Incoming freshman class sees increase at University of Louisville

    UofL's 2020 move-in dates were spread out over several days this year for safety.

    Despite the enormous challenges necessitated by the ongoing global health emergency, thousands of students started fall classes at the University of Louisville Aug. 17 and preliminary totals show the number of incoming freshmen has increased slightly over last year.

    As classes began on campuses transformed by the need for COVID-19-safe environments, the preliminary enrollment for the freshman class totals more than 2,800 students, up from approximately 2,600 in 2019. The five most popular majors are engineering, business, education, biology and psychology, but the health crisis has resulted in an almost 27% increase in the number of students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate public health programs.

    The class remains diverse, with almost 20% of students identifying as African American or multiracial, and almost 7% as Latino.

    The university has instituted on-campus mask requirements and is encouraging practices such as frequent testing, social distancing, proper hand-washing techniques and getting flu vaccines. A key element of UofL’s Pivot to Fall plan is hybrid classes that allow students and faculty to remain at COVID-19-safe distances through a combination of online and in-person learning. In addition, UofL continues to offer more than 35 completely online programs.

    According to a preliminary count, more than 86% of all UofL undergraduate first-time students are enrolled in classes that combine both online and face-to-face instruction.

    “Our Cardinals are not going to let the Covid-19 pandemic deter them from furthering their education,” said Neeli Bendapudi, UofL president. “They are back on campus and online, moving forward with their classes in safe and responsible ways. We welcome them and are thrilled to see them after a long absence.”

    Here is a snapshot of the first-time freshman class:

    • 54.5% have some college credits
    • 19.6% are African American or identify as multiracial
    • 6.9% are Hispanic/Latino
    • 66.3% live on campus (down from 72% as reported last year) 
    • 25 is the average ACT score
    • 3.8 is the average high school grade-point average, based on a 4.0 scale
    • 24.9% are from outside Kentucky
    • 35 states are represented
    • 269 are part-time incoming freshmen
    • 33.7% are first-generation college students (number reflects a new definition of this breakout to align with national standards).

    For more about UofL’s Pivot to Fall, including the latest updated information on UofL’s COVID-19 protocols, visit

    Janet Cappiello covers student success for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism, including working for The Associated Press and magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. She has been at UofL since 2014.