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Class of 2017 raises bar

The numbers are in for the class for the class of 2017. And Brad Pochard, associate vice president for admission, is pleased.

The acceptance rate dropped to the low 60s, a rate not seen since the Great Recession. The average SAT score is up 36 points to 1286 and the average high school grade-point average remained steady at 3.91 on a weighted scale (a scale that factors in higher reported grades from such courses as Advanced Placement and Honors, among others). The unweighted GPA average is 3.65.
The class of 2017 (750 students) includes 51 student body or class presidents and 252 who captained an athletic team. The number of international and exchange students in the class rose to 53 from 45. So did the number of Hispanic students, growing to 35 from 25 last year. The number of African-Americans dropped to 34 compared to 47 in 2012.

The number of applicants remained steady at 6,124, compared to 6,212 last year. Student yield, the percentage of accepted students who enroll, jumped from 16 percent last year to 21 percent. That’s the first time student yield has increased since 2007.

While financial incentives such as scholarship aid can boost yield and academic profiles, Pochard says pressing the flesh with prospective students, parents and high school counselors are factors too.

He said 15 faculty made roughly 150 telephone calls to talented prospective students this spring. More than a handful of professors and many alumni also participated in admission receptions in Connecticut, Boston, Charlotte, Washington, D.C., Columbia, Dallas, Nashville and Birmingham.

“The idea is to put prospective students and parents in front of successful alumni and in front of alumni,” says Pochard. “The phone calls are important, too. Just like the star athlete likes to hear from the head coach, the academically talented students enjoy talking to our faculty.”

Pochard said the student yield from those attending the receptions was 63 percent, while about 30 percent of the students who received a faculty phone call eventually enrolled.

“Those are very powerful numbers,” he said. “The students like that personal contact. It’s a reflection of the experience they will have as Furman students.”

Last updated September 3, 2013
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director