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University News

UMass Amherst Welcomes Approximately 5,550 First-Year Students to Campus

The Class of 2026 represents one of the most diverse and accomplished in university’s history

AMHERST, Mass. – After reviewing a record number of more than 45,000 applications, the University of Massachusetts Amherst this week will welcome a diverse and accomplished class of approximately 5,550 first-year students to campus.

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First-year students will begin moving in Thursday, Sept. 1, and all students are encouraged to participate in Welcome to the U events, leadership opportunities and community building programs beginning this week and continuing through September.

The Class of 2026 ranks among the most diverse in the university’s history, with 36% of the class composed of ALANA (African, Latino/Hispanic, Asian, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and Native American) students and 16% of the class being under-represented minority students. Female students account for 54% of the class. The campus will also welcome 1,010 new transfer students to the campus community.

The academic profile of the incoming class is outstanding. This group of first-year students has the highest average high school GPA (4.02) and highest average combined SAT score (1358) of any class during the past decade (submission of test scores is optional).

Overall fall undergraduate enrollment, including transfer students, is projected to be approximately 22,900 (an increase of 155 students) with 75 percent of them being Massachusetts residents. 

The university received a record 45,405 applications for this year’s entering class. The size of the class, approximately 5,550 students, is the second-largest first-year class in university history. Massachusetts students number 3,635, or 66 percent. There are 1,440 students from out of state and 475 international students. 

Commonwealth Honors College will welcome 700 students – the largest group since 2014 – with outstanding high school GPA (4.40), combined SAT scores (1421) and ACT scores (32.4).

This is the 16th year that the university offered an Early Action (EA) admission program whereby students apply early for admission and receive notification of their acceptance by mid-December. The number of students using the EA option has increased annually from about 8,000 applicants in 2009 to 24,000 this year. A little more than half of the students apply through EA, and more than 3,075 students admitted through EA will enroll in the fall.