They come from Los Angeles and New York, Washington state and Washington, D.C., Shanghai and Chicago. But by Saturday evening, the 1,834 members of the Class of 2027 will have a new home: Washington University in St. Louis.
“We are thrilled to welcome the newest members of the WashU community,” said Ronné Turner, vice provost of admissions and financial aid. “After spending months getting to know the incoming class as they interacted with admissions and aid, I can say that each student brings unique talents and perspectives to WashU. We know they will make an impact here, and we look forward to seeing them shine.”
The Class of 2027 is more diverse than the Class of 2026, which, in turn, was more diverse than the Class of 2025. Representing all 50 states and 29 countries, 21% of students are Pell Grant-eligible; 17% are the first in their families to attend college; 53% identify as students of color. That’s compared to 20%, 15% and 51%, respectively, for the Class of 2026. Seven percent of new first-year students are from rural communities, while 174 live within 25 miles of campus. More than 5% received a WashU Pledge scholarship, which provides a free undergraduate education to students from Missouri and southern Illinois who are Pell Grant-eligible or from families with annual incomes of $75,000 or less.
The students’ interests are as diverse as their backgrounds. They are patent holders, figure skaters, TikTok producers and youth ambassadors. One student volunteered in Ukraine, another won a major robotics championship and still another has composed music for TV commercials.
The Class of 2027 also includes the university’s first cohort of Kessler Scholars, 20 first-generation limited-income students who want to use their science and engineering degrees to improve society.
Sheryl Mauricio, associate vice chancellor for student affairs, is ready to welcome them all onto the South 40 for move-in Friday, Aug. 18, and Saturday, Aug. 19 followed by a week of Bear Beginnings orientation activities. Events range from morning runs to academic open houses to a tailgate party. Campus Life also has organized about two-dozen “In the Lou” excursions to the Saint Louis Zoo, St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum, Griot Museum of Black History and other attractions. Bear Beginnings concludes Saturday, Aug. 26, with Convocation in the Brookings Quadrangle.
“There are a lot of moving parts, but we are ready,” Mauricio said. “Our returning student leaders are moved in, trained and excited to meet their new residents. The facilities and housekeeping teams have been working nonstop to ensure that the South 40 feels like home. And we have many activities planned to show students all that our campus and St. Louis has to offer.”
Once again, Residential Life allowed families to select their own arrival time and has hired professional movers, a service that has made move-in a largely stress-free process.
“Moving can be an intense experience, especially if you’ve traveled a long way to get here. The last thing we want parents to worry about is, ‘How am I going to carry this heavy box?’” Mauricio said. “What we want is for students to be able to focus on what matters, being with their families, meeting their new roommate, feeling at home here. This is their first moment in a new chapter, and we want them to be in that moment.”