Freshmen starting Georgia Tech Monday set new high for achievement

Getting into Tech requires strong grades and test scores.

Last week, I shared the profile of the arriving University of Georgia freshmen. Here is what Georgia Tech has to say about its freshmen:

On Monday, another impressive group of students will begin their careers as Yellow Jackets.

A record number of students applied for acceptance to Georgia Tech this year, with applications exceeding 30,500 for the first time. Of those who were accepted, around 2,860 will make up the new class.

As has been the trend in recent years, their credentials set new highs for an incoming class. These students have taken an average of 10 college-level courses, and 95 percent have taken college-level calculus or an equivalent. The students represent 69 countries, 43 states, 89 Georgia counties, and 1,429 high schools (307 in Georgia). The class is 42 percent female — an Institute record for the second year — and 58 percent male.

“We need more women in STEM and at the table when it comes to policy and product creation in the workforce, and we look at ourselves as part of the solution,” said Rick Clark, director of Undergraduate Admission.

Still, it’s not just the stats that make Clark proud.

“The fact that we continue to become more academically talented with each class, and more diverse on almost every metric of what you would call diversity, is really an anomaly,” he said. “Colleges often have to give up one or the other. It kind of blows my mind, but it’s just indicative of Georgia Tech’s excellence and national prominence that we are coupling those two things.”

This year, Tech saw an especially high increase in applications to the College of Computing and growth in matriculation in the College of Sciences, which will make up 13 percent of the new class.

In 2014, Georgia Tech started the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Scholars program to recruit, enroll, support and graduate the most academically talented students in the city school system. This year’s freshman class includes APS Scholars from 11 of the 13 high schools in the district. Under the program, which started with the incoming class of 2015, Georgia Tech offers automatic admission to all APS valedictorians and salutatorians who apply and covers four years of in-state tuition and mandatory fees.

As this class arrives on campus, the next admission cycle has already begun. This week, Georgia Tech joins the University of Georgia and Georgia State University for the start of the Peach State tour, where colleges collaborate to visit communities around the state and meet with prospective students.

 

Reader Comments 0

24 comments
Joselyn Schutz
Joselyn Schutz

I think Tech should be honest.  Most of its increased admittance of women is in non-STEM majors.  If it weren't for the Ivan Allen college, the ratio would still be close to 3:1.  If you disregard the "helper" sciences (those that feed into medical careers) like biology & biomedical engineering, and industrial engineering, looking just at the hard sciences & traditional engineering majors (the most STEM-y majors, e.g., physics, chemistry, math, electrical eng., mechanical eng., civil eng., aerospace, etc.), the ratios are terrible.


And as a female electrical engineering GT grad, that's fine with me.  I don't scream about the lack of men in nursing, so long as the opportunities they have to go into nursing are absolutely equal to those available to women.  Engineering is no different.  There are more girls than boys in AP science & math classes now, but girls still don't flock to science & math majors - and that's okay.  We need to demand equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.

CWAllen
CWAllen

My daughter was fortunate to be admitted to Tech for fall 2016 - and UGA.   She chose Tech.  In addition to high academic credentials, there are a few other characteristic we noted among a large number of the kids who will be attending Tech this fall - this is obviously anecdotal, just our observation after interacting w/ a variety of other parents of newly admitted students, and also knowing the credentials of our daughter and her friends who were admitted:  high involvement in extracurricular activities, in particular student government and surprisingly, high school varsity sports. Every single parent we happened to talk to at the various orientation activities was the parent of a high school varsity athlete - including our daughter.  It was rather surprising, actually.  We didn't expect that at Tech, haha.  Now obviously there are plenty of kids who got in who were not varsity athletes.  But it appears Tech was not only looking for high academic achievement, but also a demonstrated ability to obtain that high level of academic performance while also excelling in other very time consuming activities and in particular, activities which draw a certain personality type - competitiveness - and  activities which teach things like team work, endurance, etc. 

Pablo1885
Pablo1885

@CWAllen Your case is typical, according to comments I've heard from Tech's president. High academic achievement is a given at this level of competition. Athletics, drama, music, creative writing, etc. have become the differentiating factors. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

Bunch of dang overachievers.........GO JACKETS!!

Beeski
Beeski

“We need more women in STEM and at the table when it comes to policy and product creation in the workforce, and we look at ourselves as part of the solution,” said Rick Clark, director of Undergraduate Admission.


Why?  Please defend the above statement.  I would think it is more important to teach the best and the brightest regardless of  gender.  I would want the airplane I am flying in, the high-rise hotel I am staying in, the bridge I am driving over, built by the most competent engineers.  


So the solution to a non-existent problem is to discriminate against Males, and let less qualified Females into the Institute.

CWAllen
CWAllen

@Beeski it's not about admitted less qualified females.  they aren't less qualified.  Its just that traditionally women have been discouraged from STEM majors and pushed to more traditional career paths.  And those who have chosen to follow a STEM path have frequently encountered a hostile environment, whether at the university or work environment.  So these things together have kept a large segment of "the best and brightest"  out of STEM.   And  women do bring unique characteristics to the table. Women think differently and that female perspective is valuable in design, production and policy. 

Beeski
Beeski

@CWAllen @Beeski 

but Females are less qualified than Males according to average SAT scores:  http://factbook.gatech.edu/admissions-and-enrollment/sat-scores/


Women outnumber men in college in the US by an astounding 55-45 ratio.  The last thing GT should bee doing is adding to this disproportionate gender representation in colleges....it should be encouraging as many men as possible to enroll at the expense of women:  https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/03/28/look-how-women-outnumber-men-college-campuses-nationwide/YROqwfCPSlKPtSMAzpWloK/story.html 

CWAllen
CWAllen

@Beeski @CWAllen If you think that SAT scores are the only criteria for success both academically and professionally than you are sadly misinformed.  To say that because a person has a lower SAT score means they are less qualified is patently untrue. 

Beeski
Beeski

@CWAllen @Beeski Do you know of a better tool to measure the aptitude of incoming college students than the SAT? Back to my main point, why would you give preferential admissions treatment to the Gender that is the dominant majority in College enrollment in the US?  By an insane 10 point margin.  Discrimination against men is what is happening.

gapeach101
gapeach101

@Beeski @CWAllen

Studies show SAT scores are an excellent predictor of household income.  Studies also show GPA is a better indicator of success in college.

Tomari
Tomari

@AlreadySheared  We don't have any way of knowing, but most likely  students were admitted from more counties but decided not to attend for whatever reason.  GT offers admission to 7500-8000 students in order to get an incoming class size of about 2800.

CSpinks
CSpinks

@Tomari @AlreadySheared Like it or not, there are too many GA counties whose high schools' curricula are insufficiently rigorous to produce graduates capable of succeeding at TECH.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@Tomari @AlreadySheared Many of the new students are those replacing those who drop out or transfer. Tech is tough!  Many were in the top 10 % of their high school and SAT scores only to find out they are just like most of the other students when compared to the elite-top students. 

Many kids stay closer to home in the first 2 years and take elective courses with calculus only to transfer in for the specialty courses.

As for # of women on campus, it has improved greatly. When I met my wife in college, there was 600. 4 years later 1200. Now almost half.


Joselyn Schutz
Joselyn Schutz

The ratio on campus *has* improved greatly, but most of the increase is in non-STEM majors, despite Tech's claim to mislead us to the contrary.  I'd like to see how much the ratio in electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering has changed since I graduated 20 years ago - my bet?  Hardly at all.

AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared

"The students represent ... 89 Georgia counties"


It's hard to believe that, in almost half of Georgia's counties (159 - 89 = 70), there was not one single graduating senior who was qualified for, and interested in attending Georgia Tech.


It's past time for Georgia to implement some version on Texas' "Top 10%" rule.  Texas' experience would seem to indicate that 10% is too high, but surely the top 2% of graduates in every public high school in Georgia ought to be automatically admitted to any Georgia public college that they choose.


MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@AlreadySheared I thought about that, too, but have heard rural legislators contend not a single student from their local high school -- usually the only one in a small county -- was going to UGA. 

I suspect with Tech that some kids are intimidated and fail to apply. But I think your idea -- which is working well in Texas; kids admitted under the talented 10 are graduating at very high rates from UT Austin - would be worth discussing here.

ErnestB
ErnestB

@MaureenDowney @AlreadySheared


I agree that many students would be intimidated by the requirements of Tech along with the thought of taking Calculus during the first year.  This is especially true for school that do not offer high level math and science courses for their students.


 Access to rigorous courses is critical if we want greater representation from high schools in Georgia at Georgia Tech.  An alternative is joint enrollment however even those colleges would need have rigorous offerings.


Data points mentioned in the UGA article that were not mentioned in this one were the average GPA and number of AP/IB courses taken by the incoming students.  It would have been interesting to see that for comparison sake. 

JD101
JD101

@AlreadySheared Agreed.   As a Tech grad, I'm dismayed at the lack of weight given to in-state applicants - often with a greater focus on international diversity.   Tech and UGA should set minimum criteria for admission.   Then for in-state applicants who are in the top 10% of their graduating class AND meet the minimum criteria - provide automatic admission.  The minimum requirement can simply use the median enrollment statistics for SAT/ACT and GPA of the past 3 incoming freshman classes (this should largely address the Texas problem.


UGA and Tech are state-funded schools.  Residents of the state should receive priority over an out-of-state resident or international student - at least from an acceptance standpoint.  This would also provide clarity for high school students who wish to attend one of those schools to understand what it will take to 'guarantee' acceptance to a state university.

Pablo1885
Pablo1885

@JD101 @AlreadySheared The target rate for international students is about 10%. And that "state funding" at Tech and other schools has been declining for many years, a trend across public higher education. 

Melvin P. Remfret
Melvin P. Remfret

@AlreadySheared Determining rank is difficult because it's not normed- and because most counties don't do that anymore. Those that do, Gwinnett being a great example, does not include rigor of curic, only GPA. So a kid with good grades and easy classes at a 4.0 is ranked higher than a student with a 3.85 and 8 APs.

AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared

@Melvin P. Remfret @AlreadySheared Many districts add 0.5 quality points to honors classes and 1.0 quality point to the grades from AP classes - this is why you see people talking about "weighted" and "unweighted" GPAs.  So rigor can be and is reflected in GPAs currently.  Schools all over the state still designate Valedictorians and Salutatorians - the same ranking method can be used to rank additional students.

If you want to come with the top 2% of a graduating class you can do it.  If you want to find reasons why you CAN'T identify the top 2%, I am sure you can figure out a way to do that as well.


RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@AlreadySheared Many times those qualified go out of state on a scholarship! Plus Tech looks beyond our borders  so that sharing life experiences and cultures is a part of learning.

AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared

A common thread of discussion among Tech alumni today is "if you were applying today, would YOU get in?"   Between the sterling GPAs, sky-high SATs/ACTs and now with the escalation in AP classes taken, it almost seems to me as though things are getting a little out of hand.  

In Texas, 10% has proven to be a bit much for automatic admission to flagship schools like UT Austin.  


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_House_Bill_588
"UT-Austin has argued for several years that the law has come to account for too many of its entering students, with 81 percent of the 2008 freshmen having enrolled under it"

However, I think a 2% automatic admission rate would be an excellent way to increase (economic, non-race-based) diversity at our public colleges.  Surely, at least the top 2% of a high school's graduating class should be able to handle the load at any of our flagship state universities.