UB welcomes largest freshman class in the university's history

University enrolls over 4,000 freshman students


The class of 2021 is the largest freshman class in UB’s history.

This fall, UB enrolled 4,045 students—the largest freshman class in the SUNY system. The freshman class is made up of 3,709 domestic students and 366 international students. Applications are up 22 percent since 2013, and this year the university received 27,800 applications, the highest number of applications in its history.

Increased on and off campus recruitment, improved marketing and increased rankings helped higher enrollment, according to a university statement.

“As we’ve grown our prominence, we know that more students are going to apply to UB,” Lee Melvin, Vice Provost for Enrollment, said in a statement.

UB is ranked No. 97 in U.S. World News & Report’s ranking of national universities and has risen 24 spots in the past decade. UB is also nationally ranked No. 41 in public colleges, up two places from last year’s No. 43.

UB admissions decision process considers both academic and “non-cognitive” factors, Melvin said. Non-cognitive factors include extracurricular activities, a personal essay, letters of recommendation, creative talent, demonstrated leadership, community service and socioeconomic environment.

UB’s new “brand and identity strategy” also played a part in increased enrollment numbers, according to Nancy Paton, vice president of University Communications. The new strategy is the result of a year-long research project. It aims to educate prospective students about what makes UB unique and what impacts it has had on the local community and the world.

“As more people become aware of what makes UB a great university, more top students will apply to UB and will want to enroll here,” Paton said, “More faculty will be drawn to the university and our current students, employees and alumni will feel a greater sense of pride in UB.”

Jeanine Sealtiel, a freshman nursing major, chose UB because of the myriad of clubs and activities that are offered.

“You’re never bored. You can always go somewhere; you’re not limited to just staying in your dorm,” Sealtiel said.

While Sealtiel is excited to be a part of UB’s biggest freshman class in history, she is concerned about academic competition.

“I feel like it’s cool, but in the long run it could be really competitive…so that’s a little scary,” she said.

Other students chose UB purposely for its big class size and large student body so they could make more friends and take advantage of more extramural and scholarly opportunities.

Genesis Dumas, a freshman nursing major, was worried coming to UB from the Bronx would be a difficult transition, but that wasn’t the case. She made friends quickly in her dorm and enjoys UB’s size and diversity.

“It’s more diverse than I thought it would be and the food is also great,” Dumas said.

Freshman business major Marissa Lemieux was also drawn to UB’s size.

“I wanted to be able to meet a lot of new people and make connections. And I feel like it just gives you more opportunities in general,” Lemieux said.

She is enthusiastic about being a part of this year’s record breaking freshman class because she feels like she is a part of history.

“It’s pretty cool to say I’m a part of something big like this, to be able to say hey, I was a part of that,” Lemieux said.

Maddy Fowler is an assistant features editor and can be reached at maddy.fowler@ubspectrum.com