TU welcomes most diverse first-year class ever

By Kyle Hobstetter on August 24, 2021

The fall 2021 first-year class consists of more than 2,600 students

Towson University is welcoming its most diverse first-year student class in its 155-year history.

Of the 2,610 first-time students, 58.5% identify as a racial or ethnic minority. Towson University’s growing diversity is a reflection of the state’s growth. According to the United States Census, more than half of the Maryland population identifies as a racial or ethnic minority, making it one of the first minority–majority states on the East Coast.

In addition, 22% of first-time students identify as first generation, which matches a previous high set in 2019. In all, more than 4,992 new students, including 1,776 transfer students and 659 graduate students, will arrive on campus this week.

“Our student population is increasingly reflective of the population of our state," says Melanie Perreault, provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs. "And as part of our university’s strategic plan, a university community strong in diverse backgrounds fosters a learning environment that truly does prepare leaders for the public good.”

TU continues to be a national leader in inclusive learning. The minority student population maintains the same graduation rate as the entire student body (71%). This number includes TU’s African American student graduation rate (73% compared to the national average of 45%) and the LatinX student graduation rate (69% compared to the national average of 57%).

“Each class brings new energy and ideas that help make TU an even greater university,” says Vernon Hurte, vice president of student affairs. “We’re all eager to welcome them and experience how they will undoubtedly make positive contributions to the TU community.”

This year’s new students are truly global, coming from 20 states, the District of Columbia and 23 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cyprus, Egypt, Spain, France, Ghana, Guinea, Greece, India, Ireland, Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Nepal, Panama, Sweden, Turkey, Vietnam and South Africa.

The top five high schools for incoming freshmen are all in Maryland.

Over the summer, Towson University received more than 12,711 applications, and the first-year students who were accepted will have an average weighted GPA of 3.70.

Resident freshmen will move in over the weekend in advance of the start of the fall 2021 term, which starts on Monday, Aug. 30. About 6,000 students will live on campus, and Towson University will be fully in-person for classes and activities. 

“This is always one of my favorite times of the year, as we welcome our students to campus,” Hurte says. “This is an especially exciting time for our new students as they begin the next chapter in their lives.”