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Number of Early Action Applicants Hits Record High

Atlanta, GA

Getting into Georgia Tech continues to get tougher. On Saturday, 4,424 students — just 30 percent of those who applied — were accepted to Tech’s 2016 freshman class. Undergraduate Admission saw a 27 percent increase in applications, for a record total of 14,861. The admitted group is 48 percent female — even higher than last year’s record of 41 percent.

The average ACT score of those admitted is 33 (out of 36). For SAT, the average score of those admitted is 1453 (out of 1600). The admitted students have taken an average of more than 10 college-level courses and 96 percent have taken an Advanced Placement calculus course.

But Tech's holistic review process looks at more than just test scores and academic performance.

"Just about every applicant can do the work to make it here," Clark said. "But, we also have to look at what their impact as a student is going to be, and how they’re living out our campus ideals of progress and service."

Georgia residents were admitted at a higher overall rate of 45 percent; nearly 500 more students applied from within Georgia this year. Out-of-state students were admitted at a rate of 28 percent, and international students at around 9 percent. Legacy students were admitted at a rate of 42 percent. 

The number of applicants outside Georgia soared in numerous states, including California (52 percent), New Jersey (57 percent), and Michigan (52 percent). Those accepted span 48 states and 39 countries.

This year, the number of applicants to the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts more than doubled. For the second year, Undergraduate Admission welcomed faculty from several colleges, including Ivan Allen, into the admission process, having them participate in cohort review sessions to help select the best candidates for their programs. 

“When we talk about wanting to diversify a class, we don’t just mean demographically; we’re talking in terms of curriculum and major selection,” Clark said.  

As more students apply to Georgia Tech, Clark’s staff faces the challenge of reading more applications per day, reading them with a more nuanced lens, and fighting fatigue that can accompany the workload.

“The biggest challenge is building in more time for review — and making sure we’re reading with fresh eyes,” Clark said.

Each time decisions are issued, Clark and his staff consider the gravity of their work and the reach of college admission decisions.

“With each decision, we guess there is an average of three others in the home with the applicant, and likely a couple of influencers outside of that. When you’re issuing 14,000 decisions, it can easily start to reach around 100,000 people,” he said. 

In a year where Tech's total number of applications (for Early Action and Regular Decision admission) is approaching 30,000, that reach will only continue to grow.

The Regular Decision deadline is Sunday, Jan. 10. Admission decisions for that group and for students deferred during Early Action will be issued Saturday, March 12.  

Last revised May 15, 2020