Meet the Class of 2017

Incoming first years maintain University history of academic excellence, demographic makeup


As first-year students move into their dorms this weekend, they bring to Grounds more than 3,000 Wahoos who represent the University’s standard caliber of academic achievement and a geographically and racially diverse crowd.

The Class of 2017 averages an SAT math and verbal score of 1349, keeping close with the Class of 2016’s 1350. Ninety-two percent of incoming students were in the top 10 percent of their high school classes.

Racially, the group remains consistent with earlier classes as well. Sixty-one percent of the incoming class identifies as white, with the largest minority group remaining Asian Americans at 12 percent. Six percent of the class identifies as African-American, 6 percent identifies as Hispanic-American, 0.1 percent identify as Native-American and 4 percent identified as belonging to multiple races.

In addition, 6 percent of the Class of 2017 is international. A further 6 percent chose not to classify themselves racially or ethnically.

These numbers largely reflect the existing racial makeup of the University, though the admissions office in May said they expected the new class to increase Hispanic representation by up to 20 percent and overall representation of minorities to increase from 26.5 percent to 27.5 percent.

The gender gap continues, as 56 percent of incoming students are female and 44 percent are male, according to the Office of Institutional Assessment and Studies.

Though the University accepts fewer in-state students than many other public Virginia universities, 65 percent of first year class is in-state. Ultimately, however, students hail from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 74 countries.

Though the students in the Class of 2017 are not radically different than those in previous classes, they will enjoy several new opportunities at the University.

“Students new to U.Va. this year will benefit from some new infrastructure, including the new residence halls on Alderman Road,” University spokesperson McGregor McCance said. “They’ll also start the school year with fully functional, modern dining facilities and a completely refurbished Newcomb Hall.”

The new dorm facilities will house 570 first-year students and include lounges, study spaces and individualized climate control devices for each room. The dining facilities transition will be markedly different from that experienced by first-years last fall, who arrived on Grounds to find the temporary dining facility N2 in front of Peabody Hall.

New students may also be the first to benefit from the new “total advising” system proposed as part of the University’s strategic plan, McCance said.

“[Total advising] will institute an advising approach and process that combines high-quality academic advising, career advising and coaching,” McCance said. “[It] includes an online portfolio and capitalizes on relationships with U.Va. alumni in an effort to provide a more comprehensive and effective system of student advising.”

Students will begin moving in at 9 a.m. Friday, the official start of move-in weekend, and continue through 5 p.m. Saturday.

related stories