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[media-credit id=9 align="aligncenter" width="8892"][/media-credit]“The largest, best qualified, and most diverse freshman class in Georgia Tech history” is how President Peterson describes this year’s freshman class.

Based on data retrieved on Sept. 5, the 2012 freshman class has an average composite SAT score of 1394/1600, an average high school GPA of 3.89, a 36:64 ratio of women to men and a 7.3 percent composition of Hispanics. The percentages of female and Hispanic students are the highest in Tech’s history.

Director of Admissions Rick Clark attributes this increase in diversity to “far more targeted marketing efforts, high-touch recruitment including programming, calling campaigns and staff travel.”

The return on investment of attending Tech, especially for in-state students, also serves as a major draw according to Clark, which helps account for the record breaking size of this year’s class. An increasingly black, Hispanic, and multi-racial population has also helped drive Tech’s increased diversity.

OMED Director Cynthia Moore also cited recruitment as a key driver of the growth in Tech’s Hispanic population.

“Admissions and the College of Computing did a great job with reaching out to the Hispanic community in Puerto Rico,” Moore said. “They go there every year and speak to the students, and that’s how we get a lot of our Hispanic students for [OMED’s] Challenge Program.”

Moore also noted that the increase in underrepresented minorities has put some strain on OMED’s resources, which mainly target students in STEM majors.

“We’ve had to increase our [number of] tutors, so that means more money to pay them. We’ve used the Clough Commons as well…because our building is normally packed with students coming in for tutoring,” Moore said.

One notable program that has expanded is OMED’s peer mentoring program, where three new team coaches have been added to support the growing demands from the incoming freshmen.

The size of the freshman class has put strains on plenty of other campus resources as well. Many current freshmen have become familiar with the shortage of Freshman Experience housing this year.

While Tech has been able to provide all freshmen who desire this housing option, it has proven necessary to place some in makeshift bedrooms from lounges rather than traditional dorm rooms.

This abundance of freshmen also caused the Housing Office’s assignment program to fail during the summer, delaying the distribution of rooming assignments for freshmen entering in the fall.

In terms of academics, the two most popular majors for incoming freshmen are ME, with 446 students, and BME, with 438. ME and BME were also the most popular majors among incoming freshmen in 2011. However, BME’s enrollment tends to decline between freshman and sophomore year, and enrollment in ISyE tends to increase.