Campus News

Breaking records …again

Incoming freshman class among most diverse, talented in UGA’s history

The incoming freshman class at UGA should again be among the most diverse and academically talented in the school’s history, according to data from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Though official enrollment figures won’t be determined until mid-October, the admissions office is projecting the number of new freshmen will be close to the 5,000-member target enrollment for 2006, which represents an increase of 400 students over last year’s target. The number of applications for the freshman class-almost 16,000-was the highest in university history.

Like classes before them, the incoming freshmen continue to have strong academic credentials. They boast an average grade point average of 3.76 and SAT score of 1232, and most have taken the most rigorous curriculum available in their high school. Almost 90 percent enrolled in College Board Advanced Placement classes, and 500 have already attended college as a joint-enrolled student.

“This is again a very strong class and helps keep UGA among the ranks of America’s very best public universities,” said President Michael F. Adams.

As was true last year, approximately 20 percent of the new first-year students are non-Caucasian, compared to 16 percent in fall 2004. The strongest growth is in the number of Hispanic students-with 124 expected to be enrolled this fall, up from 88 the previous year (a 41 percent increase). The number of African-American students is also up, with 380 expected compared to 359 in 2005. Both years represent significant growth from the 202 African-American freshmen enrolled in 2004.

Growth is expected in other racial/ethnic groups as well, with 368 Asian-American freshmen, 17 Native Americans and 126 multiracial students in the freshmen class. This is based on data provided by the students, who choose how-or whether-to identify their race and ethnicity when filling out applications and other forms for the university.

“It appears that this will again be one of the most racially and ethnically diverse classes to enroll at UGA,” said Nancy McDuff, associate vice president for admissions and enrollment management. “With more than 1,000 students identifying themselves as other than Caucasian, it is also likely the most diverse class in terms of absolute numbers. Most importantly, all our new students predict to do very well at UGA.”

Race and ethnicity are not considered in selection for admission, but the admissions office and other units on campus have stepped up efforts to recruit students from under-represented populations. Alumni also participate in encouraging students to apply for admission and enroll. In addition, during the past academic year, UGA entered a new partnership with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and an effort was made to create more need-based scholarships.

The class is diverse in other ways, with 440 freshmen who are the first in their family to attend college and more than 200 students from homes where English is not the native language. In addition, 187 international students represent 54 different countries.

“I am pleased with the high quality and diversity of the entering freshman class,” said Provost Arnett C. Mace Jr. “Again, those accepted and the applicant pool are indicative of the academic excellence of the university.”