Freshmen starting Georgia Tech Monday set new high for achievement

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

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.