Media Contact
August 19, 2008

At 913 students, the Class of 2012 is WPI’s largest and most diverse class in the university’s 143-year history. The group boasts many students with impressive extracurricular resumes.

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Worcester, Mass. - Today, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) officially welcomed the Class of 2012, which, at 913 students, is the largest class in the university's 143-year history.

In addition to being WPI's largest-ever entering class, the Class of 2012 is made up of the most diverse student body in the university's history; of the total, 12 percent are international students, an additional 12 percent are underrepresented students of color, and more than 250 women are starting at WPI this year -- all of which are record-setting numbers for the university. The Class of 2012 also brings the highest aggregate grade point average ever to WPI with a 3.76 average, 300 of the incoming students having earned a 4.0. These first-year students come from 42 countries, 36 states, and Puerto Rico.

"We are very excited to see more students take us up on our offers of admission than in the past couple of years," said Edward J. Connor, WPI's director of admissions. "With students applying to more and more schools, and the yield rates falling at many colleges, this increase is certainly a testament to the strong academic offerings here at WPI."

As a university with a global focus, WPI actively recruits outside the United States. As a testament to WPI's global outreach, the university is welcoming one student each from Thailand and Kazakhstan. These students have been sponsored by outside organizations to complete their studies at WPI. Most notably, WPI was selected to host an Afghani undergraduate through the AMZ Renaissance Foundation Fellowship Program. Only five fellowships are offered through this program, which provides full funding for four years of undergraduate study. This will be the first student from Afghanistan to study at WPI.

In addition to these standouts, the Class of 2012 boasts many students with impressive extracurricular resumes, including a captain of the New England Championship Irish Step Dancing team, a lead vocalist in the Pennsylvania Teen State Opera, a co-author of a book about tsunamis to benefit relief support, a participant in an Intercultural Nursing trip to the Dominican Republic, a male student who created the website and serves as the contributing editor of online publication Information Weekly, which covered the opening of the New York City Apple store and the 2008 Macworld Expo in San Francisco; a female student is working with a Disney Imagineer to design her own amusement park ride, the youngest intern ever to be hired by Cisco Corporation, a winner of the Department of Homeland Security Scholarship for the Firefighter Locator System, a student who completed the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, a 192-mile bike-a-thon fund-raiser for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund, as well as 24 valedictorians and 36 salutatorians.

While many families are looking to send their children to universities where they will be happy for four years, they are also looking for a good educational investment. Graduates of WPI have many opportunities for employment as well as for graduate or professional school. This was recently recognized in "Top Colleges for Getting Rich" survey that ranked WPI No. 9 in the nation for graduates employed for 10 to 20 years. Median salaries among WPI graduates with up to five years of experience averaged $61,000; this obtained a No. 12 national ranking. For graduates with 10 to 20 years of experience, the median was $114,000. The median top salary among WPI graduates was $180,000.

"WPI students are heavily sought by employers around the world," Connor said, "and with the ninth-highest median starting salary in the country for WPI graduates in the workplace for 10 to 20 years, many families realize that WPI is a great place to be."