This year’s freshman class, as is typical of Lawrence, represents a wide range of nationalities, interests, life experiences. The class includes a very talented cellist who was born with no left arm and pulls his bow with his foot, a student whose middle school science project resulted in a patent, and various other skilled and interesting students. Last year, 2,315 students sent in applications and 1,304 were admitted. The size of the Freshman Class is 374 officially, a number that Ken Anselment, Director of Admissions, is proud of because it falls on the high end of the goal for this year. The first-years come to us from 294 different high schools. They represent 33 of the 50 states, and 17 different countries. 51% are female, 49% are male. 93% of the class received need- or merit-based financial assistance. Anselment notes that this year’s class is more internationally diverse than last year’s. Also, according to Anselment, the gender averages nation-wide have changed in favor of females in past years, but Lawrence sticks to a general 50-50 balance. Lawrence’s total student population now comes to 1,405, with 47 states and 51 countries represented. Though test scores were not required for Lawrence applicants this year, 75% of the admitted first-year students submitted them anyway. Anselment notes that he “was not surprised” that 25% of applicants did not submit scores. He believes that those who did not are strong students who did not feel that their test scores represented them well, or, from the other end, come from economically disadvantaged areas whose schools do not supply them with SAT prep courses and the like. The middle 50% of the class falls within these rather good numbers: ACT composite, 26-30; SAT reading, 590-740, SAT math, 610-690; and, SAT writing, 600-700. The average un-weighted GPA is 3.45, 18% of the class raked in the top 5% of their high school graduating class and 66% ranked in the top quarter. Despite test scores being optional, this year’s middle 50% range for both ACT and SAT (all three sections) are up from last year’s. “Nationally, average SAT scores are down. Ours are up,” says Anselment. Anselment notes that while Lawrence did admit more students with no test scores given, to be admitted these students still had to prove themselves in other ways. Lawrence’s reputation for admitting academically excellent students remains very much intact. This year, 24 students transferred in and there are 17 visiting international students: 14 from both Canada and Japan and two from the Netherlands. Music Performance takes the number one position in the top areas of interest for first-year students, with 13% of the class prospectively seeking Bachelors of Music, and 14%, Double-Degree. English is second on the list followed by Biology, Psychology, Business/Economics, Music Education etc. The list is rounded out at the bottom by Art and Physics (14th and 15th, respectively.) Last year the top three were the same but fell in a different order, with English taking the number one spot, followed by Music Performance and Biology.