It looks like my alma mater—the University of Scranton—is suffering the same decline in enrollment that the rest of academia is, and trying to spin their way out of it.
In the latest issue of the alumni magazine, the Scranton Journal, we learn that the Class of 2021 (I was the class of 1981) had 10,000 applications but numbers 902, indicating a highly rigorous selections process, or at least hinting at one. By way of comparison, the class of 2020 has an average SAT score of 1,130 while the class of 2021 overpowers them at a 1,187 SAT average.
Then, the comparison breaks down. We find out that 458 high schools were represented in the class of 2020 but only 430 in the class of 2021. Moreover, the number of legacies has gone down from 111 to 94.
Can it be that fewer high schools and legacies are represented because fewer students are showing up? Maybe some of the university’s new innovations like its Business Education for Justice Seminar, are just not crowd pleasers.
Nevertheless, a student body with higher grades, albeit with a smaller number of actual bodies, should arguably be an academic goal. Still and all, it’s a bit reminiscent of the joke from the Stalin purges: We have fewer and better Russians.