As the fall 2022 semester gets underway, Rollins is welcoming the largest incoming class in the college’s history. As an intern for Rollins Gateway this past summer, I got to learn all there was to know about this record-breaking cohort.
Rollins Gateway encourages students to find ways to connect with opportunities on campus that relate to their passions. Part of the way this is done is by finding data on what is motivating the students that we serve.
In order to learn about our students, we began using the R-Purpose survey. This survey, which was sent to every incoming student this summer, asked students about their passions, academic interests, experiential goals, and other questions related to their goals and expectations.
The trends I observed after reviewing 469 survey responses—a 60 percent response rate—were fascinating, and I’m excited to be sharing them all with our campus community.
The class of 2026 is made up of 649 students. This is a 20 percent increase from the incoming class of 2025, which previously held the title of the largest cohort with 540 incoming students. Additionally, Rollins is welcoming 109 transfer students and five exchange students according to the college’s Registrar, Stephanie Hanning.
The class of 2026 has demonstrated a number of social changes from their 2025 counterparts as well. Based on data from the R-Purpose survey, the top experiences students are looking forward to are internships (68%), global engagement (54%), and arts and culture (48%). In contrast, the class of 2025 ranked global engagement (53%), community engagement (49%), and arts and culture (46%) as their top-anticipated experiences.
The academic interests that students chose remained consistent even with national trends. Business (specifically Business Management) was the top interest, being selected by 18 percent of respondents. Undecided and Psychology also had significant interest, each receiving 10 percent of the responses.
Most importantly, when given the chance to share their expectations and desires for their time at Rollins, the respondents seemed to be sharing a brain. We saw an overwhelming number of students expressing interests in building an accepting community that made others feel welcome. Likewise, many students emphasized their willingness to try new things and grow as humans.
If you’d like to engage with Rollins Gateway, check out the Gateway instagram @rollinsgateway or visit us in Kathleen W. Rollins Hall. You can sign up to meet with a Gateway Guide to get personalized guidance on how to connect with the opportunities Rollins has to offer.
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