UMass Amherst Welcomes Highest Achieving First-Year Class as New Semester Begins at Flagship Campus

Gateway sign

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst will welcome its most academically accomplished entering class when students return to the Commonwealth’s flagship campus over Labor Day weekend.

UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy says, “Our campus continues to attract extraordinarily talented students from throughout Massachusetts, across the nation and around the globe. The impressive academic profile of the Class of 2021 is a testament to our excellence.”

The size of the entering class, approximately 4,700 students, is slightly larger than last year’s class of 4,643.Their average SAT score is 1268 and high school grade point average is 3.89. On average, students in the incoming class rank in the top fifth of their high school class. 

This year’s incoming class is more diverse. The ALANA (African-American, Latino, Asian, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and Native American) population will increase from about 29 percent to approximately 30 percent and the underrepresented minority population will increase from 13 percent to 16 percent. Men represent 49 percent of the class and women 51 percent.

In-state enrollment increased by 32 students. Total undergraduate enrollment is estimated at 21,864, up from last year’s 21,734. Massachusetts residents will again comprise nearly three-fourths of the first-year class. The numbers of domestic out-of-state students and international students increased slightly this year. Total in-state enrollment will be about 16,872 or 77 percent of the student body.

Commonwealth Honors College will welcome an entering class of around 660. Their average SAT score is 1386 and their high school GPA is 4.27.

This is the 14th year of consecutive growth and another record for first-year applications for admission. About 41,800 students applied for admission, a 2 percent increase over the prior year. Although there was a decrease in out-of-state applications, international student applications increased by 16 percent. Admission to UMass Amherst continues to be selective—only 58 percent of students who applied were admitted for the fall, substantially lower than the 64 percent acceptance rate in fall 2008 

This is the 12th year that the campus 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 3,000 applicants in 2006 to 17,780 this year. About two-fifths of students apply through EA, 76 percent were admitted, and more than 2,600 will enroll in the fall, representing 55 percent of the entering class.

Along with the first-year class, nearly 1,150 transfer students will be arriving on campus this fall, slightly more than last year. The transfers include 370 community college graduates enrolling through the MassTransfer program. MassTransfer guarantees admission to Massachusetts community college students who complete a designated program with a GPA of 2.5 or above. The overall GPA for the entering transfer students is 3.36.