When first-year education major Michael Sanchez heard Miami University’s class of 2025 had been named “the largest, most academically accomplished incoming class in history,” he was surprised.
“I’m a bit intimidated,” Sanchez said. “In front of other people, I don’t think I would hold up to that standard, but hopefully I do.”
Bethany Perkins, director of Admissions, said grades and course rigor were key factors in admitting the best students.
“Both of these metrics are tied to a student’s overall achievements and performance over their high school career, not a point-in-time measurement such as a test score,” Perkins said.
Zeb Baker, director of the Honors College, said the basic academic profile is the most important part of the admissions process for the college.
“Even though it was a cohort of students across the university that [were] admitted through test-score optional means, that didn’t deter the university from being able to identify outstanding students,” Baker said.
Baker said he thinks the Honors College has been successful with attracting students. Over 4,500 students applied to be a part of the Inaugural Cohort of Honors College students in the first year of its institution.
“We were able to help the university to continue to make the case for really good, smart students to choose Miami, whether or not they’re in the Honors College,” Baker said.
While some might have high ACT and SAT scores, that wasn’t the case for incoming first-year Kaila Powers. Also an education major, Powers said her hard work and passion helped her get accepted despite her low test scores.
“I am more knowledgeable about stuff that strings along with my passions,” Powers said. “I work hard, I study hard and I get decent grades.”
Sanchez, like Powers, took pride in his determination and work ethic to get his grades up.
“I struggled early in high school and made up for it my junior and senior year,” Sanchez said.
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Perkins said Miami attracts students because of the challenging courses, academic experience, positive career outcomes and engaging campus experience.
“I think our applicant pool reflects our student body,” Perkins said. “Our students work hard and are involved in life outside the classroom, and that foundation is laid before starting at Miami.”
Powers chose Miami because of the school’s proximity to her home in Cincinnati, Miami’s beautiful campus and the school’s opportunities for students.
“Every single time I went there [to visit], I just felt connected to it,” Powers said. “I was like, ‘Yes, this is the place where I fit in.’”
Both Powers and Sanchez plan to get involved in student organizations. Powers wants to join an a capella group and an exercising program like yoga or zumba. Sanchez wrote for his high school newspaper and wishes to continue that in college.
Jayne Brownell, vice president for Student Life, said her role helps students get engaged in a lot of activities, supporting them as they progress through their years.
“We want to make sure [students] have a great experience while they’re here,” Brownell said. “We want them to stay, persist and graduate.”
Perkins said Miami plans to share students’ stories with everyone and anyone they can.
“We trust that the value of the Miami experience will continue to speak for itself in many ways.”