Stephanie Nevarez, honors student from Colorado and a new member of UB's Class of 2022

The University of Bridgeport has admitted 2,420 U.S. students to the Class of 2022 from a pool of more than 3,909 students who applied as early action candidates, officials announced today.

Accepted students come from 35 states, and 22 percent will be the first in their families to attend college.

Because of its needs-blind admissions policy, UB does not consider students’ financial status when reviewing their applications. Ninety-seven percent of students currently receive financial support, and that number is not expected to change greatly during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Some 804 early action applicants who were granted admission are residents of Connecticut, qualifying them for UB’s Connecticut Promise program. It currently caps tuition, fees, room, and board at $19,500 for Connecticut residents who enroll or transfer to UB.

While candidates expressed a range of academic interests, the most popular majors for members of the Class of 2022 include pre-nursing, biology, criminal justice, health science, psychology, and business administration.

We are so excited that this exemplary pool of candidates will join us in the fall semester. Some are accomplished classical musicians and athletes. Others have developed green technologies and excel in the areas of STEM. Many volunteer in their communities. Yet, despite their diverse backgrounds, the students we’ve accepted to the Class of 2022 are united by their ambition, drive, and talent. We’re thrilled to say, ‘Welcome to UB!’ –Director of Domestic Undergraduate Admissions Jessica Crowley

Some members accepted to the Class of 2022 include:

Harshal Khatri, 17, from Bridgeport. Currently enrolled at Information Technology and Software High School (part of the Inter-District Magnet School in Bridgeport), Khatri said he chose UB because he was impressed by the opportunities at the School of Engineering. UB’s commitment to undergraduate research in a variety of academic fields also interests him, he said. He specifically wants to major in Computer Science and Engineering.

Khatri’s goals are inspired by his involvement in STEM-related events. He’s already participated in several high school engineering competitions, where he’s designed and built robotic arms, water-filtration systems, and eco-friendly vehicles powered by fuel cells.

“I chose UB because it has a good computer science program,” he said. Khatri is an honors student and avid tennis player who regularly plays matches coordinated by First Serve Bridgeport. He fell in love with computers in middle school. “It’s amazing how they work,” he says.

Jodiana Lombardi, 18, was a Rhode Island second grader when she began dreaming about living overseas. “We’d leave the classroom and pretend we were on airplanes, and when we came back, the classroom would be turned into a different country.” Her interest in global affairs has grown since then. She took the initiative to become fluent in Arabic, Chinese, and Korean. She also spent her junior year in high school in Amman, Jordan, after winning a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study overseas. (People magazine even published a story about her experience.)

While abroad, she met recruiters from UB. She told them about her plan to work in international relations and volunteer with the Peace Corps. “We talked about all the programs there are,” said Lombardi. “When I came back to my high school in Rhode Island, there were UB recruiters to do a presentation. I thought, ‘This is meant to be,’ ” she said. She points to UB’s Peace Corps Prep Program and College of Public of International Affairs (CPIA). It’s among a handful of institutions granted NGO status by the United Nations. Other internships include overseas postings, and like Lombardi, UB students have won prestigious grants, including the State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship, to study abroad. It’s a world of possibilities that suits Lombardi well. “I definitely want to travel more, she says.

Stephanie Nevarez currently attends Basalt High School in Colorado, but her move to UB won’t be her first experience away from home. As an honors student and softball player, Nevarez was selected to join other top high school students from across the U.S. to study in Chile and the Easter Islands. “Meeting a diversity of students gave me the opportunity to learn about myself and others,” she said.

For the past four years, she has worked with the mayor of Basalt to develop programs that celebrate different the town’s Latino and other cultures, but science and “how things are interconnected” in the natural world fascinate Nevarez most of all. She will major in biology at UB, where the department to pursue careers in research and medicine. (Nevarez already knows she wants to become an ear-nose-and-throat doctor.) She is the first person in her family to attend college.

Jalen Wise plays three instruments (piano, bass, and guitar), tutors young students, interns at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, and has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA at The Heritage School in New York City. He credits much of his success to the Hecksher Foundation for Children, where he attends weekly been academic-enrichment and leadership classes. Nonetheless, Wise’s accomplishments are stunning, given the personal challenges he and his family have faced.

“My mom’s a single mom, and she’s had to balance two sick children and me,” Wise explains. “My brother has sickle cell anemia and my sister has epilepsy. It’s just a lot.”

Yet, those same challenges, he said, motivate his superlative academic record and inspire his plans for the future.
After earning a bachelor’s at UB, where he will double major in music and business at the Ernest C. Trefz School of Business, Wise wants to attend graduate school then help his mother by getting “a high-paying job,” ideally in the music industry. Moving away from loved ones won’t be easy, he admitted, but “it will be good for us.”

Plus, his mom has his back. “She tells me, ‘I believe in you,’” said Wise. “She’s my biggest supporter.”

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625,