Campus News

Brighter and stronger

University welcomes most academically talented freshman, law classes in its history

The freshmen and first-year law students who began classes at UGA nearly two weeks ago are the most academically talented in the institution’s history.

Undergraduate admissions

Although official numbers won’t be available until mid-October, current statistics for the class indicate an average GPA of almost 3.8 (the mid 50 percentile range is 3.63-4.0) compared to 3.76 last year.

The average SAT rose to 1242 (mid 50 percentile of 1150-1310) for the critical reading and math combined, with a 604 on the new writing section (compared to 1233 last year with a 599 on writing).

Of the students who took the ACT, the mean score was a 27.0 with a mid 50 percentile range of 25-29, compared to 26.6 last year.

The rigor of the students’ high school curriculum continues to be a key factor in admissions, with some 90 percent of the incoming freshmen having taken College Board Advanced Placement classes. Ten percent of the class took college courses while in high school.

Approximately 500 of the students are enrolled in UGA’s nationally recognized Honors Program. These academically superior students have grade point averages in the 3.99-4.18 range, and 50 percent of them have an SAT score between 1410-1480.

The size of the freshman class is expected to be just over 4,700, close to the size of the class that entered in 2005.

“The yield rate—the number of students we admit who go on to enroll—fluctuates some from year to year, which makes predicting the size of the incoming class an inexact science,” said Nancy McDuff, associate vice president of admissions and enrollment management.

As has been true in recent years, about 20 percent of the new first-year students have self-identified as being from an under-represented minority group. Almost 7 percent of the class is African American (318) and more than 2 percent ­Hispanic (104). Last year’s larger class was 7.5 percent African American and 2.4 percent Hispanic.

Students of Asian heritage are just over 8 percent of the class (391), while another 2.5 percent (121) identify themselves as multiracial. As in previous years, the number of Native American students is small (eight students).

McDuff noted that 55 percent of African-American students who were accepted were expected to enroll, compared to a 51 percent yield rate for all admitted students.

“Identifying and recruiting talented students of color continues to be an institutional priority,” McDuff said.

The freshman class is geographically diverse: 160 students represent 51 different countries and more than 230 students come from homes where English is not the native language.

UGA continues to draw students from across the state, with in-state students—who account for 83 percent of the class—coming from 398 Georgia high schools in 144 counties.

As in previous years, more than 40 percent of in-state students have social security numbers initially issued in other states—a reflection of the continued in-migration from other parts of the country.

First-year law students

Comprised of 222 students, the School of Law’s Class of 2010 boasts a median undergraduate grade point average of 3.67—a school record. Moreover, the median Law School Admissions Test score for these first-year students is 163, which ties the all-time high and reflects a score that places these students near the top 10 percent of test-takers nationwide. Additionally, the top quarter of the class scored a 165 or higher on the LSAT and achieved a 3.86 or better undergraduate GPA.

“We are very pleased with the academic qualifications of this year’s entering class,” said Giles W. Kennedy, director of admissions for the law school. “As the members of the admissions committee reviewed the 2,300-plus files, we not only looked at test scores and grades, we also considered the strengths and accomplishments of each individual, seeking those who would perform well in the rigorous law school environment and eventually become the next generation of leaders for our state, region and nation.”

Staying true to the law school’s commitment to provide the finest legal education to people from the state of Georgia, 84 percent of the first-year class is classified as state residents. The Class of 2010 includes residents from 15 states as well as graduates from 74 institutions. The schools supplying the largest number of students include UGA (81), Emory University (10), the Georgia Institute of Technology (6), Georgia Southern University (6), Georgia State University (6), Washington and Lee University (6), the University of Florida (5), the University of Virginia (5) and Vanderbilt University (5).