Unprecedented heights: UGA’s Class of 2021 sets academic records

The academic qualifications of incoming students at the University of Georgia have risen dramatically over the past several years, with each successive class reaching unprecedented heights. The Class of 2021 continues that extraordinary trend, with an average high school GPA of 4.0 and a record average ACT score of 30.

“With our world-class learning environment, booming research enterprise and unyielding commitment to serving others, it is no surprise that the University of Georgia is attracting the best and brightest students,” said President Jere W. Morehead.  “I am delighted to welcome this newest class and look forward to all they will accomplish at the birthplace of public higher education in America.”

More than 5,800 first-year students will begin their studies this fall. The superb academic qualifications of the Class of 2021 coincide with a year of record-breaking first-year enrollment that highlights the growing demand for a UGA education. Nearly 24,500 students applied for admission to the Class of 2021, a 20 percent increase in just four years.

As in previous years, the rigor of students’ high school curriculum remains a key factor in admissions decisions. Members of the Class of 2021 completed an average of eight College Board Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses in high school, an increase from six in 2013. For comparison, the average high school GPA in 2013 was 3.86, and the average ACT score was 29 on a 36-point scale. On the new SATR, which replaced the previous SAT, the Class of 2021 boasts an average score of 1344.

In addition to bringing outstanding academic talent to UGA, the Class of 2021 also brings increased diversity to UGA. The class includes nearly 1,900 students who self-identify as non-white, a 29 percent increase over 2013. The number of incoming first-year students who self-identify as African-American has increased by 20 percent over the same time period, and the number of Hispanic students has increased by 33 percent.

“The Class of 2021 includes some of our nation’s most promising students, and our faculty are committed to giving them unrivaled learning opportunities that position them for success after graduation,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten. “We welcome them to campus and look forward to seeing them develop as leaders and innovators who are poised to make a positive impact on our shared future.”

Incoming first-year students come to UGA from more than 90 percent of Georgia’s 159 counties, and Georgia residents comprise 87 percent of the class. The Class of 2021 also includes students from 44 states and 15 countries. This fall UGA also will welcome nearly 1,600 transfer students to campus from more than 300 colleges and universities.

“The Class of 2021 brings an impressive record of accomplishment to the University of Georgia,” said Vice President for Instruction Rahul Shrivastav. “We are proud to welcome them into a community of scholars where classroom instruction is complemented by hands-on learning and an unwavering commitment to student success.”