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Temple attracts strong class, credits scholarships, Temple Made campaign

Temple University announces it has attracted the strongest class in its history.

Temple University will welcome its strongest freshman class in terms of academics in its history, with a 16-point jump in average SAT scores and a higher average class rank, President Neil Theobald will announce at Tuesday's board of trustees meeting.

University officials credit the improved class composite to the "Temple Made" branding campaign launched last August and an expanded scholarship program announced in fall 2012 that rewards students with strong academics and provides stipends for summer research, internships and study abroad. Students cited the Temple Made campaign in their applications and correspondence, the university said.

"We're optimistic we'll meet our aspirational goal of enrolling 4,300 freshman and 2,700 transfer students for fall 2013," Karin Mormando, director of undergraduate admissions, said in a prepared statement.

The jump in SAT scores is the second largest in the last decade, surpassed only in 2008 when the scores increased by 21 points. The average reading and math SAT score for fall 2013 is 1129.

And the average SAT score for honors college students increased by an "unprecedented" 31 points to 1370, officials said. The number of honors college students also is up by 196, to 548.

The academic scholarship program provides financial awards ranging from $3,000 to full tuition to students with a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 and SAT score of 1150. Also, students at the top of the class, called president's scholars, will receive three stipends, at $4,000 apiece, to do resarch, an internship, study abroad or another approved educational experience, officials said. A second level, called provost's scholars, will receive one $4,000 scholarship.

The university said the new scholarships have attracted stronger students to a variety of programs, including the Boyer College of Music and Dance, which also was aided by high-profile Grammy nominations to its program participants over the last several years.

Honors enrollment also is dramatically up in the College of Science and Technology, officials said.

The number of students accepting offer of admission and sending in their deposit is up nine percent over last year, the university said. Temple received nearly 22,000 applications.