FeaturedNewsClass of 2024 breaks records, faces challenges

The diverse and high-achieving group of first-years arrived on campus, already set apart by COVID-19.
Jake PerryAugust 27, 20204943 min
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Photo by Genevieve Humphreys

Wait a minute, who are all these wide-eyed young children running around on campus? Meet the class of 2024, one of the most diverse and academically notable classes to climb the Murchison Tower (which they did virtually, of course). This group of incoming first-years has gone through a particularly challenging recruitment and orientation process due to COVID-19, but now have made it to campus, whether in-person or virtually, in one piece.

So, what are the stats?

There are 639 students making up the class of 2024. Fifty-six percent of the class is white, while 44% of the group comes from underrepresented backgrounds, compared to 42% last year. Twenty-four percent of the class is Latinx, 10% is Asian, 5.5% identify with multiple races and 5% is Black.

Socioeconomic diversity among students has seen an increase as well; 20% of the class of 2024 qualifies for Pell Grants, compared to just 12% of the class of 2023.

The class of 2024 is already breaking records at Trinity, being one of the most academically-advanced groups of students to join campus. This batch of first-years is coming in with an average SAT score of 1343 and an average ACT score of 30.5. Seventy-seven percent of the class graduated from the top 20% of their high school class, compared to 73% of the class of 2023. Average high school GPA, which is especially important to Trinity in the admissions process, was 3.68 — this class is entering with the highest average GPA of a first-year class ever at Trinity.

Trinity usually aims to recruit classes of around 640 people; this year, Trinity hit that mark by recruiting closer to home and raising the acceptance rate. Trinity recruited 639 students at the cost of a 34% acceptance rate, up 5% from the year prior. An unusually large 80% of the class of 2024 is from Texas, with only 3.6% being international students. Those figures were 74% and 4.3% for the class of 2023, respectively.

Justin Doty, Dean of Admissions, knew that the pandemic would not make recruitment easy.

“We had the biggest uphill battle to face in terms of enrollment,” Doty said. Three out of Trinity’s four Tiger Days were cancelled, and only 73% of the Class of 2024 were able to visit campus at all. That number is low compared to last year, where 89% of the Class of 2023 visited.

Despite the pandemic, Early Decision commitments increased to 120 compared to last year’s 95 and online recruitment solutions were embraced. Tiger Days and campus visits have since been replaced by virtual stand-ins, which include virtual interviews, information sessions, Learning TUesdays summer webinars as well as both live and pre-recorded campus tours.

“In these sessions they were super engaged,” Doty said. “They were asking questions, they were reaching out, and we were trying to be as flexible and accommodating as we could.”

“They just went through this hellacious spring and summer,” Doty said. That’s true —this class is comprised of students who spent the final months of their senior year remotely and online, missing their final weeks of high school, and rescheduling, reimagining, or even cancelling end-of-year activities like graduations and proms.

But that hasn’t kept members of the class of 2024 from figuring out new ways to interact. Katie Hoang, incoming first-year from Dallas and intended business analytics and tech major, found that the barriers of the pandemic have not prevented the incoming class from getting to know one another.

“We’re all very welcoming, very tight-knit,” Hoang said.

Many of the first-years schedule group Zoom calls with each other and have been interacting over GroupMe.

“During summer, basically every night someone would send a Zoom link or a Zoom code [in the GroupMe chat] and people would just come and go whenever they wanted,” Hoang said.

Bradford Durchslag, associate director of Dallas/Fort Worth recruitment, also noticed the unique spirit of the class.

“Working together is what this class brings. It’s this excitement, and adding another log on the fire” Durcshslag said. “They’re very eager to go, do and learn.”

He also praised the Trinity community for going the extra mile to help out this year’s incoming class.

“Without current students and faculty there’s no way the class is here” Durchslag said. “There’s some questions you need to hear [answers to] from someone living in it.”

First-years began their semester on Aug. 18, one week before the official start of classes for the rest of campus, in order to begin instruction in their First-Year Experience courses.

Jake Perry

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