Georgia State University this fall has welcomed the largest and most diverse freshman class in its history.
At more than 3,200, the class has grown by 6 percent from last year. The class set records for the number of Hispanic, Asian American and African American students enrolled. The academic preparation of the group also improved, with the average high school grade-point average of the entering students rising to 3.4.
The overall number of freshman applications increased by 9 percent, to more than 13,000, with applications coming from around the world. Hispanic first-year enrollment grew by 22 percent, African American 4 percent and Asian American 10 percent over last year. Previous records for freshman, African American, Asian American and Hispanic enrollment were set last fall.
The university's overall enrollment also set a record this fall, surpassing last fall's record enrollment of 32,092 on Sept. 4 with 32,374 students registered for classes as of Sept. 4. Georgia State students represent 150 counties in Georgia, all 50 states and more than 150 different nations. Newly represented in the student body this year are students from Gabon, Libya, Oman, Timor and five other countries.
Georgia State continues to be recognized as one of the most diverse universities in the nation. In its 2014 "America's Best Colleges " edition, U.S. News & World Report magazine ranked Georgia State 12th among the country's most diverse institutions. The university ranked 13th last year.
Georgia State also tied for 14th place with universities such as Carnegie Mellon and Tulane among 23 top "up and coming" national universities ranked by U.S. News & World Report. The ranking is based on assessments by college leaders across the nation. The university's J. Mack Robinson College of Business moved from 56th last year to 47th in the magazine's ranking of undergraduate business programs.
"Georgia State is increasingly a destination of choice for high achieving students of all backgrounds," said Vice Provost Timothy Renick. "Despite a decrease in the number of graduating high school seniors in Georgia this past year, Georgia State saw its applications for the freshman class increase by more than a thousand."
Georgia State's strategic focus on student retention and its ground-breaking initiatives for increasing graduation rates also have been receiving national attention. Georgia State is one of only a handful of universities nationally to use predictive analytics to daily track the progress of every student.
Earlier this year, the institution was named one of six universities highlighted as models of national higher education reform by the New America Foundation. The foundation cited Georgia State as a "Next Generation University" for its rapid increases in graduation rates and its ability to hold down costs.
"Innovations such as our approach to advising have led to a 21-point increase in our graduation rates over the past decade-one of the most dramatic increases in the nation," Renick said.