A Larger, More Diverse, Highly Anticipated New Dragon Class

The incoming class of 2021 has already exceeded a number of expectations — in academics, diversity and in their resiliency displayed in becoming Dragons despite the ongoing pandemic — before ever stepping foot on campus.

This year’s incoming class of Dragons will soon start their new chapter at Drexel University — closing the book on what for them was an unexpected end to their high school days, and for the University, marking the end to 18 months spent apart with a triumphant return to campus this fall.

Not only is this class larger than last year’s, they are also one of the most academically talented and diverse that the University has ever seen.

Are you itching to know more about these highly anticipated members of the Class of 2025 and 2026? DrexelNow crunched the numbers with the help of Enrollment Management and Student Success, and here’s what we learned:

Most notably, Drexel will welcome more than 2,800 first-year students this term. This is after receiving close to 3,200 deposits back in the spring, with a fall class that is an 20% increase from the incoming class of 2020.

“With the number of high-school graduates in the Northeast continuing to decline, and the shift to more remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a huge accomplishment to recruit a new class of this caliber and size,” University President John Fry wrote in a message to the Drexel community back in May.

This new class has not only increased in size, but in the range of diversity in terms of demographic and geographic composition. One in every five students identifies as a racial or ethnic minority, and nearly one of every three new Dragons is a first-generation college student.

Nearly 9% of this class is comprised of international students, with the countries boasting the most new Dragons being India, Vietnam, Nigeria, Pakistan and Ghana.

With an incredible number of students joining our community from afar, we also can’t wait to welcome the more than 41% coming to Drexel from right here in the Philadelphia area. The top five states our incoming class hail from include Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and California.

The incoming class of 2021 is also the first to be welcomed through Drexel’s test-optional admissions policy adopted last year to offer greater flexibility and alleviate some of the stress of the college admissions process during an already challenging time.

Evelyn Thimba, senior vice president of Enrollment Management, said the University is pleased with the outcomes of the inaugural cycle using a test-optional admissions model.

“The adoption of this model was a direct result of the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global educational systems, leading to testing center closures that lasted for months,” she said. “The data from this inaugural class provides further evidence of the unequal impact of the pandemic, especially among communities of color. We have extended this pilot for an additional two admissions cycles, which will allow us to collect data that will help us make informed decisions on the future of standardized testing requirements for admission to Drexel.”

This new class boasts an increase of 20 points in the average SAT score, as well as the same high school GPA (3.8).

Here are some more stats on our incredible crop of new Dragons:

·      They call 41 different states and 61 different countries home.

·      52% female students

·      By ethnicity, this class consists of those who self-identify as:

o   41%  white or Caucasian

o   23% Asian

o   10% Hispanic

o   9% International

o   10% Black or African American

o   4% identify with two or more races

o   Less than 1% American Indian or Alaskan Native / Pacific Islander

o   and 3% did not report.

·      32% are Pell-Grant eligible

All in all, we can’t wait to welcome the incoming class of 2021 to Drexel’s campus, because no matter what way you look it, they are undoubtedly 100% Dragons!