Kent State Is the Place to Be! First-Year Student Numbers Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Kent State University’s Class of 2026 has arrived on the Kent Campus in strong numbers – 4,251 to be exact – an increase of nearly 7% over the previous year, the largest class since before the pandemic and the eighth largest incoming class in the university’s 112-year history. 

These newest Golden Flashes arrive as high achievers, boasting an outstanding GPA of 3.5 and hailing from 39 states, Washington, D.C., and 31 countries.

“Our entire student body is ready to thrive with a more normal, pre-pandemic feel to the college experience, and our first-year students have arrived with tremendous energy and a focus on making the most of their time here at Kent State,” said Kent State President Todd Diacon. “Our newest students complete our Golden Flashes family, and I applaud our entire enrollment strategy team with working so hard to share the Kent State story.” 

One in three students (34%) in the freshman class is a first-generation student, and nearly one in five (a record 19%) is underrepresented, which includes African American, Hispanic, Native American and multiracial students. 

One in seven students is a member of the largest incoming group of new students ever to be accepted into Kent State’s Honors College. This program enrolls students who have demonstrated the potential for significant academic and creative ability in high school by taking rigorous coursework such as AP, IB, honors or college credit, along with other activities and leadership experiences.

Kent State’s first-year class also includes 93 international students, more than double the previous year. These students are part of a 19% increase in the total number of international students now calling the Kent Campus home; this includes nearly 1,000 graduate students, a stunning 43% increase from the previous year.

“The world has taken notice of the outstanding educational opportunities Kent State has to offer,” said Sean Broghammer, Ph.D., Kent State’s vice president for enrollment management. “Our Office of Global Education has successfully shared the good news around the globe that we have much to offer for students seeking a degree in the United States.”

Diacon continues to emphasize Kent State’s commitment to graduating students as evident in the Kent Campus’ graduation rate, which reached 65.8% last year, the second highest rate since 2000.

Kent State’s strong retention (78.5%) of returning students to the Kent Campus can be credited in part to the university’s award-winning student support services designed to help students every step of the way – from their first day on campus through graduation. Enrollment is 25,007 at the Kent Campus and reaches 33,209 when including the entire eight-campus system. Altogether, the university’s current enrollment boasts students from all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and nearly 100 countries.
Kent State’s eight campuses are located in Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Kent, Salem, Stark, Trumbull and Tuscarawas.
For more information about Kent State, visit

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Media Contacts:
Eric Mansfield,, 330-672-2797
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Wednesday, September 21, 2022 11:41 AM
UPDATED: Saturday, December 10, 2022 06:00 AM
Eric Mansfield