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Record-breaking number of applications result in 385 new SMC students

| Friday, August 23, 2019

Saint Mary’s will be opening its circle this fall to 385 new Belles in the first-year class.

With 2,032 students applying for the class of 2023, the College received a record-breaking number of applications. Approximately 18% of the incoming freshman class applied early decision, director of admission Sarah Gallagher Dvorak said in an email.

Diane Park | The Observer

The Office of Admission seeks out students demonstrating an academic background that will prepare them well for the classroom, Gallagher Dvorak said. The average GPA of incoming freshmen is 3.8, and more than half of the class held membership in the National Honor Society or other honor societies, she said.

“It is our goal to ensure that students are growing and developing in a broad cross-section of academic areas,” Gallagher Dvorak said. “Additionally, we look for students who already exemplify the core values that make our College special: A passion and calling for serving others, leadership skills and a diversity of interests and variety of life experiences and backgrounds to help enrich the campus community.”

The class of 2023 includes an impressive variety of interests and talents, Gallagher Dvorak said, with nearly 40% filling leadership positions in their high school clubs and organizations, and about 70% contributing to service work, with many having completed mission trips around the world and a number having been actively involved in political campaigns. Additionally, 69% of the class was involved in athletics, and 26% were captains of their sports teams, she said.

“We also have many musicians, artists and thespians,” Gallagher Dvorak said. “A children’s book author, a hero who saved a child’s life in an earthquake, a championship level Irish dancer and an entrepreneur who started her own video production company are just a few of the impressive young women who make up the class of 2023.”

About 18% of those enrolled share legacy connections, a slightly smaller percentage of the class than last year, Gallagher Dvorak said. However, approximately 28% of the freshman class are students from underrepresented populations — a significant increase in diversity, she said.

“In recent years, we’ve seen continual increases in diversity from one class to another, but we saw a steeper spike in students from underrepresented populations for this class than we’ve seen in past years,” Gallagher Dvorak said. “We’re proud of our continued work to enroll a more diverse population of students to Saint Mary’s as we value the richness [that] diversity brings to our classrooms and the campus community as a whole.”

This incoming class represents 31 states and two countries, Gallagher Dvorak said, and come from incredibly diverse ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds.

“They will learn from one another and help to expand the world views of their fellow Belles as they interact both in and out of the classroom,” Gallagher Dvorak said. “Just like Notre Dame and Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s prides itself on educating both the mind and the heart. We give students opportunities to develop intellectually and professionally, but also personally, emotionally and spiritually. The personalized nature of a Saint Mary’s education and the focus on empowering our young women to become the best version of themselves will set the class of 2023 up for great success in the future.”

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