Feature Stories

The Scholars, Athletes and Global Citizens of the Class of 2018

The Class of 2018 is, in a word, impressive. The students who make up this remarkable group are competitive but compassionate. They are key players in their families, schools and communities with an eye on their future roles in the wider, more complex world beyond their own. They are a collection of individuals with unique strengths and interests who will come together over the next four years in ways that allow them to surpass even their own high expectations.

Before they have picked up a first book, raised a hand in class, or proposed a first research project, the university already takes pride in their accomplishments.

One member of the incoming class worked as an intern at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, the oldest public hospital in the country, helping immigrants communicate with the medical staff by using his knowledge of Mandarin and Cantonese to interpret their questions and answers. Another, a native English speaker from Canada, took part in French public speaking competitions and is a dedicated swimmer as well, training 24 hours a week to compete on the national level. Another incoming freshman is a member of her high school’s volleyball, outdoor and indoor track teams who challenged herself to learn the difficult sport of pole vaulting. She is also an Irish step dancer.

They are global citizens, as evidenced by the student who has raised funds for a girls’ academy in a rural region of Kenya and will travel there this summer to get to know the students she is supporting and help improve their school. Another member of the class will spend several weeks in Taiwan before the semester begins teaching English at a camp, expanding his Mandarin vocabulary and “learning more about the people and the country where my family is from.”

As a group, the Class of 2018 will enter on a wave of superlatives. With the current count of 1,080 incoming freshmen, the class constitutes the largest in the university’s history. Stephen Eck, director of university admissions, notes that the university experienced a significant uptick in applications of 9 percent this year. The College of Computing Sciences alone saw its number of applications rise by 36 percent.

“We’re very impressed with the quality and the characteristics of the incoming class,” Eck says. “As a result of the increase in applications, we had many, many tough decisions to make. Following that difficult process, we are, however, extremely confident that these students have what it takes to thrive at NJIT and to make their mark on the world when they leave us.”

The class, which includes seven valedictorians and salutatorians, is distinguished by its academic achievement. As measured by SAT scores, it is the strongest class in NJIT history with combined math and critical reading scores of 1190 on average, marking a rise of 27 points from last year. The 190 students joining Albert Dorman Honors College scored 1371 on average, while the 50 students in the accelerated pre-medical and pre-law programs obtained 1420 average.

These are students who have worked hard to earn a spot in the Class of 2018 and the university recognizes their achievement and their need, offering financial aid to 91 percent of the class.

Their diverse interests include mechanical engineering, computer science, computer engineering, civil engineering, architecture and design, biomedical engineering, and biology, to name a few.

While just over 90 percent of incoming students call New Jersey home, members of the class will travel from as far away as Colorado, Michigan, Tennessee, and California to study at NJIT. About 2 percent of the Class of 2018 will come from other countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

While the ratio of men to women at NJIT remained fairly steady from last year at about 79 percent to 21 percent, the number of women enrolling in the Honor College continues to rise. At nearly 38 percent women, the Class of 2018 is the most diverse in the College’s history.

This story is tagged: students, freshmen, class of 2018, athletes, scholars . Or read more Feature Stories.