Freshman class shrinks in size but grows in diversity


Trinity University welcomed a first-year class of nearly 550 students on August 22 for Move-In Day. The freshman class boasts a wide variety of students representing 35 different states and 34 countries.

Although the class size is smaller than the previous class of over 600 students, the class of 2017 is incredibly diverse. Compared to the last class, the first years represent more countries and states.

“We continue the racial diversity of our students. The percentage of historically underrepresented students for all entering students is 41%,” said Christopher Ellertson, associate vice president for enrollment and student retention. “We have more students from historically underrepresented groups. We have more students that are international.”

Out of the first-year student population, 33% are from out of state. Out of those, 10% are international students. Of the out of state students, over 23% are Latino.

Populations that have been historically underrepresented have also increased. Andres Arredondo, assistant director of admissions, said that the effort Texas has made in allocating grant funds for specific programs has helped to increase diversity.

“It’s really wonderful to see how the composition of the classes has changed,” Ellertson said.

A large portion of the out of state students come from the West and Southwest. The top five states for out of state students are California, Colorado, Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico. “We have more students from California. I think that we will very likely see more students from California over the course of the next couple of years. We’d like to see maybe close to forty-five students from California. Last year we had nineteen,” Ellerston said.

As for in-state students, most students come from the Houston area. “In Texas, we still have a lot of students and Houston would be our number one area,” Ellerston said.

International students also make up a crucial part of the first year student body by providing diversity.

The countries represented by out of country students include: Colombia, China, Tanzania, Taiwan, India, Ecuador, Honduras and Mexico.

“For us, the two major markets, and they’re broadly defined, would be Latin America and Asia,” said Eric Maloof, director of international admission.

There has also been an increase in students from Mexico. “Mexico saw the biggest year-to-year growth this year,” Maloof said.

Countries that were not represented in the past student body are represented in the first year class. New countries represented in the student body are Cyprus, Sweden and Romania.

“This year’s class has great representation. We feel very comfortable given our current applicant pool. It’s more diverse within the international student population,” said Maloof.

Overall, the class of 2017 displays the trend of increased diversity at Trinity.

“I think it’s more heterogenous than in the past. We have some very talented students as we always get,” said Steve Bachrach, freshman class marshal and chemistry professor.