Converse Celebrates Largest Undergraduate Population in History

Converse Celebrates Largest Undergraduate Population in History

Converse faculty and staff help first-year students unload their belongings in front of Wilson Hall during move-in day.

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A banner year begins this week as Converse welcomes its largest undergraduate population in the College’s 128-year history. Additional milestones to celebrate include the College’s first Converse International School students from China, first NCAA DII field hockey and NCATA acrobatics and tumbling teams, first paid campus internships program, and the opening of the new junior suites, which will be named and dedicated on Sept. 22.

Anticipated to be over 930 students, the undergraduate population is 11% larger than last year and 32% larger than a decade ago. It includes an expected 343 first-year students.  The graduate student population has also grown 10% over last year.  A total of 28 international students representing 13 countries have enrolled in the student body.

About The Class of 2021

  • 343 students expected, including 281 freshmen, 53 transfer students, and 128 student athletes
  • Hail from 21 states and 7 foreign countries
  • Average GPA: 3.91
  • Among them are:
    • one valedictorian
    • two salutatorians
    • 12 students who scored in the top 5th percentile nationally on the SAT or ACT
    • 22 (9%) who graduated among the top 10 students of their high school class
    • 43 (18%) who graduated in the top 10% of their high school class
    • six daughters of Converse alumnae
    • 101 “Trailblazers” who are the first in their families to attend college

About Field Hockey and Acrobatics & Tumbling

The addition of Field Hockey and Acrobatics & Tumbling bring the Valkyries’ roster of sports to 13. Converse is the only women’s college in the nation competing at the NCAA Division II level.

Field hockey started at Converse in 1909 and developed into a competitive sport until 1982-83, at which point Converse was the last remaining competitive team in South Carolina. The addition of field hockey at the NCAA Division II level this year places Converse among five schools in the southeast who have such a program, along with fellow Conference Carolinas members Belmont Abbey and Limestone and South Atlantic Conference members Newberry and Queens.  The four programs’ field hockey teams compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference.

Converse and Conference Carolinas member King College are the only schools in the Southeast region to compete in Acrobatics and Tumbling. Converse became the 14th member of the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA) in 2016, joining colleges from across the nation. Acrobatics and Tumbling is the evolution of different forms of gymnastics. Teams compete in compulsories, acro, pyramid, toss, tumbling and team event, and competitors demonstrate significant strength, power, flexibility, and balance. Team rosters are 24-40 athletes who compete in 6-8 meets each year. The season begins in February and continues through the end of April with the NCATA National Championships.