The collection of institutions that make up the Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey continues to be committed to living, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and connectedness. After more than a year of mainly virtual learning, our institutions have welcomed a remarkable Class of 2025 to their New Jersey campuses. This impressive and talented group of incoming students bring unique contributions that will make their institutions and our great state of New Jersey stronger.
Founded in 1939 as Caldwell College for Women, and became co-educational in 1986, Caldwell University had more incoming men than women in the freshman class for the first time this year. Though overall, the female population is 66%, this year, the number of men in the freshman class was over 50%; 53% of the freshman class identify as male. This fall Caldwell also welcomed freshmen from 21 different countries; the most coming from Ghana and Nepal.
At Centenary University, there has been an increased number of new students fluent in secondary languages. Many of the Centenary Class of 2025 students are first- and second-generation Americans fluent in Spanish, dialects (Caribbean), traditions and cultural expectations.
Princeton University’s Class of 2025 arrives from around the globe, embracing increased numbers of first-generation and lower-income students. The Princeton Class of 2025 hail from all 50 states — plus Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands — and 58 different countries, the 1,345 members of the first-year class includes more than 200 students who deferred enrollment from the Classes of 2023 and 2024. Eighteen percent are first-generation college students, 22% are lower-income students eligible for federal Pell grants and 62% qualify for financial aid. Forty-eight percent of the incoming students are U.S. citizens or permanent residents who self-identify as people of color, including biracial and multiracial students. Thirteen percent of the class are international citizens. Some countries represented in the Class of 2025 include Albania, China, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, the Netherlands and Rwanda.
This fall, Rider University welcomed the Class of 2025 from 25 states, and international students from Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Jamaica, Norway, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and Sweden. 48% the Rider Class of 2025 is from underrepresented groups, and 34% report that they are first-generation college students. Approximately 60% of new students identify as female and 40% as male. About 8% of the Class of 2025 consists of legacy students, meaning a family member previously attended Rider.
Saint Elizabeth University welcomed its first fully in-person freshman class since becoming a university on July 1, 2020 (formerly College of Saint Elizabeth since its founding in 1899). Having just graduated its first co-educational traditional class in May 2020, the Class of 2025 is 53% female and 47% male. The majority of students come from throughout New Jersey, with students also from California, Kansas, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas, as well as Japan and Albania. Many of our students have international roots (some are dual citizens), including Brazil, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nigeria and Honduras. More than 46% report being first-generation college students. Saint Elizabeth University’s Class of 2025 also includes one of the first female students in the country to play collegiate baseball.
The Class of 2025 at Seton Hall University has broken records for the most applicants, largest class, and it boasts the highest average GPA in Seton Hall history as well as the highest average SAT and ACT scores. While sustaining academic excellence in its incoming class, Seton Hall has also held its commitment to diversity in all forms and its identity as a university of opportunity: nearly one third of all incoming students (32.72 percent) are Pell eligible and more than 35 percent are the first in their family to attend college; 52.4 percent identify as students of color (itself a Seton Hall record) and nearly 58 percent are female (also a record). Of those attending, more than 1 in four are from out of state but given restrictions on international travel still in effect, less than 2 percent hail from outside the United States.
Stevens Institute of Technology‘s incoming undergraduate class is both Stevens’ most diverse and most academically accomplished in university history. The incoming class hails not only from all regions of the United States, but represents 15 additional nations including Greece, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan and Vietnam. The expected percentage of enrolled students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, at 21%, a new Stevens high, continuing an upward trend that has seen the percentage nearly double in just five years. And the incoming class brings record standardized-test prowess: those first-year students who chose to submit SAT scores averaged 1432 on the standardized test.
There continues to be a New Jersey independent college that is a good fit for the individuals that make up the diverse world we live in. We look forward to seeing the contributions this talented and diverse Class of 2025 will contribute to our state and the world.
The complete list of ICUNJ institutions are as follows:
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Georgian Court University
Saint Elizabeth University
Saint Peter’s University
Seton Hall University
Stevens Institute of Technology