past few years with students of color making up 26 percent of the incoming class. Breaking it down a bit further 70 percent is white, 11 percent Hispanic, 8 percent Asian and 1 percent black.
State representation remains consistent with past years. Washington leads with most students as it has for the past four years with 47 percent of incoming students living in state. Like the past few years this is followed by California, Oregon, Colorado and Arizona.
Internationally, five countries are represented: Philippines, Ethiopia, Greece, India and Moldova.
As a Jesuit institution religion is an important piece of a GU education. According to admissions, there are 27 religions represented in the class of 2022. Catholic being the most common, with 42 percent of the class identifying with the religion. The next largest group is people who stated no religion at 29 percent.
The average GPA for the class of 2022 is the highest its ever been at 3.79.
Overall, there is a new, unique, intellectual and diverse class about to enter the Gonzaga community. However, “one of the things that resonates year after year is that students who come here want to be engaged,” McCulloh said.
Riley Utley is a staff writer.