UMass Amherst Welcomes Highest-Achieving First-Year Class When School Opens Labor Day Weekend

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst will welcome its most academically accomplished first-year class when the state’s flagship public campus starts the new academic year on Labor Day weekend.
The Class of 2016 includes approximately 4,560 students with an academic profile that is at an historic high—SAT scores have increased by seven points, compared to last year, to 1196, and the high school grade point average has increased from 3.64 to 3.66. On average students rank in the top fifth of their high school class.
UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said, “We are attracting outstanding students from across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the country, and that speaks highly of the value that UMass Amherst offers to students and their families. We welcome our new students to the university community and promise to provide them with life-changing educational opportunities.”
The past year represented another record for first-year applications for admission. More than 34,400 students applied for admission, a 6 percent increase from the prior year, and an increase of 9 percent in out-of-state applications. Applications have more than doubled since fall of 2003. Admission is increasingly selective—62 percent of students who applied were admitted for the fall, compared with an acceptance rate of 66 percent in fall 2011 and 82 percent in fall 2003.
Total undergraduate enrollment this fall is expected to be 20,400, a planned overall reduction of 162 students following nine straight years of growth, to better match faculty and facility resources to the size of the student body. This year’s incoming class represents a planned decrease of about 3 percent, or 125 students from the previous year.
Demographic characteristics of the entering class are similar to last year’s. The percentage of ALANA (African, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American) students is 21 percent of the class, and the percentage of women is 49 percent.
This is the seventh year that UMass Amherst has offered an Early Action (EA) admission program whereby students apply early for admission and receive notification of their acceptance by mid-December. The numbers of students using the EA option has increased annually, and grew by 12 percent in 2012. About one-third of students applied through EA, almost four-fifths were admitted, and about 1,900 will enroll in the fall, representing more than 40 percent of the entering class.


Contact: Ed Blaguszewski, 413/545-0444;