Bigger Class, New Standards for Loyola

Michael McDevitt | The PHOENIXRegis Residence Hall housed first-year students on its first and second floor during the 2016-2017 academic year due to the class of 2020’s record-breaking size.

The class of 2020 was Loyola’s largest incoming class on record with more than 2,600 full-time students. Now, students will see an even larger class size for the class of 2021, and a class that raises the university’s average standards.

The class of 2021 is estimated to be a couple hundred students greater than the class of 2020, according to Director of Undergraduate Admissions Erin Moriarty.

Moriarty said that the university could see a future drop in the current acceptance rate, as Loyola is seeing a higher average GPA and ACT score in the 2017-18 incoming class, which she credits to Loyola’s new national acclaim.

In September, Loyola was ranked number 99 out of 100 in Best Colleges in National Universities list.

“We have definitely gained more national and international recognition, particularly over the last five years,” Moriarty said. “Steadily, we’ve had increases in our application pool, but this year we saw a higher amount of students apply who had increased GPA and ACT.”

While Loyola’s acceptance standards haven’t yet changed, this year’s class has a slightly higher average test score and GPA in high school, Moriarty said. The class of 2020 had an average ACT score of 26 and an average 3.74 high school GPA, while the incoming class is said to have a .1 to .2 higher GPA average, and one to two points more on the ACT.

The university also saw a decrease in the amount of applicants with lower GPA, which Moriarty said could be caused by students choosing not to apply due to Loyola’s high standards and average test scores.

High schoolers can view a university’s average accepted student on sites such as Naviance and Overgrad.

“I think the application process was honestly a really easy process, but I was worried about acceptance because my test scores weren’t quite at the average that I saw on Naviance,” said Loyola incoming first-year Sarah Yun. “Because of this, I submitted two writing samples and everything like that to balance out those scores.”

Because Loyola does not use the Common Application, an undergraduate admission application that nearly 700 colleges around the United States utilize, students have the option of attaching more than one document on their Loyola applications. Some students choose to submit two essays, or a resume and an essay, to better reflect who they are beyond their test scores.

Yun attended Niles West High School in Illinois, where Loyola is becoming a more popular school choice for her classmates. Yun said she knew about fifteen other people committed to the university. Other incoming first-years echoed that idea, with some even attesting to Loyola’s new popularity overseas.

“Being an international student, not a lot of people know about colleges outside of our country. Still, a few of my friends from school applied and I know of a few of us who were accepted,” said Alessandra Miglietti, an incoming international student from Caracas, Venezuela.

Even though the new class marks the beginning of higher standards for Loyola, the standards for housing these new students will remain the same. In 2016, Loyola implemented their converted housing plan, which changes some double occupancy rooms to triple occupancy rooms, uses some lounges as bedrooms and houses new students in Regis Residence Hall, which is usually reserved for upperclassmen. Associate Director of Housing Operations at Loyola Jennifer Hart O’Brien said that Residence Life plans on continuing this in the year 2017-2018.

Still, new changes could be on the horizon for future classes.

“Residence Life has engaged The Scion Group, a group that provides consulting and advisory services to student housing organizations, to assist us in a market demand study to determine our 10-year plan. This will include an occupancy management strategy and will propose possible renovation and new construction projects,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said that any other rumors of building a new residence hall for the 2017-18 school year are unsubstantiated.

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