At nearly 2,800 strong, the University of Louisville Class of 2020 will join the Cardinal community as one of the largest, most diverse and best-prepared the university has ever seen.

This year’s bumper crop of freshmen exceeds last year’s historic count by 100 students. Not only are there more of them, they represent a wider range of backgrounds than previous classes: 13.5 percent of its members are African American, and 4.1 percent are Latino. Executive Director of Admissions Jenny Sawyer believes that this is a new record for racial diversity.

“I checked our numbers going back to 1988 and I feel pretty confident that this year represents our highest numbers for African American and Hispanic/Latino students,” she said.

In addition, this year’s freshman class is the most well-prepared academically in the institution’s history. Nearly half of its students will arrive having already earned some level of college credit, and its average ACT score of 25.5 surpasses both the 2015 national average of 21 and the state average of 20. Of the freshman class, 465  students are part of the university’s honors program, while 236 are Kentucky Governor’s Scholars.

“It’s a good feeling to know that we are attracting top-notch students from across the U.S. who are well equipped to begin college,” said UofL Acting President Neville Pinto. “Our incoming students are extraordinary in many ways — nearly half already have some college credits, the class is highly diverse and their ACT scores are impressive.”

Most of the class hails from nearby: 78.7 percent (2,280) are Kentuckians, and nearly half  (1,055) are from Jefferson County. Just over 17 percent of the class comes from outside the commonwealth, representing 36 states. Most are ready to call UofL home for the year, with 73.8 percent living on campus.

The most popular declared majors among the new class are Engineering, Business and Nursing. They will embark on these and many other degree programs on Monday, Aug. 22 as undergraduates begin the fall semester.