Diversity in Numbers

Diverse and underrepresented minority student populations continue to grow as does the focus on computer science and engineering.

Seattle University’s First-Time-In-College (FTIC) class this academic year is a continuation of two patterns that started a few years back: Seattle University’s undergraduate population is getting more diverse—economically and ethnically—and pursuing more degrees within the College of Science and Engineering. 

“We enrolled the most diverse freshman class in the history of Seattle University, as well as the most academically talented in recent history,” says James Miller, assistant provost and dean of admissions, pointing out that the average GPA of the FTIC class is 3.67. “Our Jesuit mission fosters an academic and social environment in which students from all backgrounds are welcomed and can be successful. We believe that academic excellence requires a diverse student body and vice-a-versa.”

Of the 1,041 FTIC students for AY 2023-2024, 291 are Pell Grant recipients (nearly 28 percent). And nearly 24 percent of the overall undergraduate population receive Pell Grant aid (a typical Pell Grant recipient is from the bottom half of the income distribution.) Seattle University’s success in enrolling students from all points of the socioeconomic ladder make it the most economically diverse university in Washington, according to the New York Times publication of the College-Access Index.

The ethnically diverse population among fall quarter FTIC students is 62.08 percent. In this context, “diverse” is defined as any non-white, non-international student that has a known ethnicity. As illustrated below, SU’s ethnic diversity numbers continue to rise year over year:

  • 62.08 percent (2023) 
  • 58.22 percent (2022) 
  • 55.04 percent (2021) 
  • 51.95 percent (2020) 
  • 48.88 percent (2019) 

A subset of an ethnically diverse student population is underrepresented minority, or URM. URM students fall into a race/ethnic group generally underrepresented in higher education—Black, Hispanic, Native and Pacific Islander. For the fall academic term, 28.26 percent of students are underrepresented minority students. And just like overall diversity, SU’s URM numbers show a rising pattern going back years:

  • 28.26 percent (2023) 
  • 26.32 percent (2022) 
  • 25.59 percent (2021) 
  • 23.10 percent (2020) 
  • 22.46 percent (2019) 

Additionally, this fall continues the trend of more FTIC students joining the College of Science and Engineering. There was a 17 percent increase in the number of FTIC students enrolled in the college compared to last fall, with most of the growth found in computer science, computer engineering and mechanical engineering. And over the past four years, SU has seen a 70 percent increase in students pursuing science and engineering majors:

  • 337 (2023)
  • 288 (2022)
  • 253 (2021)
  • 198 (2020) 

“The growth in STEM majors at CSE reflects the value and excellence of our educational enterprise that is grounded in Ignatian Pedagogy and our partnership with the tech and innovation ecosystem in greater Seattle,” explains Amit Shukla, dean of the college of science and engineering. “Ninety-six percent of our computer science graduates are employed within six months of graduation, for instance. Our faculty are developing new and interdisciplinary programs to continue to build on this growth trajectory for the college.”

Written by Lincoln Vander Veen

Thursday, November 30, 2023