Updated Tuesday: Here is a new AJC story on Tech’s partnership with APS to get more Atlanta grads into the school.
If your child did not get into Georgia Tech today, blame heightened competition for spots due to a widening and more talented applicant pool:
Here is what Tech has to say about the students admitted today to the Class of 2020:
High school students from around the world received notification today of whether or not they were invited to join the class of 2020 at Georgia Tech.
This year, applications hit a record high of 30,520 — a 12 percent increase over last year. Of that number, around 25 percent were offered admission (between early action and regular decision rounds).
The academic profile of accepted students continues to be more impressive each year. This year, the average SAT is 1445 (out of 1600), with 10 college-level courses completed.
This year’s application and admission rates are comparable to those of some of Tech’s public university peer institutions, including the University of North Carolina, University of Michigan, and University of Virginia. In the past four years alone, the number of applications to Georgia Tech has more than doubled, and the admit rate has dropped by more than half — meaning next year’s freshmen and this year’s seniors came from drastically different applicant pools.
As applications increase, more students are hearing “no” from Georgia Tech — a message that is not necessarily pleasant to deliver. Last year’s incoming class was larger than anticipated, which means this year’s class size goal is a little smaller in order to balance Tech’s overall student population. Tech accepted about 1,000 fewer students this year, with the goal of a class size of 2,800 freshmen.
“The selectivity is a blessing and a curse,” said Rick Clark, director of Undergraduate Admission. “Our staff gives great care to these decisions, and it’s not always fun. We have to remind ourselves that these are all amazing kids, and they have plenty of other great options.”
The admission rate for in-state students is higher than the overall rate, at 35 percent, while international students were accepted at a rate of 10 percent. Students from 299 Georgia high schools are included in the admitted pool.
Admission saw growth this year in strategic areas where it has devoted additional time or resources. One of those places is California, where it now has a full-time admission counselor and is able to have a presence in panel discussions and other college recruiting events. Another is in Latin American countries, where Admission staff participated in “consortium travel,” which lets representatives from similar peer institutions travel together to meet with prospective students and high school staff.
In its second year of partnership with Atlanta Public Schools, Georgia Tech offered admission to a student from every APS high school. Last year, five students enrolled at Tech in the first year of the program, which provides a scholarship to all APS valedictorians and salutatorians for four years of in-state tuition and mandatory fees.
Mary Tipton Wooley, senior associate director for undergraduate admission, equates the admission process more to matchmaking than one-sided acceptance. No longer is admission simply about being able to be successful at Georgia Tech. It is now more a process of identifying mutual fits for prospective students and the Institute.
This year, Undergraduate Admission worked with faculty in five of Tech’s six colleges to identify the best candidates for each area. Faculty members are able to apply their expertise by taking a more nuanced looks at applications.
Additionally, seven temporary seasonal staff members joined the team to help carry the extra load of applications. Hiring temporary staff allows Tech’s permanent staff to maintain relationships with applicants and high school counselors across Georgia and beyond.
“Their presence allows our staff to actually call people back in the midst of our busiest season,” Clark said. “They are crucial to our work and maintaining customer service amidst the volume increase and time compression. If you have a prospective student emailing with a question and not getting an answer back quickly, that’s a problem.”
Now that students have been offered admission, the task becomes getting them to choose Georgia Tech among the many offers they have received. Clark believes the Georgia Tech community is essential at this point in the process.
“Part of the success we have had in recent years is from students, faculty, and staff encouraging those they know to come to Georgia Tech,” he said. “If someone on social media from your area says they’ve been accepted, or you know someone personally, congratulate them. Offer to answer questions they may have.”
Many students will also visit campus in the coming weeks for tours and in-person conversations, as they make their final decisions.
“Be welcoming and friendly if you see people who are visiting,” Clark said. “Ask where they’re from, and, if it’s an admitted student, heartily congratulate them.”
Students, faculty, staff, and alumni can find and interact with newly admitted students on social media through the #gt20 hashtag.
Accepted students will receive information about financial aid packages in April. Georgia Tech also provides resources on how to pay for college and creative ways to seek funding.