By Lauren Santye
The class of 2017 joined the Rider community on Sept.1. This fall, the wave of newcomers totals 944 students. There are 855 enrolled on the Lawrenceville campus and 89 enrolled on the Westminster campus.
According to Jamie O’Hara, vice president for Enrollment Management, the dominant gender of this year’s freshman class is female, at 61% followed by a 39% male enrollment. These numbers follow a growing trend over the past six years at Rider, as last year’s class consisted of 58% female students and 42% male students.
This year, 36% of freshmen are from minority backgrounds, an increase from last year’s 32%. The two largest minority groups are Hispanic and African American at 14% each. O’Hara said that the large number of Hispanic students follow national trends.
The most popular female names among the freshman class are Samantha, Meghan or Megan, and Amanda. The most popular male names are Matthew, Michael and Daniel.
The majority of this class were born in 1995. According to the United States Social Security Administration website, Samantha ranked as one of the top five female baby names. Michael and Matthew also ranked as two of the top five male baby names for the same year.
Though Stefanie Martin, a psychology major from Berlin, N.J., does not have one of the most popular names, she is excited to meet new people. She chose Rider for a number of reasons.
“I like that Rider was close [to home] and has a good reputation,” she said. “When I came to visit the school everyone was super nice on the tours – very welcoming.”
The freshmen class comes from 25 different states with the top states being New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Maryland and Florida; 29% of freshmen are out of state. This number has increased from last year’s 26%.
Matt McGrorty from Mount Laurel, N.J., is a digital media major. He’s most excited to be able to participate in the Communication Department. Although he looked at a few other schools, he felt Rider was the best fit.
“I looked at Rowan and Temple – they were all right, but when I came here I really liked this place, and they offered a lot of opportunities for my major,” he said.
Most freshmen are enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (44.4%) followed by the College of Business Administration (28.1%), the School of Education (10.5%), Westminster Choir College (9.4%) and the College of Fine and Preforming Arts (7.6%).
Nicole Fisher is an accounting major from Ocean Gate, N.J. She, like many of the other freshmen, is most excited to be able to meet new people. She also felt Rider was the right fit for her because of the size.
“Rider is small enough that I’m not just another number, but I’m still able to get the college experience,” she said.