FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- As freshmen began their college adventure at Sacred Heart University, news arrived that the school has been ranked one of the fastest-growing Roman Catholic colleges in the country.
A study conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education examined student enrollment at 111 Catholic schools from 2004-14 and Sacred Heart ranked 10th for growth.
“To be recognized as one of the fastest-growing Catholic colleges is a testament to our hard work and desire to create an outstanding community for our students,” said university President John J. Petillo. “Sacred Heart has amazing energy, and we are focused on providing a superior education.”
With 1,343 students, Sacred Heart’s class of 2020 joins the previous three years as the largest incoming classes in the school's history. Students were chosen from the largest applicant pool the University has ever had, comprising 10,108 applicants.
“A Sacred Heart education is currently in great demand,” said Jim Barquinero, senior vice president, Enrollment, Student Affairs and Athletics. “Certainly our competitors recognize both our quantitative growth and qualitative excellence over the last five years. But most importantly, we are being recognized by teachers, guidance counselors and coaches in secondary institutions. Our reputation is growing exponentially through word of mouth.”
Sacred Heart is experiencing enrollment success while remaining selective, with an admission rate of 57 percent. The University also welcomed more than 150 transfer students this semester. In addition to its size, the new freshman class also distinguishes itself by its academic accomplishments, as evidenced by an average high-school GPA of 3.46. The students hail from 13 countries, 25 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. The most common states for enrollment are Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Ninety percent of the class members will live on campus.
While freshmen were thrilled to start their college careers, sophomores were antsy to get inside their brand-new home, Jorge Bergoglio Hall, named for Pope Francis. Sacred Heart's new residence hall is the first university building to so honor the pontiff. The building, which took nearly two years to complete, houses 216 students in two-bedroom, four-person pods with a shared bathroom.
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