Tech admitted class grows by 5%

Photo courtesy of Katherine Shambaugh

On Mar. 13, the Institute released Regular Decision admissions for the 2021 first-year class, wrapping up an unprecedented application cycle conducted during the pandemic.

The newly admitted students join the Early Action 1 and 2 rounds of admitted students to make up the admitted class of 2025. These students are not only academically gifted, but they are also part of one of the most diverse classes the Institute has ever offered admissions.

Of the 45,350 students who applied for the 2021 first-year class, 18% were offered admission, with an admissions rate of 14% for non-Georgia residents and 32% for Georgia residents.

In a recent news announcement, Rick Clark, director of Undergraduate Admissions, explained that the admitted class reflects the Institute’s belief that “expanding access and amplifying impact” are top priorities when recruiting future Jackets.

“We are growing the size of our incoming class by 5%, to 3,450, as well as enrolling more Georgians than ever before,” said Clark.

This is part of Tech’s plan to continue to admit as many capable students from as many backgrounds as possible, which is clearly seen in this year’s admissions statistics.

As compared to last year’s freshman class, the 2021 admitted class is both more racially diverse, including 28% more Black students and 12% more Hispanic students, and more socioeconomically diverse, including 20% more first-generation students.

Beyond their diversity, this year’s freshman class is unique in another way. 21% of admitted students completed Tech’s test score optional application. Through this designation, perspective students did not have to take the SAT or ACT prior to applying.

This application resulted from the decision by the University System of Georgia (USG) to strike the requirement of an ACT or SAT score for college admissions due to the uncertainty of scheduling standardized tests during COVID-19.

It is tradition for Tech’s admissions office to surprise a few Georgia students with their admissions decisions a day early.

This year, the tradition was carried on by College of Engineering Dean Raheem Beyah and Senior Admissions Counselor Ellery Kirkconnell who virtually congratulated two students at Peach County High School.

“I just want to say congratulations. I am so, so happy for you all. Take this moment and celebrate,” Beyah said.

“You are the absolute best and brightest. That is why you’re here.”
He later stated, “Having the opportunity to tell [the students] that they got in was an honor. All of our newly accepted students will do amazing things here at Tech, and we are all looking forward to witnessing their journey.”

For some not admitted, the Institute offered one of eight transfer pathways to over 8,500 students, allowing them an opportunity to transfer in one to two years.

The newest transfer program is the Atlanta Public Schools Pathway Program which provides Atlanta Public School students with the opportunity to apply as a transfer student within two years after their high school graduation date.

In the past, Tech transfer pathways have been a popular option. Last year, 53% of Tech’s more than 1,100 transfer students entered through one of the pathways.

With the application cycle over, Tech’s admissions department now moves into the next part of their job: convincing admitted students to choose the Institute over any other school.

Students admitted to the Institute are typically among the top of their class, creating a challenging job for the admissions department to take on.

“Most of our accepted students not only have admission offers from several other great schools around the country, but frequently they receive generous scholarships and financial aid rewards as well,” said Clark.

Although this presents a daunting task for admissions counselors, once students are able to see the Institute and learn about all the opportunities available to them, many are sold.

While in years past this was accomplished with in-person tours of the Institute and information sessions tailored to the students’ academic interests, these plans have had to change to account for the still-raging pandemic.

Most academic colleges at the Institute have already begun hosting virtual information sessions, and virtual tours of the campus can be found at admission.gatech.edu/virtual-visit.

Many deans and school chairs have also started writing or calling admitted students to let them know about their opportunities at Tech.

The deadline for students to officially accept their admissions offering falls on Monday, May 3. They can secure their spot at Tech by submitting their deposit and officially join the Jacket family.