If you think the freshman sitting next to you in class is smarter than you, they probably are ― or at least they got higher grades in high school.
According to Pipe Dream’s analysis of admissions statistics for the classes of 2021, 2020, 2015 and 2010, the average high school GPA of enrolled students has increased almost two full percentage points since 2006, when the class of 2010 began at Binghamton University. The average freshman in the class of 2021 also likely hails from Long Island or New York City, is enrolled in the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences and is white.
Admission to BU continues to be competitive; of the four SUNY university centers (BU, University at Albany, University at Buffalo and Stony Brook University), only Stony Brook University (40.7 percent in 2016) rivals BU in selectiveness.
“The caliber of this incoming class is a testament to the University’s distinction as a top-tier institution, and we are honored to welcome such an impressive crop of students,” said Provost Donald Nieman.
The racial composition of BU hasn’t changed much since the class of 2010 was admitted, when 6 percent of students identified as black or African American. In this year’s class, just 4 percent of freshmen identify as black. Among all SUNY institutions, the percent of students who identify as black is 10.8 percent. Eleven percent of students identify as Hispanic or Latino in this year’s freshman class, the same percent as the classes of 2015 and 2020.
The number of out-of-state students at BU has decreased as the number of downstate students has picked up; fifty-three percent of the class of 2021 hails from New York City or Long Island, an increase from 49 percent in the class of 2010, 48 percent in the class of 2015 and 51 percent in the class of 2020. Just 6 percent of this year’s freshmen come from states other than New York, down from 9 percent of the class of 2010 and a high of 18 percent in the class of 2015.
International students make up 5 percent of the class of 2021, down from 7 percent in last year’s freshman class and 8 percent in the class of 2010. International BU undergraduates are mostly likely to be from China, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, India and Japan.
The majority of first-year students — 72 percent in the class of 2021 — are enrolled in the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences. The Watson School of Engineering has the second-largest enrollment, followed by the School of Management, College of Community and Public Affairs and Decker School of Nursing.