Class of 2018 drawn to a University on the move

Class of 2018 drawn to a University on the move


Two medical schools. Designation as a research institution. An emphasis on biomedical science and health sciences. Rowan Boulevard.

Those recent Rowan University achievements had an impact on the more than 2,400 students who have chosen to become members of the freshman Class of 2018, according to Dan Reigel, associate director of admissions.

On July 1, 2013, Rowan became only the second institution in the nation to have both M.D.- and D.O.-granting medical schools when Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine joined the University through the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act.

At that time, Rowan also was designated as a comprehensive public research institution. Additionally, the act established a partnership between Rowan and Rutgers-Camden to create a College of Health Sciences in the City of Camden.

Couple those exciting developments with the building boom on Rowan Boulevard, the $300 million housing and retail development that connects the University with Glassboro’s downtown, and you have the makings of a campus that is attractive to students who want to be part of a University truly on the move, Reigel says.

“Those accomplishments, especially the two medical schools, were a huge boost in terms of recruitment,” he notes.

Record number of applications

Indeed, at a time when many schools are scrambling to satisfy their admissions goals for their freshman classes, interest in Rowan is exploding, Reigel says. Altogether, a University record 10,163 students applied to Rowan, an 11 percent increase over 2013. Of those freshmen, 6,679 were accepted.

Though the exact size of the freshman class won’t be official until mid-September, the University anticipates a 30-percent increase in freshmen over last year, according to Reigel.

“We’re bringing in approximately 600 more freshmen, and we were able to maintain our academic profile,” says Regel, noting that 1,211 is the average SAT score for regularly admitted students that have submitted deposits to attend Rowan. Of those applicants, 827 were from out of state, according to Reigel.

Increasing access through Rowan Select

The class also includes nearly 400 students in the Rowan Select program, a new program which provides students who were not regular admits to the University with supports through the summer and fall to get them ready for study at Rowan. Students in the selective program, chosen for their potential to succeed at the University, begin as exploratory studies majors and complete a full academic year in Rowan Select.

The Rowan Select program addresses the goal of increasing access to higher education, one of the four pillars Rowan President Ali Houshmand has outlined as a University priority, notes Rory McElwee, assistant vice president for student retention.

Rowan Select students are fully admitted students who did not fully meet Rowan’s admissions standards. Through Rowan Select, the students receive structured supports designed to help them transition to college. All students enter Rowan Select as exploratory studies majors. After a year, they can declare another major if they wish. Students in the program are selected based on a specific academic profile and their individual potential.

"We are so excited to welcome Rowan Select students to the University community,” says McElwee. “As Rowan's freshman admissions profile has increased in recent years, it can have the negative side effect of blocking out many students who we know can be successful here and who will benefit our community.

“The Rowan Select program allows us to bring these students into Rowan in a way that further bolsters their potential."

Adds Reigel: “A lot of the students in Rowan Select have a 3.5 GPA, but they just don’t test well. We’re providing additional support and counseling, a little extra help, as they transition to the University.”

Rigorous academics, robust student life

The most popular major in the Class of 2018 is biological sciences, according to Reigel. Business, education and engineering also are popular, he notes.

Freshmen entering Rowan join a University known for its small class sizes--the average class size is 20 students—rigorous academics, and robust student life. The campus boasts 85 bachelor’s degree programs among eight colleges, more than 141 clubs and organizations, 45 intramural sports, and 30 organized sport club programs. The Profs athletics program includes eight men’s and 10 women’s varsity sports competing at the Division III level.

In establishing the freshman classes, admissions officers seek students who demonstrate academic success and are involved in high school activities and community service, Reigel says.

“We’re looking for a well-rounded student, a student who is involved and who has good time management skills. We’d rather see students taking AP courses or the highest level academic track offered because that shows that they are challenging themselves academically,” he says.

For more about Rowan’s undergraduate admissions process, visit