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Students walking on the campus pathways wearing masks and Adelphi University sweatshirts.

This fall, Adelphi welcomes a landmark first-year class. A record 1,330 new students joined our Panther family, from 34 states and 23 countries. More than 300 transfers and 820 graduate students are continuing their academic journey with us this fall in our eight world-class colleges and schools. And we are joined on campus this year by 30 of our first community college students through our innovative Nassau-Adelphi Gateway program.

When members of today’s new Class of 2025 were born, Friends was a prime-time TV hit, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was a bestseller, and George W. Bush was president. Smartphones and social media as we know them didn’t exist.

Today’s first-year students grew up to become curious, digitally savvy young people driven to use their talents to make the world a better place. Now known as Gen Z, they became the sort of promising students who excel at Adelphi.

Largest incoming first-year class ever at Adelphi

The members of the Class of 2025 come from 34 states and 23 countries, and their stories and ambitions are as diverse as their origins.

One speaks four languages and organized holiday parties for an orphanage while he was in high school. Another began a recycling program at her high school and promoted a zero-waste lifestyle for students. A third is the top-ranked taekwondo practitioner in the United States for his age group and may be headed to the Olympics.

These 1,330 students ­are members of the largest incoming first-year class in the University’s history, a group that’s 34 percent larger than the number in the previous year’s incoming class, which was affected by the COVID pandemic.

The University also had more than 15,000 applications this year, a new record. “This was likely due in part to our flexible SAT/ACT-optional admissions policy, which was implemented for the first time at Adelphi for students applying for Fall 2021 admission,” said Melissa Bellantonio, interim director of undergraduate admissions. The numbers back up her assertion: 70 percent of first-year students applied without submitting SAT/ACT scores.

Let’s take a look at the Class of 2025.

They’re a diverse group

This year’s first-year class is Adelphi’s most racially and ethnically diverse ever. Students of color make up 50 percent of the class, up from 45 percent last year and 40 percent in Fall 2017. Hispanic/Latino students account for 24 percent of the class, compared to 19 percent in Fall 2020.

In addition, at least 334 students are first-generation college students.

The incoming class is also one of the most geographically diverse in Adelphi history. The newest Panthers come from 34 states—from all points across the country, including Hawaii, California, Oregon, Colorado, Georgia, Virginia and New Hampshire.

There are also 50 first-year students from 23 countries outside the United States. The top countries of origin for the Class of 2025 are Pakistan and Vietnam, with a three-way tie for third place between Bangladesh, India and the Republic of Korea.

Other countries represented are Kazakhstan, Italy, Trinidad and Tobago, Albania, Brazil, the Republic of Georgia, Angola, Jamaica, Norway, Lebanon, the United Kingdom, and Russia.

The Class of 2025 includes athletes, too: 8 percent of them—104 first-year students—will be playing on Panther sports teams. Ten transfer students will also join Adelphi teams.

Many are interested in health-related fields

New students are interested in majoring in a range of disciplines in our Core Four areas: arts and humanities, STEM and social sciences, the professions, and health and wellness.

“We saw strong interest in one of our newest majors, health sciences,” Bellantonio said. “There was also a lot of interest in business majors and health-related programs such as nursing, biology, exercise science and psychology, likely due to the impacts of the pandemic.”

In an era when doctors, nurses and front-line health workers have been heroes battling a deadly global pandemic, it makes sense that students who want to work for the greater good are choosing health professions.

Some are coming from Nassau Community College

Newcomers to campus also include students who aren’t enrolled at Adelphi but obviously hope to be one day.

A new partnership with Nassau Community College will bring 30 community college students onto Adelphi’s campus to live in the dorms, receive academic and career advising, and participate in activities while they earn their associate degree. The Nassau-Adelphi Gateway Program aims to make these community college students part of the University’s life from the get-go so that they’re more likely to stay in school and get a bachelor’s degree.

“We want community college students to get involved so they feel comfortable on a college campus,” said Kristen Capezza, MBA ’12, Adelphi’s vice president of enrollment management and University communications. “We’ll help make sure they complete the requirements they need at Nassau, and we’ll help make the transition smoother between community college and four-year college.”

New graduate students are from five states and eight countries

There are 820 new students in the University’s grad programs for 2021. The majority, 677, come from New York. Nine come from New Jersey, eight from Connecticut, and four each from Massachusetts and California.

There are 79 new international grad students enrolled this year, from China, India, Pakistan, Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Trinidad and Tobago.

As with undergraduates, programs in the helping professions are attracting the most attention. Psychology graduate programs attracted 95 new students, while grad programs in social work drew 195 new students.

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