Emory celebrates the admitted Class of 2027, whose experiences reflect an increase in community-mindedness
On March 29, cheers and high-fives resounded as students around the world received notification offering them admission to Emory’s undergraduate Class of 2027. These students applied under the Regular Decision admission plan.
Emory received 33,534 undergraduate applications this year and the Class of 2027 is shaping up to be one of the most humanitarian, idealistic and entrepreneurial classes yet.
This new group of students will add their own flavor to campus, bringing their unique experiences, interests and passions to enrich the community.
Admitted students in the Class of 2027 represent all 50 states and 77 countries, all seeking an exceptional liberal arts education and opportunities to find their purpose.
“This is an extraordinary class of students — talented, diverse and full of potential,” says President Gregory L. Fenves. “Emory is the perfect home for them to learn, discover and flourish both in and out of the classroom. I can’t wait for them to arrive on campus.”
Applicants choose to apply to Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Oxford College or both. For the Class of 2027, 61% applied to both colleges, a growing trend in recent years.
In total, Emory admitted 5,445 students to the Class of 2027, with 3,428 applicants offered admission to Emory College and 3,335 offered admission to Oxford College. Of those numbers 1,376 were admitted to both colleges. Oxford received its largest applicant pool ever this year.
Each location offers a distinct atmosphere. The Atlanta campus is home to Emory College, plus Emory’s renowned graduate and professional schools, all minutes from downtown. Oxford College, located 38 miles (61 km) east of Atlanta, consists of undergraduates learning in a community of approximately 1,000 students for their first two years of school.
After completing two years at Oxford, students continue to the Atlanta campus, where they enter Emory College, apply to Goizueta Business School or transition into the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.
“We are delighted to welcome this tremendously talented and promising class to Emory,” says Ravi V. Bellamkonda, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “The Class of 2027 will join a community committed to helping our students discover themselves and define their own vision for success, while benefiting from the incredible, caring scholars who will teach and mentor them. Our faculty and staff are eager to help each of our new Eagles flourish as they participate in Emory’s long history of academic eminence.”
How applications were reviewed this year
When Emory’s admission counselors review applications, they look for students who can excel in the university’s rigorous courses and research opportunities. A key factor is whether students made the most of their secondary education, such as assuming leadership positions in extracurricular activities while taking the most challenging courses offered by their high schools.
In a typical year, applications are reviewed by pairs of staff, sitting together in-person or virtually and reviewing the application at the same time, in a process called committee-based evaluation.
John Latting, associate vice provost for enrollment and dean of admission, says that process continued this year because of the importance of having multiple perspectives on applications. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still present in students’ applications, but not to the same degree as the past two years.
“We’re climbing back to a more normal world where people have taught students face-to-face,” says Latting, reflecting on the importance of teacher recommendations. “Some teachers still mentioned that they had only taught students virtually, but that idea of disruption is less present in teacher recommendations this year and more in out-of-class activities. We see things that students may have done from middle school to sophomore year, and then it stops. We see more students trying things for a year and then trying something else. Students don’t want to put themselves into a box or be easily characterized.”
Kelley Lips, assistant vice provost and dean of enrollment services at Oxford, says that attracting students who think outside of the box is exactly what Emory wants. One of the benefits of having two doors of entry to the university is that both campuses appeal to a broad range of students.
“They can explore their interests and see which best fits their academic goals, preferences and career aspirations,” says Lips. “Students choose Oxford because of small class sizes and early research and internship opportunities. Plus, taking on a leadership position in co-curricular activities is a hallmark of the Oxford experience. No matter which campus students choose, they are learning from renowned faculty.”
By the numbers
Opening the doors to education
Diversity continues to increase among Emory’s applicant pool. As the university’s national footprint deepens, prospective students have started to consider Emory as a place with a reputation for encouraging openness.
Programs emerging from the Campus Life Identity Spaces and First-Gen Week initiatives in Atlanta, plus a plethora of culturally specific student organizations at Oxford, give students an idea of how individuals from historically underrepresented communities are valued on campus.
One change that continues to positively impact diversity is becoming test-optional. In 2021, Emory moved to being test-optional because the availability of SAT and ACT tests was so limited due to the pandemic. The practice has continued for the past two years because the university saw an increase in the diversity of the students who applied.
Emory received significantly more applications from:
- Students from historically underrepresented backgrounds.
- First-generation college students. (The student does not have a parent who ever attended a four-year college.)
- Students who are the first in their family to live and go to school in the United States.
- Students from families with fewer financial resources.
Overall, 36% of students admitted to the Emory College Class of 2027 chose not to submit SAT or ACT scores. Of that percentage, nearly half of those admitted to Emory College submitted Advanced Placement exam scores.
In addition, 19.5% of admitted students to the Class of 2027 identify as first-generation college students.
“Diversification has been a theme of the applicant pool, and there’s been a real march forward to broaden who applies to school here,” says Latting. “There are more women, students of color, and more students from developing economies around the world applying here. It’s a fascinating and vibrant applicant pool that we have.”
Emory also participates in the Questbridge National College Match program, which matches outstanding high school seniors from low-income households with some of the nation’s best colleges. Some students are admitted in each fall’s match process, during which Emory enrolled 61 students. This year, an additional 241 students who applied through Questbridge, but did not initially match with Emory, were admitted through Regular Decision.
This step toward economic inclusion is in line with the expansion of the Emory Advantage program, which eliminates need-based loans as part of undergraduate students’ financial aid packages. This academic year, Emory replaced loans with institutional grants and scholarships, and will continue to do so.
Exploring different facets of identity
When composing the class, in addition to grades, test scores and teacher recommendations, admissions staff look at what students are inspired by to see how varying interests and experiences will fit together.
Lips says that applicants to the Class of 2027 exhibited an inclination toward humanitarian efforts. The COVID-19 pandemic presented new issues in many communities, and a number of applicants volunteered to help those in need in a variety of ways.
“Their experiences have created a level of resilience, and we have seen examples over and over of students volunteering and becoming change agents in their communities,” says Lips. “The level of commitment and investment in their co-curriculars in addition to academics is impressive. Emory students have always been compassionate, but in the applications, I see a new confidence in their abilities to address complex issues in society. They are stars in the classroom and in the community.”
Adding to the uniqueness of the Class of 2027, admitted students also display a deep desire to shape their own paths and balance academic rigor with other passions.
Here are some other characteristics of the Class of 2027:
Virtual learning: Whether through their high school or dual enrollment, more students are taking online courses in their specific areas of interest. More students are also participating in virtual homeschooling so they can explore their co-curriculars and athletics at a more competitive level.
Entrepreneurship: Students are more inclined to start their own organization at their school or in their community, rather than join an existing, well-established sport or club. Some students are also starting small businesses in high school.
Community and social awareness: A growing trend of the past few years is students connecting their educational pursuits to positively impacting societal issues and communities that they care about. From collecting donations for refugees from Ukraine to tutoring kids in their neighborhoods, students are mobilizing their peers to be the change they want to see in the world.
“No matter the students’ interests, the common denominator 100% of the time is that academically the students we admit have what it takes to thrive here, get their degree and do well,” says Latting. “There are plenty of times when we say, ‘This student is going to challenge Emory,’ and I think that’s a good thing. Students are the best change agents we have on campus, and I look forward to seeing how the Class of 2027 leaves their mark.”
About this story: Written by Kelundra Smith. Designed by Laura Dengler. Photos by Emory Photo/Video.