Undergraduate students entering Virginia Tech this fall—the Class of 2010—have the highest high school credentials a freshman class has ever had at the university.

“The quality of our entering students is a testament to the value of a Virginia Tech education,” said Norrine Bailey Spencer, associate provost and director of undergraduate admissions. “This year’s record of more than 19,000 applications indicates that excellent students are seeking a great education, and we are pleased that they have chosen Virginia Tech.”

Receiving the highest-ever number of freshman applications—19,046 for fall 2006 admission (eight percent higher than the 17,687 applications for fall 2005)—Virginia Tech expects to enroll about 5,000 first-year students this fall when classes begin Monday, August 21.

Students who accepted the offer of admission will come to campus with an average high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.74 (with a middle 50 percent of 3.38 to 3.95 GPA), up from 3.72 last year. The average freshman’s combined math and critical reading SAT score was 1201, two points less than last year’s 1203 (following a nationwide trend of SAT scores slightly more than five points lower). Virginia Tech considers the math and critical reading scores, though the writing score may be used for placement if a student is admitted. Average grades and scores for students who were offered admission were: 3.80 GPA (middle 50 percent 3.54 to 4.01 GPA) and a combined critical reading and math SAT score of 1231 (middle 50 percent of 1130 to 1330).

More than 100 entering students were valedictorians or salutatorians of their high school classes. Of freshmen offered admission, 97 percent scored higher than 500 on the math portion of the SAT, and 93 percent scored higher than 500 on the critical reading portion of the test.

Differing from a national trend, Virginia Tech male freshmen outnumber female freshmen, with a class that is 45 percent female and 55 percent male. In-state students account for 70.5 percent of the class, with 29.5 percent representing 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 36 foreign countries.

The class is 73.6 Caucasian, 8.0 percent Asian, 3.7 percent Black, 2.9 percent Hispanic, less than 1 percent Native American, and 11.5 percent indicated none of the above. The percentage of African American students has increased from 3.4 percent last year, and the Hispanic student population is up from 2.8 percent in 2005 and 2.0 percent in 2004.

Virginia Tech expects applicants to apply online and has not printed applications for more than five years. More than 85 percent of this year’s applicants applied online.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech is the most comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is among the top research universities in the nation. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to quality, innovation, and results through teaching, research, and outreach activities. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.