A local story regarding the incoming freshman class.
We have become highly selective which is good--but not necessarily obviously good. We really are a different university than ten years ago--if you are not from around here you could never appreciate just how night and day the difference is. But our previous student body--older, commuting, working, blue-collar, parents, less prepared (but harder working?) lower SATs and GPAs--well they had their virtues too.
One of my earliest memories of CNU (then CNC) is of a stroll though the common area of our building one evening, probably around 9:00 pm. To my amazement I saw a woman, thirty-something or forty-something, sitting at a table and studying--while rocking a stroller back and forth. I felt--ashamed at how easy my life as a student had been.
Now we have 18-22 year-old traditional students, mostly living on-campus. We have improved dramatically--something like 250 SAT points--I doubt if any other university has done the same so quickly. But as often is the case, rapid progress leaves you with occasional nostalgia over what was and what never will be again.