ATHENS, Ga. — A freshman class with record academic qualifications, culled from a record number of applications, is likely to push University of Georgia’s enrollment to another high mark as fall semester classes began Monday.
The class of 2021 could also set a record for diversity, based on numbers recently released by the university.
The 5,800-student first-year class posted an average 4.0 high school grade point average and scored an average 30 — the 95th percentile — on the ACT.
Four years ago, the freshman class’ high school GPA was 3.86, and the average ACT was 29 on the test’s 36-point scale.
The average score on the new SAT for this year’s freshmen was 1344, The Athens Banner-Herald reported.
Last year’s freshman class was 5,234 students, according to University System of Georgia data. That big class helped push UGA enrollment up to a record 36,574, the Athens newspaper reported.
The number of high school students applying for admission has been on the rise for years, and this year reached nearly 24,500, up about 20 percent from four years ago.
UGA’s admissions office has historically admitted about 50 percent of those who apply, and about half those accepted enroll, though those numbers sometimes change significantly from year to year.
The new UGA students hail from 44 states and 15 countries, but 87 percent come from Georgia. Metro Atlanta accounts for most UGA freshmen, but more than 90 percent of Georgia’s 159 counties will have representation in the first-year class.
Other new UGA students include nearly 1,600 transfer students from more than 300 colleges and universities.
Of this semester’s first-year students, nearly 1,900 self-identify as non-white, about 30 percent, according to a university news release. Of those, 469 said they were African-American; about 8 percent of the class and up 20 percent from the count in 2013’s 5,150-person first-year class.
At 395, the number of Hispanic or Latino freshman students is up 33 percent from four years earlier.
At UGA overall, including graduate students as well as undergraduates, African Americans accounted for 8.3 percent of all students in fall 2016, up from 6.6 percent in fall 2006, according to University System of Georgia reports.