Class of 2021 is Rider’s most diverse ever

Adam Grybowski

This fall, Rider University welcomed more than 1,000 new freshmen to campus. The Class of 2021 is not only the largest in recent history, it is also the most diverse. Of the entire Class, 45% are underrepresented racial minorities. Overall, students hail from 28 states and 16 countries. More than a quarter of the class (27%) are the first in their family to attend college.

“The growth and diversification of the freshman class is a result of a campus-wide commitment to engaging with prospective students and their family members,” wrote Dr. Leanna Fenneberg, vice president for Student Affairs, and Drew Aromando, interim vice president for Enrollment Management, in a letter to the campus community.

Recent efforts to showcase the value of a Rider education and the University community continue to pay dividends. In November, Rider hosted its largest fall open house in recent years, with 1,300 visitors in total, including 502 prospective students and their family members. Fenneberg and Aromando attributed the success, at least in part, to the University’s new academic programs.

Over the past several years, Rider has established many new programs that have proven very attractive to prospective students. On the undergraduate level, these include a Bachelor of Arts in healthcare policy and a Bachelor of Science in computer science. The University’s College of Continuing Studies now offers its first graduate degree, a Master of Arts in athletic leadership. And in the summer of 2017, cohorts began in Rider’s first doctoral degree, a Doctor of Education in educational leadership.

“The academic profile for incoming students continues to be competitive with New Jersey schools and nationally,” Fenneberg and Aromando wrote. Three students entering as freshmen finished first in their high school graduating class. Fourteen percent graduated in the top 10% of their graduating class. One hundred and ten students have so far enrolled in an honors program. More than half of all new freshmen are pursuing business or the sciences as majors.

Overall, the inclusion of the Class of 2021 brings total enrollment of undergraduate, graduate and transfer students to more than 5,000 students.

“It is an honor to work to recruit, select, serve and support all Rider students in their Bronc journeys,” wrote Fenneberg and Aromando.