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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Classes resumed Monday for students at the University of Louisville and expectations are high for the class of 2016.
U of L President Dr. James Ramsey explained why expectations for incoming freshmen are exceptionally high.
"This is the best academically prepared freshman class in the history of the University of Louisville as measured by test score performance in high schools," Ramsey said.
Student Government Association President Justin Brandt agrees.
"We're calling it our most academically prepared class," Brandt said. "They have great test scores and most -- almost half actually -- already have college credits."
Ramsey says U of L is setting the bar high, but points out that programs are available for students who want to attend but are not yet qualified. In fact, they've partnered with Jefferson Community and Technical College to help students that have fallen behind catch up.
"They do the remedial education, get students ready who aren't quite ready to come to the University of Louisville," Ramsey said. "It's a great program. You have in that program a U of L ID; you're taking your classes at Jefferson Community and Technical College, but you can be involved in activities on campus, be engaged in campus life at the University of Louisville."
Ramsey says his goal is to attract the best and the brightest, and even though the cost of an education continues to rise, he says a quality education is not out of reach thanks to federal and state programs that can loan or grant money based on need and/or merit.
"One of the programs that we're very proud of is our Cardinal Covenant program, which provides the cost of education -- tuition, room, board and books -- to those students whose family income is 150 percent below the poverty level," Ramsey said. "So when you really look at the income distribution, those students who have the greatest need have many financial aid opportunities to allow them to pursue their education."
Ramsey says "we want the very best students, and then our commitment to those students is that we're going to do everything that we can to give them the opportunity to be successful. And by that we mean graduate."
Before students make it to graduation, Brandt says the SGA will be working to make things easier on campus. This year construction begins on a new student recreation center.
Parking is always at a premium, but Brandt says the SGA is working to "get more parking on campus to support all the great things that are coming to campus, and we have more students living on campus with buildings like Cardinal Town and the Province which have just been built in recent years."