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UGA welcomes its largest freshman class ever

Georgia's academic year begins on Wednesday.

ATHENS, Ga. — If Athens seems a little more crowded than usual when the 2022 fall academic year begins, don't be too surprised.

The University of Georgia is set to welcome more than 6,200 new first-year students to start classes on Aug. 17, the largest freshman class the college has ever had, according to the university.

The class of 2026 was selected from a record-number of nearly 40,000 applicants. It is one of its most academically-qualified classes yet, they said.

The first-year students arrive with an average of nine Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or dual-enrollment courses, according to a news release sent by the university. The class has an average high school GPA of 4.12, the sixth consecutive year that the average-weighted high school GPA of the entering students exceeds 4.0, they said. They added that the class of 2026 also posts an average ACT score of 32, tying last year’s record, and an average SAT score of 1384.

"As UGA continues to set new standards in undergraduate education, we are attracting the very best students, who want to engage with our academic community and begin making a difference from their first semester on campus," President Jere W. Morehead said.

Credit: University of Georgia

Preliminary data shared with 11Alive shows that 30% of this year's incoming students self-identify as a member of a minority group, while 75% of them are Georgia residents.

According to school officials, 87% of UGA's undergraduate student body are Georgia residents, a percentage of in-state students that surpasses many other state flagship institutions in the Southeast.

Additionally, approximately 1,700 transfer students will begin their time at UGA this week, as data shows that around one-third of UGA's graduates enter as transfer students.

Final demographic data won't be available until after the semester begins, according to the school.

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