University of Vermont

University Communications

Class of 2019 Most Academically Talented in UVM History

UVM campus looking west over Lake Champlain at sunset

A record number of students applied to the University of Vermont this year, and this week, UVM welcomes its new class — the most academically talented in school history.

Incoming students earned an average GPA of 3.53 on a 4.0 scale and an average SAT score of 1197 on critical reading and mathematics, a 12-point increase over last year.  The Class of 2019 also boasts a record number of Green & Gold Scholars — top students from Vermont high schools. Thirty-four of these talented students have enrolled at UVM.

An estimated 2,400 students comprise the Class of 2019. They hail from 40 states and 18 countries. New international students add to the growing population on campus; this year, a projected 4.1 percent of undergraduates are international students. Adding to the diversity of the new class, 11.5 percent of first-years are ALANA (Asian-American, Latino, African-American, Native American and multi-racial) students, 16 percent are first-generation college students and 11 are Vermont New Americans. First-time, first-year student enrollment from outside New England has also increased to 40 percent this year, up from 37 percent five years ago.

Read a Q&A with six students from the Class of 2019 to learn more about their backgrounds, why they chose UVM and how they plan to get involved in academics and campus life.

The Class of 2019 will arrive on campus Friday, Aug. 28, for move-in day. On that day, the university will also hold its second annual #MoveUVM Giving Challenge, a fundraising effort to welcome the new class to the community. Donations from 2,019 donors will unlock $250,000 of challenge gifts. Learn more about how to participate.

Friday also kicks off Opening Weekend, an annual program that helps acquaint new students with college life. The weekend culminates in a convocation ceremony, Sunday, Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. in Patrick Gymnasium, to celebrate the opening of the new academic year. Following convocation, the UVM community will process down Main Street to the University Green, where the Class of 2019 will participate in a twilight induction ceremony.

All UVM students, an estimated 11,862, begin classes Monday, Aug. 31.

New this year

Students return to a campus in the midst of transformation, as major construction and renovation projects began over the summer months. The Chittenden, Buckham, and Wills residence halls were razed to make way for UVM Medical Center’s new inpatient bed replacement facility and UVM’s new first-year student housing and dining project. Nearby, Angell Hall was demolished as part of the creation of UVM’s new STEM Complex. Learn more about these projects on the Building UVM website.

New academic programs this year include UVM’s sustainability requirement. Beginning this fall, all newly matriculating undergraduates will be required to complete the university’s general education requirement in sustainability, in addition to existing core requirements in writing and information literacy and diversity.

Also new this fall is the Wellness Environment program, a residential life experience that encourages fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and mentorship. It’s the brainchild of Dr. Jim Hudziak, a pediatric neuropsychiatrist in UVM’s College of Medicine and features personal fitness and nutrition coaches for every student, daily yoga and meditation sessions, a mentorship program matching every student with a Burlington youth and a neuroscience course all students take taught by faculty in UVM’s highly ranked College of Medicine. At the root is the idea that, if curious college students understand how behavior, good and bad, affects their brains -- via “gorgeous neuroscience,” in Hudziak’s words -- they’ll opt for healthier choices. Learn more about the innovative new program.

A number of notable events are planned for the fall semester, including a talk by Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures, the UVM First-Year Summer Read program selection for 2015. Fadiman will speak Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. in Ira Allen Chapel. Also, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and UVM alumnus Eric Lipton will return to campus Monday, Sept. 21 to deliver a talk titled, “White Hats, State Troopers, Ski Resorts and Buckets of Money,” at 7 p.m. in the Davis Center's Silver Maple Ballroom. Read about Lipton’s career as an investigative journalist.