Chris Rice, freshman at Colorado School of Mines

Freshman Chris Rice, Electrical Engineering, moved to Maple Hall from Del Norte, CO. “I love it here,” he responds, when asked about his impression of Mines. “Fun people, and they’re really nice.”

Freshmen on college campuses across the nation are adjusting to their new lives: making friends, missing home and getting used to a new set of academic expectations. At Mines, these expectations have always been high and come as a wake-up call to many. But overall, this year’s incoming class appears to be up for the challenge. In fact, according to traditional metrics, it’s the most academically prepared freshman class in decades, with average ACT composite scores of 29, average SAT composites of 1290 and an average high school GPA of 3.8.

The group includes 975 students (886 freshmen and 94 transfer students), 40 percent of whom are non-resident. In fact, it’s the largest number of out-of-state students Mines has ever admitted in a single class, with members hailing from all corners of the nation and 16 foreign countries. And it’s a diverse group in other ways: 25 percent of the class are women, 13 percent are ethnic minorities and 3.9 percent describe themselves as multiracial.

Most of this year’s incoming class recently took up residence in the newly constructed Maple Hall, where construction just wrapped up in early August. See a video tour of the new residence hall or view a photo gallery that includes Maple and Brown Halls.