Colby-Sawyer welcomed 297 new students to campus, including first-year students, transfers and the college’s first cohort of graduate students set to earn a master’s of science in nursing. The college’s total student population is 1,042.

The 282 members of the Class of 2020 begin college with an average high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.3, a slight increase over last year’s incoming class and higher than the nation’s 3.0 average. More than a third of the class earned a high school GPA of 3.5 or better.

Sixty-three new students will major in nursing; other popular majors are biology, psychology and business administration. Colby-Sawyer’s business administration and health care management majors are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), an award-winning accreditation association in business education.

The new students, who represent 18 states and four countries, are multi-talented outside the classroom as well; the class includes a referee for the Special Olympics, a flutist with the Worcester Symphony Orchestra and a firefighter. Director of Admissions Anna Miner notes a theme of service and interest in others in the group.

“So many of members of the Class of 2020 have done service work, from participating in local charities to helping others across the globe,” she said. “A lot also have impressive stories of overcoming challenges to get to college, and their journeys are inspiring.”

Thirty-five percent of the class are first-generation students, aligning with the national picture of undergraduates who are the first in their family to attend a four-year college.

Orientation Leaders David Meola ’18, Carrington Morgan ’17 and Theresa Edick ’18 welcome new students outside Colgate Hall.

On the other end of the college experience spectrum, 20 members of the Class of 2020 have a family member who attended Colby-Sawyer and three have a sibling currently enrolled. A set of twins from Exeter, N.H., came to college together.

Emma Bidwell ’20, a business administration major with a concentration in accounting and finance from Penacook, N.H., is the fifth in her family to attend Colby-Sawyer after her grandmother, great-aunts and cousins. “From seeing my family members go on to be very successful, I know a Colby-Sawyer degree is going to be worth it,” she said.

Twenty-three of the 297 new students are transfers from other institutions, including community colleges in the state. An articulation agreement between Colby-Sawyer and four colleges within the Community College System of New Hampshire enables qualified graduates of those schools to transfer into a bachelor degree program at Colby-Sawyer and finish their undergraduate studies. Those colleges are Lakes Region Community College (LRCC) in Laconia, NHTI: Concord's Community College, River Valley Community College (RVCC) in Claremont and White Mountain Community College in Berlin.

The college also welcomed 16 graduate students pursuing their master’s of science in nursing. In collaboration with Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the new 37-credit graduate program combines classroom work with hybrid/online didactic and clinical practice at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.

The 16 part-time students are enrolled from a segment of DHMC employees and receive instruction from the college’s qualified nursing faculty as well as nurse leaders from DHMC.