University of Georgia welcomes its most academically qualified freshman class ever

UGA tells early action applicants whether or not they were admitted today.

The University of Georgia welcomes a new freshman class this week. Here is what UGA had to say about the students:

In addition to being the first class at the University of Georgia to benefit fully from the university’s experiential learning initiative, the more than 5,400 students who will begin classes next week are the institution’s most academically gifted to date.

The average high school grade point average of first-year students at the nation’s first state-chartered university is 3.98, which greatly exceeds last year’s average of 3.91. In addition, the average SAT score for the incoming class reached a new high of 1302 this year.

The average score for students who took the ACT was 29, which ties last year’s record. In 2011, for comparison, the average SAT score for incoming students was 1226, and the average ACT score was 28.

The rigor of students’ high school curriculum remains a key factor in admissions decisions, and members of the Class of 2020 enrolled in an average of seven College Board Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses in high school.

Nearly 23,000 students applied for admission into the Class of 2020, an increase of 3 percent over the previous year. UGA attempted to meet this unprecedented demand through a measured increase in the size of the freshman class, which was nearly 5,300 last year. UGA’s acceptance rate for fall 2016 was 53 percent, compared to 63 percent in 2011.

“I am excited about the outstanding qualifications and broad diversity of backgrounds represented in this year’s incoming class,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “Through strategic investments in faculty, facilities and new academic initiatives, we are creating an unparalleled learning environment and, in turn, attracting the very best and brightest students to the University of Georgia.”

With the implementation of its new experiential learning requirement this fall, UGA has become the nation’s largest public university to ensure that each of its students benefits from hands-on learning opportunities such as internships, research, study abroad and service-learning. A small class size initiative has brought more than 50 new faculty members to campus this fall and created more than 300 new course sections, the majority of which have fewer than 20 students.

“The Class of 2020 includes the very best and brightest of this generation,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten. “Our top priority is to provide them with unrivaled learning opportunities to best prepare them for successful and fulfilling careers.”

Eighty-five percent of Georgia counties will be represented in the incoming class, and students from nearly all of Georgia’s 159 counties are enrolled at UGA.

In-state enrollment in the Class of 2020 is 87 percent, a figure that has remained relatively stable over the past decade. The top states from which out-of-state students hail are North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Florida and California.

The 89 international students in the Class of 2020 come from 52 countries, and the top countries from which they hail are China, Korea and India. The more than 5,400 incoming first-year students will be joined by more than 1,500 transfer students from more than 240 institutions.

The number of incoming students who self-identify as non-white has increased by 10 percent over the past year to exceed 1,730. More than 460 members of the incoming class self-identify as African-American, an increase of 10 percent over the past year. The number of Hispanic students in the incoming class increased by 8 percent over last year.

UGA’s nationally recognized Honors Program will enroll 525 new students this fall, and they bring an average high school GPA of 4.16 that reflects their rigorous Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate curriculum. Incoming Honors students have an average combined critical reading and math SAT score of 1487 and an average ACT score of 33.

“This is an unprecedented class in terms of diversity and scholastic achievement,” said Patrick Winter, associate vice president for admissions and enrollment management. “Their academic rigor is well-rounded with leadership, community and artistic accomplishments, holding promise of great success. I am looking forward to welcoming them to campus and seeing what they can accomplish through the exciting new opportunities that UGA has to offer this fall.

Reader Comments 0

16 comments
dcdcdc
dcdcdc

All accomplished on the backs of the largest govt sanctioned transfer of money from the poor to the wealthy in modern Georgia history.  But nary a peep from the folks on this blog who profess to "care about the poor".


I guess it doesn't matter when your pet programs are the beneficiaries as well.


Hypocrisy at it's finest, once again.

DawginNY
DawginNY

@dcdcdc But this is a purely voluntary transfer, and it could be argued that it is wise for the least productive to invest in the productivity of the most capable.  Call it a down payment on a lifetime of mandatory transfers in the other direction.

edugator2
edugator2

My, aren't some of you a bit negative this morning!   Of course there's been some grade inflation going on, and the SAT of today isn't quite what it was 40 years ago when HS kids largely took it with minimal preparation.  However, the UGA that kids easily got into 40 years ago is not the UGA of today, which is a much more respectable academic institution.  Lots of UGA grads are finding it a tough get for their kids, and see out of state schools as their fall back plan.  The lottery and inexpensive tuition (relatively) probably account for many of the state's best students staying here.  


While I don't have stats, I'll bet the majority came from public schools.  


Now if only the public schools would start their own initiative to reduce class sizes, which are growing annually and are reaching the breaking point. 



THWG
THWG

So 53% of 23,000 applicants were accepted 

And of the 12,000 kids accepted, only 5,400 accepted their acceptance

It's still largely a back-up school 


Nice how the AJC and its readers laud the diversity of this class and the growing diversity of the University...but ironic how most of you poke fun at the North Avenue Trade School for its rich history of diversity.

DoubleDawg
DoubleDawg

@THWG I only poke fun at the gt football team.  Tech academics are and always have been top notch (as well as diversity).  If my children want to be engineers I would steer them to GT for sure.


Oh and by the way... based on your logic tech must also be a back-up school.  almost 8,000 accepted and an incoming class of about 2800.

lovemykids30030
lovemykids30030

@THWG And of the 12,000 kids accepted, only 5,400 accepted their acceptance.


Most schools have a 30-50% admit rate. With the Common App, it's easy to apply to many schools.

Tcope
Tcope

I always think about grade inflation when considering the GPA's of the students today. You really need to look at this as a factor when 87% of the students are from Georgia. 

The one statistic I wish was published would be how many students went to private vs. public schools.

Kelly Shaw
Kelly Shaw

Reagan Shaw you better step it up!!

LanceJohnson
LanceJohnson

Congrats to those who have come from afar because being an international student isn’t easy, given our complex culture and language. Assistance must come from numerous sources to aid these young people embarking on life’s journey. Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and informative books to extend a cultural helping hand so we all have a win-win situation.

One such new award-winning worldwide book/ebook that reaches out to help anyone coming to the US is "What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” It is used in foreign Fulbright student programs and endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors. It also identifies “foreigners” who became successful in the US and how they’ve contributed to our society, including students.  

   A chapter on education explains how to be accepted to an American university and cope with a confusing new culture, friendship process and daunting classroom differences. Some stay after graduation. It has chapters that explain how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work with/for an American firm here or overseas.

   It also has chapters that identify the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.

Good luck to all wherever you study!

ErnestB
ErnestB

Congratulations to the first year students at UGA.  They are arriving with with impeccable academic credentials.  They should be commended on the hard work they put in.


I took special interest in the average GPA and number of AP/IB courses taken.  I wonder about those students who lack access to AP/IB courses thus don't have the opportunity for a higher GPA.  I trust colleges and universities are taking that into consideration with considering applicants.

DontWorryBeHappy
DontWorryBeHappy

@ErnestB Smartest? Or most tortured, prodded, tested, and standardized freshman class ever? Forcing high school students to max out on AP classes, obsessively prepare for the SAT exam, and stressing out over every academic assignment is a step in the wrong direction. Our high school students are exhausted from all of this self-called 'academic rigor' with not nearly enough wiggle room for electives, creative thinking, and other pursuits that high schoolers should experience. Kudos to UGA for its incredibly high standards. It is undoubtedly a world class institution, but I really, really worry about the generational effects of all of this standardization, over-testing, and AP classes...


Of course smart students are intellectually capable of 'learning' college level content, but that doesn't mean we as a society should push students as early and as fast as possible. My 13 year old son is intellectually capable of driving a car, but that doesn't mean that he should. There's a very good reason why high school occurs for students from 14-18 and college from 18-22. These are two very different psychological, social, and emotional development phases and education during each of them should be distinctly different.