University of Pittsburgh
June 9, 1998


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, June 10 -- Freshman applications to the University of Pittsburgh are at an all time high, as are the SAT scores and class rank of the enrolling students. Continuing the dramatic growth in applications over the past three-years, 13,480 applications have been submitted so far for fall 1998, and applications are still being received. This represents an 11 percent increase over last year, and a 72 percent increase over the fall 1995 term.

There will be an expected 2,979 freshmen entering the University this fall, a planned decrease in freshman class size from last year's record high of 3,157. While the number of entering freshmen will decline slightly, their academic credentials are on the rise. The average SAT score for the entering freshmen is 1160, an increase of 19 points over last year. And 55 percent of the new freshmen rank in the top 20 percent of their high school graduating classes, up from 47 percent last year.

One of the strongest indicators of the academic quality of the entering class can be seen in the numbers of "honors-eligible" students -- students whose SAT scores are 1270 or above and who rank in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes. This year, 601 new freshmen are "honors-eligible," up from 557 last year, and a 77 percent increase since the fall 1995.

"The increase in both the number and quality of the freshmen is a clear indication of the growing recognition, both statewide and nationally, of the quality of the academic programs at the University of Pittsburgh," said Pitt Provost James V. Maher. "The number of students eligible for the Honors College is further evidence of this trend. These are the students who are most serious about the quality of the education they will receive, and Pitt is attracting them in steadily increasing numbers."

The geographic distribution of the entering freshmen is expected to be similar to last year's class, with 80 percent coming from Pennsylvania and 20 percent from out-of-state. Significant numbers of students are expected from New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Ohio, and increasing numbers are also being seen from states such as California, Florida and Illinois.

African American enrollment in the freshman class is expected to be 335 students, or 11.2 percent, up from 9.2 percent last year.