Cal U Builds on Academic Quality

Sep 06, 2019

967 freshmen start the academic year at California University of Pennsylvania.

academic quality

With the arrival of the Class of 2023, California University of Pennsylvania continues to build its academic quality.

First-year students entering Cal U have an average high school grade-point average of 3.27 this fall, exceeding the average of 3.17 for incoming students last year.

The number of entering freshmen with a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher rose by 9% this fall, compared to last year, and Cal U saw a 12% increase in first-year students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

“We intentionally set a somewhat lower goal for overall first-year enrollment, with a mission to raise the average GPA and standardized test scores of the entering class,” explained T. David Garcia, vice president for Enrollment Management.

“We definitely were more selective; however, our class size exceeded expectations, and we were able to bring in a strong first-year class of 967 students.”

Cal U’s newest students come from 48 Pennsylvania counties and 33 U.S. states.

“The number of out-of-state freshmen rose by almost 39%,” Garcia said, including increases in students from Maryland, Ohio and New York.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Cal U has strengthened the academic profile of its first-year class. Based on their SAT or ACT scores and high school grades, Cal U freshmen may be eligible for Vulcan Merit Scholarships valued between $1,500 and $4,000 per year.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, Cal U awarded nearly $3.2 million in merit and need-based aid. “Students with a strong academic background are discovering that Cal U offers a great value,” Garcia said.

Cal U offers an array of challenging programs in science and technology, including new majors in molecular biology and veterinary technology. Qualifying students in the pre-professional biology program are guaranteed a seat in Lake Erie College of Medicine’s medical or pharmacy schools, and Cal U’s mechatronics engineering technology program is unique within Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.

The university also has highly selective programs in fields ranging from physical therapist assistant and communication disorders to early childhood education and professional golf management.