CINCINNATI — A record number of University of Cincinnati students will kick off the the 2019-2020 school year Monday.
This year's incoming group of Bearcats represents the seventh consecutive year of record enrollment. More than 46,000 students will start class Monday.
Incoming freshman Mackenzie Koons said she feels connected to her class, despite the large enrollment number.
"It's a pretty small campus, so I feel like you see so many new people every day," Koons said.
Of the 46,000 students, about 8,000 are first-year students. Ashya Moore said she's proud to be in that class.
"It's my first year so I'm not used to it, but I feel grateful being part of this situation," Moore said. "It's really exciting."
The average ACT score for the freshman class was a 26.1, according to Caroline Miller, vice provost of Enrollment Management.
“They really are coming in, into all of our colleges, at significantly increased numbers, but most of the growth this year is in business, allied health, engineering and UC Blue Ash,” Miller said.
About 700 freshman will take classes in the new, $120 million Lindner College of Business, according to Dean Marianna Lewis.
Building the 225,000-square-foot facility has been years in the making; officials started fundraising for the new building in 2015.
The four-story building has two courtyards and 23 classrooms with 70 percent more classroom space. The college also features a large atrium space with a cafe, an interactive investment lab and the Kautz Attic, a student-centric space for “collaboration related to entrepreneurship and business education.”
Along with record breaking enrollment this year, 2019 is also the University of Cincinnati's bicentennial.
For some, being away from home is a 20-minute drive, for others, it's an international flight.
Incoming freshman Seth Blovits said he's "pretty stoked" to be away from home and to take a new step in life.
Jia Quinglu is interested in learning more about American culture.
"I'm still climbing myself into this environment," Quinglu said. "I want to make more local friends here."