Welcoming the Tufts Class of 2025

Diversity reaches all-time high with the new undergraduates and transfers
Students with toy hats race through the campus. Tufts University welcomes the Class of 2025, as diversity reaches all-time high.
Grant Caile, A25, center, and fellow classmates take part in the Jumbo Amazing Race during the FIT Pre-Orientation on August 31. Photo: Anna Miller
September 2, 2021

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The new undergraduate Class of 2025 may have just arrived, but they have already earned a place in Tufts history—three times over.

The Jumbos are the largest incoming class to enroll at Tufts, with 1,807 first-year students and 40 transfers. The class also holds the distinction of being the most ethnically and racially diverse first-year class on record, with 48.4% of U.S. students identifying as people of color, up from 44.7% last year.

And it is the first class enrolled under the university’s SAT/ACT test-optional policy, in place for two more admissions cycles. Forty-five percent of those enrolling at Tufts this fall applied without submitting ACT or SAT results.

JT Duck, dean of admissions and enrollment management, said the class’s size and composition “reflects a commitment to making our admission process accessible to more students from more backgrounds and to a holistic, contextual review of each application. Our yield on offers of admission was higher than anticipated—Tufts continues to be a highly sought out destination for higher education by academically accomplished and personally compelling students from around the world.”

Watch a video of advice for members of the Class of 2025. Video: Jenna Schad

University leaders virtually welcomed the Class of 2025 and transfer students into the Tufts community at matriculation on September 2. The greeting was originally planned to bring students together on the Quad, but when remnants of Hurricane Ida were predicted to bring heavy rain and flooding, the event was streamed live.  

President Anthony P. Monaco in his remarks warmly welcomed students and congratulated them on their fortitude as they navigated college admissions while faced with the “evolving challenges presented by the global pandemic,” he said.

Now, Monaco said, they are ready for Tufts. “If anything, this past year and a half has tested your resilience, flexibility, determination, and compassion, all skills you need to thrive here at Tufts,” he said. “All of you are here today because in you we see the curious minds, compassionate hearts, and commitment to action that we prize in our students and alumni. . . . That’s why we asked you to join us here at Tufts. And we intend to provide an education that honors those qualities, that expands your horizons and prepares you for the challenges of tomorrow.”

From left, Liam Castrucci, A25, Langston Harris, A25, and pre-orientation leader Matt Shea, A22, share a laugh during the Jumbo Amazing Race during FIT Pre-Orientation program on August 31. Photo: Anna MillerDuck also acknowledged how the pandemic underscored the importance of supportive relationships—a theme he noted that ran through admissions essays—and he urged students continue to build strong connections.

“While you’re here on our campus together, make connections with the people that make up this diverse community,” he said. “Find the people you instantly gel with and get to know the people you think might be nothing like you. Celebrate one another, take a risk, and say hi to the person that intrigues you. Push each other to be better and to do better and never lose sight of the magic each of you brings to this community.”

He told the students that every one of them “has earned your seat here at Tufts—for your academic accomplishments and potential, and for your collaborative orientation, your civic and community engagement—and the unique voice you bring to this community. And you did so from the largest and the most competitive application pool we have every received. Congratulations. Tufts is a better place because you are here.”

Class of 2025 by the Numbers

The class is made up of 1,807 first-year students. Tufts is also enrolling 40 transfer students, which includes four students enrolled in the Resumed Education for Adult Learners (REAL) program.

Women account for 55 percent of enrollment and men 43 percent. Students who identify as genderqueer, non-binary, or who prefer not to specify a gender identity, represent 2 percent.

Academic pathways

  • 299 first-years are enrolling in the School of Engineering, where 48% of entering students are women. Three transfer students are also joining the School of Engineering.
  • 1,508 first-years plan to study at School of Arts and Sciences, including 82 pursuing the B.F.A. at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts (SMFA) and 83 aiming for the combined B.F.A. and B.A./B.S. Separately, 37 transfers are joining the School of Arts and Sciences, including eight B.F.A. and three combined degree students.
  • 127 students who took a gap year last year are now enrolled in the Class of 2025 this year, while 45 admitted students will become part of the Class of 2026 next fall.
  • 9 students are enrolled in the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life’s Civic Semester, a first-semester, off-campus program that combines academic and experiential learning with a focus on community engagement and social and environmental justice, which is taking place this fall in the American Southwest.

Identification and Diversity

  • Among U.S. students, 48.4% identify as students of color; 7.8% as Black, 12.5% as Hispanic, 17.7% as Asian-American, and 10% as multiracial. 47.9% of students identify as white, while 3.7% did not specify a race or ethnicity.
  • 35 students identify with a Native or Indigenous heritage, nearly all as part of a multiracial identity; 23 students identify as American Indian or Alaska Native, including 7 students who are enrolled citizens of their tribe and who represent seven tribal nations (Wampanoag, Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Wyandotte, Chappaquiddick, Muscogee [Creek] Nation, Chickasaw, Oglala Sioux). 12 first-year students identify as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.

Global Reach

  • Students designated as foreign nationals account for 12.9% of the class.
  • Students have citizenships from 74 countries. The most represented citizenships are China, India, South Korea, Canada, Turkey, Brazil, Thailand, Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, United Kingdom.
  • Students hail from all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam. The top 10 states represented are Massachusetts, New York, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, and Texas. In addition, 49 students come from the university’s host communities of Medford, Somerville, Boston, and Grafton.

Access to College

  • The class received $32.6 million in need-based grants; the average grant was $53,135. Pell grants were awarded to 12.1% of the class.
  • 229 students (12.7%) are the first generation in their families to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
  • 53% attended public or charter high schools.
  • One student is affiliated with The Welcome Project, a Somerville-based immigrant empowerment organization; one with Boston-based Steppingstone Foundation, and three with Boston-based Bottom Line.
  • 54 students participated in the 2020 Voices of Tufts Diversity Experiences program, hosted virtually by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  • 160 students worked with community-based organizations that support students on their paths to college, including A Better Chance (ABC), EMERGE, CollegePoint, Gear Up, Matriculate, Chicago Scholars, Schuler Scholars, and QuestBridge.
  • 20 students enrolled through the QuestBridge National College Match program, and 64 QuestBridge finalists enrolled. More than 100 incoming first-year students participated in the QuestBridge program.

Laura Ferguson can be reached at laura.ferguson@tufts.edu.

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