Fairfield’s growth and competitiveness has proven to be a theme for yet another year. Last week, Fairfield News reported the numerous records set by the most recent applicant pool whose size was 20 percent higher than last year’s. 18,502 total applications. 46 states and 73 countries represented. An average GPA of 3.96. An admit rate of 33 percent. These are just some of the historic statistics behind Fairfield’s incoming Class of 2028. 

Corry Unis, the Vice President for Enrollment Management at Fairfield University, has expressed excitement on behalf of his office in welcoming the new group of students: “The Division of Enrollment Management is so thrilled with the increase in prospective student interest in Fairfield University. It is evident that students and families recognize the value behind a Fairfield University degree.”

To say Fairfield is becoming more competitive would be an understatement. The drastic shift in the number of applications speaks for itself. Not only did the application pool increase by nearly 20 percent from last year, but the new acceptance rate of 33 percent presents a significant decrease from last year’s 44.9 percent. 

 In addition, the new average GPA of 3.96 is up from the 3.85 reported for the Class of 2027, a notable increase in just a year. These statistics not only speak to Fairfield’s seemingly increasing popularity, but also to the academic strength of the incoming class as well. 

So, what’s driving these numbers? While applications for Fairfield are certainly up, the total number of college applications are up in general. In November, Forbes reported that college applications showed a strong surge, as the number of applications Common App received by this time was already up 12% from last year, translating to almost 89,000 more applicants. 

“Fairfield has become much more competitive over the last five years, while some schools saw increases in application activity, our growth of more than 50% is especially meaningful,” remarked Unis. 

Yield season – the time in between acceptance emails being sent out and the May 1st deadline for incoming first-years to commit to college – has become more chaotic for the Office of Admissions at Fairfield University as they use different models to inform their admission strategy and attempt to gauge which admitted students will sign up to become a Stag in the fall. 

In deciding whether or not to attend Fairfield, accepted students may turn to recent University rankings for some guidance. Fairfield was recently ranked among the Top 125 Best National Universities by the U.S. News & World Report. Specific schools and programs also continue to receive several accolades as well, such as the Charles F. Dolan School of Business which was ranked No. 118 for Best Undergraduate Business Programs, the School of Engineering & Computing ranked No. 86 in the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs Category and the Egan School ranked 112 for Best Undergraduate Nursing Programs. 

In a press release published by Fairfield News this past September, Fairfield University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, remarked “Fairfield’s rise over recent years has elevated the University as one of the best investments in American higher education and one of the most respected Jesuit Catholic institutions in the country.”

As it’s growing in popularity, the University is increasing in size and space constraints continue to be a work in progress. In September, Fairfield unveiled a new residence hall – Sr. Thea Bowman Hall–that finished construction at the end of the summer and is complete with suite-style living designated for sophomores. Currently, Fairfield is in the process of constructing another residence hall next to Faber Hall, to continue to accommodate the larger influx of students. 

While space still proves to be a slight issue, students nonetheless remark that it feels rewarding to attend a University that is growing in demand. 

“It appears to me that our hidden gem of a school is not so hidden anymore. With its growth, I’ve noticed new activities and clubs forming, along with the increased academic competition … Fairfield is etching away its spot on the map offering a high-quality Jesuit education,” reflected Colby Zelano ’24.

Admitted students have the opportunity to attend one of the two admitted students day hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions in April, referred to as “Fairfield in Focus.” The first is taking place April 7, and the second will be on April 13. 

During these days, members of the Class of 2028 will have the opportunity to attend an academic fair with academic presentations from students and professors from various departments. There will also be an opportunity to explore campus and student life through a campus tour or by attending the Student Life Fair. The event will conclude with the President’s Reception and Closing Address.

“We look forward to meeting with our admitted students throughout various on-campus admission events this spring,” stated Unis.  

For admitted students who may be deciding between attending Fairfield University and another institution, Unis emphasizes the value one can find in a Fairfield education, “Our shared Jesuit identity is tangible, our community is welcoming and our outcomes are truly in the top 1% of all colleges.”

About The Author

Junior | Assistant News Editor | Finance/Economics Major | Digital Journalism Minor

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