President's Blog

Mason growing in size and stature at the same time

Below is a message I shared today with faculty and staff:

Dear Colleague,

This fall, we welcomed the most impressive incoming class in George Mason University’s history. The freshman class is the largest, the most diverse and boasts the strongest academic credentials of any incoming class ever to enter Mason.

Our latest group of students has driven enrollment past 37,000 students for the first time, a testament to our mission of being a world-class research university that values access.

Take a closer look at the details:

• We welcomed 3,720 freshmen, a 6 percent increase over last year, and 7 percent more out-of-state students.
• Our minority students now comprise more than 50 percent of the incoming freshman class for the first time.
• The average SAT score of 1212 is 15 points higher than the previous class, and the incoming freshman GPA rose to 3.70 from 3.66.

In addition, we welcomed the largest number of transfer students in school history – 3,139 students, up nearly 25 percent from just three years ago. This is a credit to our partnership with Northern Virginia Community College.

Mason’s dual mission of being both a model of academic excellence and having a strong commitment to access is why it has accounted for 48 percent of the public university enrollment growth in Virginia over the past decade.

We are a Tier 1 research university that charges less than many doctoral universities, and we are right in the middle of the economically and culturally vibrant Washington, D.C. region.

This has helped us remain one of the best values in higher education while also being the largest public university in Virginia. And when our students leave, they have one of the lowest student loan default rates in the nation while earning the highest starting salaries compared with their Virginia public university peers.

Mason is proving that you can grow in size and stature at the same time. In the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities, Mason is top 100 in the U.S. and top 300 in the world. It is top 150 in the latest U.S. News & World Report’s national universities rankings (top 70 among public universities).

This recognition and the fact that Mason is providing opportunities for more students to pursue their academic goals is a credit to the outstanding work of our faculty and staff.