University of Pittsburgh
August 26, 1999

TRADITIONAL CELEBRATIONS HELD TO WELCOME PITT FRESHMEN TO THE UNIVERSITY Academic standing continues to increase

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, August 27 -- This weekend, University of Pittsburgh freshmen will be officially welcomed to Pitt by Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and other University administrators during the traditional Freshmen Convocation Saturday, August 28, at 4:30 p.m., followed by the Chancellor's picnic at 5:30 p.m. on the Cathedral of Learning Lawn.

In addition, freshman women will participate in Lantern Night Sunday, August 29, at 8 p.m. in Heinz Chapel as freshman men celebrate the Night of the Panther at 8:15 p.m. in the Cathedral of Learning Commons Room.

Twenty nine percent of the 3,159 new students 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.

The geographic distribution of the entering freshmen is 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 similar to last year, at about 10 percent.

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