Classes Begin Today with Record Incoming Class

Posted: August 26, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jeremy Lasich

More than 2,200 freshmen and 2,200 transfer students, a record high, begin classes today at George Mason.

This year’s freshman class was selected from nearly 9,000 applicants, a 10 percent increase over last year’s record applicant pool. As George Mason’s reputation has spread, so has the quality of applications. The increase in competition combined with the limited space for growth in this year’s state budget climate, led the university to deny almost 20 percent more prospective freshmen than in 2001. For the first time, no students were admitted from the institution’s competitive waitlist, and the university stopped accepting transfer applications in mid-July.

George Mason has received approximately 3,300 housing applications this year for 3,077 beds, according to Paul Barkett, director of Housing and Residence Life. “Students have become more satisfied with their on-campus experience,” says Barkett. He estimates that 60 percent of incoming freshmen have requested on-campus housing, though this year’s official statistics will not be available until fall. If that figure holds true, it shows a nearly 5 percent increase from last year’s numbers. The university has seen a steady increase in demand for on-campus housing in the last five years.

Efforts made to accommodate this growing pool of student residents include expanding room capacities and offering students the option of temporary off-campus housing. The Student Apartments, the campus’ oldest residential facility, received a $4 million renovation this summer and construction is under way on Liberty Square, which will provide 496 more beds in the fall of 2003. Another 504-bed housing facility will open in August 2004.

Write to at