Campus News

Nearly 6,400 new undergraduates ready to start UGA classes Aug. 13

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia is expecting approximately 6,400 new students this fall, including 4,970 freshmen and almost 1,400 transfer students. The number of applications received for this year’s freshman class-nearly 19,000-is the highest recorded at UGA for a new class, following several years of record applications. Since 2003, applications for UGA’s freshman class have increased by more than 50 percent. Coming on the heels of 2011’s record-breaking freshman class of 5,500, this year’s class size is more typical, similar to the 2010 incoming freshmen.

“In a year of continuing economic uncertainty and significant adjustments to the HOPE Scholarship, it was difficult to predict the impact this would have on our yield rate,” said Nancy McDuff, associate vice president for admissions and enrollment management. “But our goal was to continue to serve the state and maintain our commitment to excellence and academic achievement by limiting our offers of admission to ensure that we enrolled our capacity class of 4,900.”

The entering freshmen once again will have a strong GPA that exceeds 3.8. The GPA range for the middle 50 percentile is 3.63-4.0. Additionally, this class has the highest SAT average in UGA history with a combined mean critical reading and math score of 1273, plus an average writing score of 614, for an 1887 on the 2400 scale. This combined score is up 27 points from the 2011 freshman class and 11 points from 2010. The mid-50 percentile of the class scored between 1730-1990.

For those students who took the ACT, the mean score again this year was 28, with a mid-50 percentile range of 26-31. More than 37 percent of the students were admitted based on ACT scores.

With more than 27 percent of the entering freshmen self-identifying as other than Caucasian, the ethnic and racial makeup of the entering class shows continuing diversity. More than 360 first-year African-American students have enrolled in fall 2012 (7.3 percent of the class), and more than 250 entering first-year students have self-identified as Hispanic (5.1 percent of the class). Almost 7 percent come from families in which English is not the native language. Approximately 6 percent of the incoming freshmen will be the first in their immediate family to attend college.

The university continues to strengthen ties throughout the state, with students coming from more than half of the nearly 800 Georgia high schools and 132 of the 159 counties. Of all Georgia high school students graduating in spring 2012, almost one in 20 will enroll at UGA next week. About 13 percent of the class comes from other states and countries, with 228 of the incoming freshmen representing 53 different home countries.

The university is expecting 560 students-the highest number in its history-to enroll in UGA’s nationally recognized Honors Program. These academically accomplished students have a mid-50 percentile GPA range of 3.96-4.11. They also have either an SAT average mid-50 percentile range of 2110-2240 in all components or an ACT mid-50 percentile range of 31-33.

The rigor of students’ high school curriculum continues to be a key factor in admissions decisions, with some 95 percent of the students having enrolled in College Board Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes while in high school.

Nearly half of the incoming first-year students were in the top 10 percent of their high school class, and 203 freshmen were first or second in their graduating class. Several students had perfect composite or total scores on the SAT or ACT and 174 had perfect scores on at least one of the components of the SAT. Almost 10 percent of the students started college while still in high school.

All incoming freshmen will participate in UGA’s First-Year Odyssey (, a program launched in 2011, designed to introduce students to the academic life of the university by putting them in small group seminars taught by tenured and tenure-track faculty on topics tied to their area of scholarship.

“More than 340 seminars will be offered again this fall by faculty from many academic disciplines across campus,” said Laura Jolly, vice president for instruction. “We received overwhelming response from our students in our inaugural year.”

Students’ comments in a post-seminar survey reflect a positive reception to the program, including, “I really do feel as if it helped with my experience for freshman year from all that I learned; by the end of the class, UGA felt a lot smaller than [in] the beginning. . . . I got a better understanding of college.”

Since many of the incoming students have not yet decided on a major, the seminars offer them an opportunity to explore an area of potential interest. For those who have chosen a major, the most popular (listed alphabetically) are biology, biochemical and molecular biology, business, chemistry, international affairs, political science and psychology, following a pattern similar to previous years.