University of Pittsburgh
June 6, 1999

ACADEMIC STANDING OF PITT'S ENTERING FRESHMEN CONTINUES TO INCREASE

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, June 7 -- For the fourth straight year, the academic credentials of the University of Pittsburgh's entering freshman class have once again increased. To date, 29 percent of the 3,100 students who have paid deposits for places in this fall's freshman class are in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes, and 55 percent are in the top 20 percent. That's up from 19 percent and 43 percent respectively for the freshman class that entered in the fall of 1995.

Average SAT scores have also increased. This year's entering students have an average combined SAT score of 1163, 24 points higher than four years ago.

One of the most significant indicators has been the 82 percent increase over the last four years in the number of new freshmen eligible to enroll in the University's Honors College. This year, 618 students -- a full 20 percent of the freshman class -- are Honors-eligible, compared to 340 in 1995. These students all rank in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes and have an average combined SAT score of 1324.

Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg noted that the academic credentials of the entering freshmen reflected the emphasis that the University has been placing on the quality of undergraduate education. "The steady increase in the quality of the entering freshmen is a clear indication of the growing recognition of the academic programs at the University of Pittsburgh," Nordenberg said. "The dramatic increase in the number of students eligible for the Honors College is perhaps the strongest evidence of this trend. These are the students who have the largest number of options available to them and who tend to be the most serious in selecting a college or university, and Pitt is attracting them in dramatically increasing numbers."

The geographic distribution of the entering freshmen is expected to be similar to last year's class, with approximately 80 percent of the students coming from Pennsylvania and 20 percent from out-of-state. African American enrollment is also expected to be similar to last year, at about 10 percent.

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