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Applications soar at Barrett, the ASU Honors College

May 31, 2009

A flood of admission applications has hit Barrett, the Honors College, this spring. Applications are up 38 percent over last year, with more top Arizona high school seniors choosing Barrett as well as increased numbers from other states.

More than 2,000 incoming freshmen have applied for admission to Barrett, compared to 1,450 last year. They include 12 Flinn Scholars out of a group of 17, the highest proportion that have ever attended ASU. Flinn Scholars are the “cream of the crop” for Arizona, receiving full funding from the Flinn Foundation to attend any Arizona university of their choice.

Applications from National Merit Scholars are up six percent over last year, and National Hispanic Scholar applications are up 17 percent. About 72 percent of the incoming freshmen are from Arizona, compared to 66 percent last year.

Among the Barrett students from other states are three cousins from the St. Louis area, all National Merit Scholars. Two are current freshmen and the third is entering as a freshman in Fall 2009.

The increased reputation of Barrett as well as the economic pinch of the recession may be leading more Arizona students to stay in state, according to Mark Jacobs, Barrett dean. Also, ASU is opening a new Barrett campus next fall, the nation’s first campus for honors students at a public university.  

The seven-building campus will house 1,700 students, with 94 percent of the rooms already reserved and an expected occupancy rate of 100 percent. The 8.25-acre campus will feature its own dining center, classrooms, faculty and administrative offices and activity space. It is being developed by American Campus Communities, in partnership with ASU.

Barrett offers an independent living and learning community with services for academically talented students and others who want the same environment. The campus also will feature a student-designed sustainable living community, with low-consumption plumbing fixtures, enhanced energy monitoring, recycled gray water, a green roof and organic garden so students can study and experience sustainable living concepts.