Stockton Sees Highest Freshmen Enrollment in History
Its total population is up to 8,400.
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey is developing a plan to keep down the number of transfer students the college receives while increasing the number of first time students.
“We can’t just keep growing,” Stockton President Herman J. Saatkamp said following the college’s Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 19. “I haven’t seen the data yet, but I suspect we don’t have the space for more than 9,500 and 10,000 students.”
Saatkamp made the comments following a meeting in which the school reported its first incoming freshman class of over 1,000 students.
According to the college’s preliminary enrollment numbers, there are 1,003 first-time freshman on campus this fall. That number is up 3 percent from last year.
The total student population at Stockton College this fall, including graduate and undergraduate students, is 8,400.
In the past year, Stockton students have complained about the parking situation on a campus in which the population continues to grow. Last fall, the college had to put students up in local hotel rooms because there wasn’t enough space.
“Sometime this year, a committee is going to put together a strategic enrollment report,” Saatkamp said. “It’s going to tell us we can grow an x amount of percent, and it’s going to be tied to finances, academics and development. It will tell us if the enrollment is this, this is what would be impacted and what adjustments we would have to make. … We’re at a point now where we have to decide what’s our limit.”
Saatakamp wasn’t sure when that report would be issued.
In addition to the 1,003 first time freshmen, there are 1,097 transfer students who are either new to campus or were readmitted to the school. That is a 4 percent decrease from last fall, but Stockton officials are looking to further diminish that number.
At this point, new matriculated students need a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 to transfer into the college, but college officials want to see that GPA increased to 2.7 “in the coming years.”
For 2012, Stockton admitted 5,675 of the 10,075 applications it received. Nearly 80 percent of those applications were for social and behavioral sciences, according to the preliminary enrollment report prepared by the Office of Institutional Research.
According to the report, the average combined SAT score for first-time regularly admitted freshmen is 1110 and the average high school rank is 79th.
Stockton continues to see a higher female population, with a 58 percent mark among undergraduates and a 75 percent mark among graduate students.
For the fifth straight year, the college sees a 20 percent increase among minority students.
Wednesday’s meeting was the final meeting for Stanley Ellis, who is stepping down as Chairman of the Board. Curtis Bashaw takes over as Chairman, and Dean Pappas moves into the role of Vice Chairman.
“I want to note the accomplishments of this board under Stanley Ellis,” Saatkamp said, pointing to the construction of the Student Center and the Science Building as examples of what was accomplished while Ellis was chairman. “Our increase in enrollment and applications wouldn’t be possible without him, and we are more engaged in the community. The success of a college depends on its board, and Stockton has developed and grown in some ways that are more adventurous than what other colleges are doing.”
“It’s been an eventful couple of years,” Ellis said. “The job was easier because of the support of the board members. This is a great school and I’m excited with the momentum we’ve established.”