Sets records for geographic and racial/ethnic diversity; retention rate is highest ever
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 9, 2012) —This year’s entering class of 350 at Transylvania University is the second largest in school history, tied last year’s class as the most academically prepared and set school records for geographic and racial/ethnic diversity, Transy President R. Owen Williams announced last week.
Transylvania also set a new school record for freshman to sophomore retention, with 88 percent of last year’s entering class returning this fall. The national average for freshman to sophomore retention rates at private, nonprofit colleges is 79 percent, according to The College Board. Total enrollment is 1,074 students.
Transylvania’s high retention rate can be attributed to many factors, including a student/faculty ratio of 11:1 and an average class size of 14, with no classes having more than 35 students and 47 percent of classes having fewer than 10 students. Members of the class of 2016 have an average ACT of 27, a middle 50 percent ACT range of 24-30 and an average GPA of 3.72. Forty-one percent were ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class. They include 34 students who took part in either the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program or the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts.
Geographically, the class is the most diverse in 38 years and includes 99 students from outside Kentucky who make up 28 percent of the class. Ohio led the way in out-of-state students, followed by Tennessee, Indiana and three states in a tie—Florida, Texas and West Virginia.
Twelve international students comprise the largest such group in school history. They come from China, Mexico, Poland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and Vietnam. The 47 students who identify themselves as a racial or ethnic minority comprise 13 percent of the class, also a school record.
U.S. News & World Report ranking
Transylvania University moved up six places—from 81 to 75—in the 2013 U.S. News & World Report college rankings released in September, while also being named to the publication’s Great Schools at Great Prices list. It is Transylvania’s highest ever ranking since becoming a part of the national liberal arts colleges category.
In its Best Colleges 2013 guidebook, U.S. News ranks 251 national liberal arts colleges and universities in statistical measures such as student graduation and retention rates, financial resources, commitment to instruction, class size, faculty pay, student selectivity and alumni giving, as well as a subjective measure of academic reputation.
The Great Schools at Great Prices list recognizes colleges and universities for the value of the educational experience they provide in relation to the cost of obtaining a degree. Transylvania’s tuition and fees fall below the national average for comparable private liberal arts colleges.