On Monday, the University of Central Florida will welcome the largest and most diverse student body in its history, including a freshman class with a university-record GPA, the university stated.

Approximately 66,000 enrolled students will begin classes. The Fall 2017 freshman class has an average incoming GPA of 4.05 and includes 88 National Merit Scholars, ranking UCF at No. 11 for public universities for the number of National Merit Scholars.

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“Yes, we are big – and our growth is no accident. We have increased student access because we know that nothing transforms lives so much as a college education,” UCF President John C. Hitt said.

“We also know that being big is not enough – we must demand excellence.”

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A record 45% of current students are minorities, UCF said, and 25% are First Generation students – the first in the immediate family to attend college.

UCF’s founding can be traced back 54 years when it was Florida Technological University, with the first classes beginning 49 years ago.

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