Meet the class of 2016

By Katie Zeck

Freshman Nicole Malazarte, far right, and her siblings Kevin and Rachel pose with a T-shirt they are buying at the Bookstore. This year’s freshman class on the Lawrenceville campus contains 868 students.

In this year’s incoming freshman class you can find a student from Ghana, a large amount of business administration majors and 14 girls named Samantha.
According to the Vice President of Enrollment Management, Jamie O’Hara, there are 868 new freshmen who are enrolled on the Lawrenceville campus and 81 on the Westminster campus, making a total of 949 college freshmen.
Out of this combined total, O’Hara reported that 11 percent of the class are legacies with a parent, grandparent or sibling who attended Rider.
Incoming freshman Michael Hendershot decided to attend Rider primarily because he is a legacy.
“One of the main reasons I came to Rider was because of the legacy scholarship I received,” Hendershot said. “My mom, grandmom, great-grandmom and uncle graduated from Rider.”
The top five majors in this year’s freshman class are business administration, elementary education, accounting, psychology and music education.
During move-in day on Sunday, many freshmen cited that the programs Rider offers for these majors were a main selling point in persuading them ultimately to choose Rider.

Dan Palo and his dad unload a pack of bottled water into Ziegler Hall. He is part of the 42 percent of male students in the class of 2016.

“I liked that the campus was small and everyone was really nice, but [I chose Rider] mostly because of the great accounting program,” said accounting major Tim Monticchio.
Samantha Mischler said that she specifically chose Rider because of the education program.
“I loved all the education professors here at Rider — you could tell they care a lot about the students in the program and the program itself,” she said.
Students in this freshman class came from far and wide to attend Rider.  Out of the 949 freshmen, 26 percent are from outside of New Jersey with 21 students traveling in from the West Coast. A total of 31 students are from the mid-Atlantic, 23 students are from New England and 10 are from U.S. territories. The class also contains international students from China, India, Venezuela, Germany, France and Ghana.


Marketing major Christie Kovalewich gets settled into her dorm room in Ziegler Hall. She chose Rider because it wasn’t far from her hometown.

A large amount of minorities are also represented in the freshman class with 32 percent of the students from underrepresented populations.
O’Hara also said that 58 percent of the class is female and 42 percent is male. Nationally, women account for about 56 percent of college students, a percentage that has been consistent for the past five years, according to census statistics. The trend of female-dominated classes has been at Rider since 2007.
Out of those populations the most common female name in the freshman class is Samantha with a total of 14 girls having the name. Danielle and Nicole tied for second with a total of 11 girls each. The most common male name is Matthew with 13 freshmen, while Nicholas and Christopher tied for second with 12 freshmen each.
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