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First-Year Class More Diverse, Academically Sharp

August 29, 2002-- Generalizations can be tricky, but numbers show that, as a group, the University of Virginia’s Class of 2006 is slightly more diverse and just as academically agile as its immediate predecessors.

“In looking at SAT scores and class rankings, it looks like those are up a little. So it looks like this is a little bit stronger class in that regard,” said George Stovall, director of Institutional Assessment and Studies.

Of the 3,044 first-year students who accepted admissions offers, a slightly higher proportion were in the top 10 percent of their high school class (84 percent compared with 81 percent last fall), and mean scores in the math and combined SATs were slightly up while the verbal scores were the same. Fewer students, however, had perfect scores of 1,600 (four this year, nine last).

Stovall and John A. “Jack” Blackburn, dean of admission, both noted that the number of international students who accepted offers is nearly the same (148 this year; 152 last), despite greater visa restrictions in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. However, Blackburn said, the final number of international students probably will drop below 135 because of visa issues.

Attendance by African American and Hispanic students is up, while the number of Asian Americans has declined (from 343 and 11.5 percent last year to 290 and 9.5 percent this year). South Korea sends the most, with India and China second and third, respectively. The proportion of white Americans has decreased slightly.

Blackburn noted that a trend dating to the late 1980s continues with the Class of 2006 – there are more women (55.1 percent) than men. The gap actually increased slightly this year.

Blackburn also said slightly fewer students have signed up to pursue engineering degrees. The downturn in dot-coms and the general malaise in the high-tech sector contribute to that trend, he said.

Here is a breakdown of numbers provided by Institutional Assessment and Studies (current as of Aug. 27):


  • Total: 3,044 (2,980 last fall)
  • Women, 1,676 or 55.1 percent; men, 1,368 or 44.9 percent; (last fall, 1,372 or 46 percent were men, 1,608 or 54 percent were women)
  • African American 295 or 9.7 percent; Asian American, 290 or 9.5 percent; Hispanic American, 93 or 3.1 percent; Native American, 8 or 0.3 percent; white American, 2,061 or 67.7 percent. International, 148 or 4.9 percent; unclassified/unknown, 149 or 4.9 percent.
  • Virginia residents, 2,027 or 66.6 percent; non-Virginia, 1,017 or 33.4 percent.
  • SAT scores: verbal mean, 647; math mean, 668; combined mean, 1315; four students with perfect score of 1600.
  • Percent in top 10 percent of high school class: 84.
  • Top 10 states represented (Outside Virginia): Maryland, New Jersey (99 each), New York (87), Pennsylvania (67), Florida, Georgia (50 each), Texas (49), Ohio (40), California (36), Massachusetts (35).
  • Top 10 foreign countries represented: South Korea (32), India (27), China (19), Taiwan (11), Turkey (10), Canada (9), Pakistan (7), Thailand (6), United Kingdom (6) and Vietnam (6).

NEW TRANSFER UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS (about a third of transfers come from Virginia community colleges)

  • Total: 538 (541 last fall).
  • Women, 300 or 55.8 percent; men, 238 or 44.2 percent (last fall, 222 or 41 percent were men, 319 or 59 percent were women).
  • African American, 21 or 3.9 percent; Asian American, 47 or 8.7 percent; Hispanic American, 18 or 3.3 percent; Native American, 3 or 0.6 percent; white American, 378 or 70.3 percent. International, 31 or 5.8 percent; unclassified/unknown, 40 or 7.4 percent.
  • Virginia residents, 373 or 69.3 percent; non-Virginia residents, 165 or 30.7 percent.

Contact: Lee Graves, (434) 924-6857

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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