UMass Lowell will welcome its largest-ever group of new students – approximately 2,900 freshmen and new transfers – beginning Friday, Aug. 26. 

The 1,700 first-year students beginning their UMass Lowell careers this week represent the most ethnically diverse incoming class ever and the most academically qualified, with an average high-school GPA of 3.58 and average SAT score of 1179. This year’s freshman class also includes the first group of students to use the university’s SAT-optional admissions program – approximately 130 students with an average high-school GPA of 3.7.

With the addition of the new first-year students and 1,200 new transfers, UMass Lowell’s enrollment will surpass 17,500 for the first time, a more than 50 percent jump in enrollment since 2007. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked UMass Lowell as the ninth fastest-growing public doctoral institution in the nation. 

This fall, 4,300 students will live in university housing, including more than 1,500 in 23 living-learning communities that offer residents with common interests the opportunity to engage in academics and research where they live.

More than 400 students in UMass Lowell’s Honors College living-learning communities will be among the first to move back to campus this week. They also include hundreds of participants in the Lowell-focused First Year Seminar in Honors, through which students read the works of authors like Lowell native Jack Kerouac while using the city as a classroom that teaches them about all Lowell has to offer including history, culture, government and community.  

Move-in is Friday, Aug. 26, noon to 2 p.m. – Students enrolled in the Honors College’s living-learning communities will move into University Suites and will be available to discuss participating in residential learning as well as the Lowell-focused first-year seminar. 327 Aiken St., Lowell, Mass.

Convocation is Wednesday, Aug. 31 at 10 a.m. – Chancellor Jacquie Moloney and other representatives of the university will offer a formal welcome to all new students. Keynote speaker Corey Ciocchetti, author and University of Denver faculty member in business ethics, will discuss the importance of achieving authentic success – a solid character, strong personal relationships and a sense of contentment – and living an ethical life. Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, East Campus, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell.

Welcome Back Night is Thursday, Sept. 1 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. – UMass Lowell students, faculty and staff will be welcomed back to Lowell’s vibrant downtown with a series of activities including tours led by the Lowell National Historical Park staff and Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL), a Snapchat scavenger hunt, discounts at local businesses and a social at Mill No. 5, the home of an eclectic collection of locally owned shops and other businesses located at 250 Jackson St., featuring food and fun. Tours start at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell.