Tech Enrolls Record Number of First-Year, Transfer, and Dual Enrollment Students

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Tech Enrolls Record Number of First-Year, Transfer, and Dual Enrollment Students

RAT Caps

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Georgia Tech’s incoming students receive a RAT cap.

In the summer and fall of 2020 Georgia Tech welcomed 4,150 students, including 3,250 first-year students and 900 transfer students. More than 600 students, representing Georgia high schools from Rome to Savannah, will participate in Tech’s dual enrollment programs. Undergraduate Admission delivered the record-breaking numbers in the midst of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The world changed dramatically in mid-March, just as we were announcing our final round of admission decisions for first-year students,” said Rick Clark, director of Undergraduate Admission. “Normally that’s the time when thousands of admitted and prospective students visit campus. So, not being able to have on-campus visits was a huge concern.”

In order to continue recruiting students and convincing those admitted to choose Tech, Undergraduate Admission enhanced Georgia Tech’s virtual visits to give students a better experience online. There was also a lot of speculation surrounding how many students would take a gap year because of the financial impact on their families. As a result, Undergraduate Admission, which normally hands the incoming class over to FASET, advisors, and other campus partners in June, needed to stay closely involved with the admission process all summer to ensure a robust class for fall.

“Because of the unknowns, we had to rebuild our predictive model,” said Clark. “We have good history on the percentage of students we typically lose over the summer. But this year we were estimating the extent to which that number would increase. To offset possible losses, we built up our deposits much higher than normal. We also leveraged our Shenzhen China campus and started 100 new Tech students there. On day one, our first-year class came in right on target — which is pretty amazing given all of the variables.”

The transfer class has 200 more students than last year, and it includes 29% more first-generation college students and 12% more under-represented minority students. The results are linked to targeted recruitment efforts, such as the transfer pathways that have been implemented over the last couple of years.

With the Georgia First Pathway Program first-year applicants who will be the first in their family to attend college have an opportunity to apply and enter as transfer students.

“This is the first year students are coming through that pipeline, representing an additional 90 students being admitted,” Clark said. “There is no question that giving students a very clear path to a Georgia Tech degree made a huge difference.”

As a result of continued recruitment efforts around the state, Georgia-specific transfer pathway programs, and a continued reputation for strong return on investment, Tech’s undergraduate student body consists of 500 more in-state students than last year.

The combined incoming class of first-year and transfer students is 39% women and 61% men. The race/ethnicity of the class is: 7.7% Black, 8.3% Hispanic, 4.6% two or more, 1.6% unknown, 40.3% white, and 37.5% Asian. Eleven percent of incoming students come from a household where neither parent graduated from college.

Students in the incoming class come from 104 of the Georgia’s 159 counties (13% hail from rural areas in the state) and from 49 of the 50 states, with Alaska being the holdout.

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