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Aug 24, 2012 4:14 PM by Danielle Lerner

Breaking down the numbers behind this year's record-setting class of incoming Wildcats

TUCSON - As the University of Arizona wraps up it's first week, we're getting a closer look at this year's record-setting freshmen class. On Monday more than 7,400 students kicked off their first year at U of A, that is the largest incoming class in school history.

However, one of the more surprising statistics is what those students are choosing to study. Friday morning university officials shared some of their enrollment highlights. Turns out this year's incoming class has more students enrolled in so-called "S.T.E.M. Fields," an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, meaning numbers are up in the Colleges of Engineering, Medicine, Science, and Agriculture and Life Sciences. Student Affairs says increasing recruitment and the ailing economy are behind the trend.

"When you talk to parents and students they are really looking for a return on their investment," said Kasey Urquidez, associate vice president of Student Affairs. "They want to make sure they're going to college in an exciting and marketable field, which the S.T.E.M. fields are definitely out there as being a high priority."

Also included in Friday's report, 39 percent of incoming freshmen are from out of state, with most coming from California. The school's diversity continues to grow as well, with an increase in the number of international students.

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