After years of rising momentum, Leeds exceeds enrollment goals and welcomes a class like no other.
It’s been years in the making—a momentum-fueled achievement reflected in this year’s incoming class, which surpassed every enrollment goal to become the most diverse and academically gifted in Leeds’ history, while reaching gender parity for the first time and becoming the largest class in nearly a decade.
Jessica McGregor, director of undergraduate recruitment and scholarships at Leeds School of Business, said, “Meeting all of our enrollment goals is incredibly exciting. It can be very challenging in the ever-changing admissions landscape to meet these benchmarks. To finally reach this point is a testament to years of work by everyone at Leeds who helps us recruit new undergraduate students.”
This year’s incoming class is the largest Leeds has seen since 2014. The school welcomed 684 first-year students in the Class of 2027—increasing the student body to over 4,000 strong. Poised to succeed academically, the class entered with an average 3.94 GPA (including both weighted and unweighted GPAs) and higher standardized test scores than last year.
“Great students attract great students,” said Laura Kornish, associate dean of undergraduate programs. “Leeds has so much momentum. These enrollment numbers are just one example of that momentum.”
She also noted that retention and graduation rates have reached new heights. “As exciting as our enrollment numbers are, our 2023 4-year graduation rate is even more exciting. Over 80% of students who entered in Fall 2019 graduated within four years. This is a big deal.”
Also exciting is the fact that more students in this year’s class identify as coming from a diverse background (33%) than last year. The enrollment of students of color has been steadily rising over the past few years.
A surge of women
For the first time ever, Leeds welcomed more women (55%) than men (45%). This marks a monumental step toward the goal of achieving gender parity across the student body—an initiative started in 2017 called “End the Gap.”
McGregor offered her take on the influx of women: “It’s been six years of building a pipeline of female applicants through high school engagement, marketing campaigns, outreach efforts and special women’s programs. As a result, Leeds’ focus on gender equity has become more well-known.”
Zoe Cope is a first-year finance student who chose to attend Leeds after being selected for both Leeds Scholars and the Business & Engineering Women in Technology (BEWiT) program. Through her participation in BEWiT, she has learned that women are entering male-dominated industries at a higher volume than ever before.
“This program demonstrates the support system I have as a woman studying finance, and this would not be possible without the amazing programs at Leeds that support women,” said Cope, whose interest in finance came from watching her mother start an edtech company and search for funding.
MBA and MS on the rise
Graduate programs at Leeds also saw big wins this year:
- The number of first-year students in all four MBA programs together rocketed 19% over last year.
- Both women and diverse students rose in the Hybrid MBA.
- The percentage of diverse students increased in the Evening MBA.
- Leeds’ six master’s programs experienced a 24% increase in enrollment and a 31% rise in diverse students.
- The (newly revamped) MS Real Estate program’s enrollment numbers soared from 10 last year to 29 this fall.
- The MS in Business Analytics class experienced improved diversity.
- The number of women and diverse students rose in the MS in Supply Chain Management class.
The magic of momentum
Welcoming his first incoming classes as Leeds’ new dean, Vijay Khatri said, “It is so exciting to celebrate the staff’s tireless efforts to support students: from a promise made in recruitment to the retention and graduation rates that reflect a promise kept.”
When she tried to name the specific elements that went into this year’s recruitment successes, McGregor said, “I’m not sure that I could pinpoint any one factor–I think it’s a complex web of various factors, many of which have been building momentum for some time.”
But she was sure of one thing: “It took a Leeds village to get them here.”