High school seniors just admitted under early action to the University of Georgia broke some records: There were more of them, a record 14,516 applications, a nearly 10 percent increase over last year. UGA offered admissions to 7,500 of them.
And their academic credentials were stellar. Their average GPA was 4.11. They took an average of eight honors, International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement classes. Their average best SAT score for reading and math combined was 1395, compared to 1374 last year. (The state average score was 975.) Their average ACT score increased by one point over last year to reach 31. (The state average score was 21.)
I am hearing about bright students who were not admitted in this first round, including a student with a 3.9 GPA and a 33 on the ACT. (A 36 is a perfect score on the ACT. A score of 33 puts a student in top 1 percent in performance.)
Those students still have a chance in the general admission pool, but it is clear UGA is becoming nearly as tough to get into as Emory or Vanderbilt.
Blame or credit the HOPE Scholarship, depending on how you feel about the increased hurdles on the road to Athens. HOPE continues to entice the state's most successful high school students to remain in Georgia.
According to UGA:
Prospective first-year students have two application options at UGA: Early action applicants are considered for admission based solely on their grades, the rigor of their high school curriculum and the results of their SAT or ACT scores.
Regular decision applicants are reviewed at a later date, which gives students more time to work on their application and enables them to submit test scores after the early action deadline and to include grades from the first semester of their senior year. The regular decision deadline is Jan. 15, and decisions are typically released in mid-March.
"Students who have been deferred still have a shot at being part of the Class of 2020, and I encourage them to complete the second part of their UGA application to be reconsidered along with the regular decision applicants," said Patrick Winter, associate vice president for undergraduate admissions and enrollment management.