In 2012, the Georgia Tech Honors Program received 4,500 applications for just 140 available spaces in the program. Selection is therefore a difficult task, and we regret having to turn anyone away. To help applicants understand the process, the steps we follow in selection are outlined below:
- We begin with the list of students offered admission by the GT Office of Undergraduate Admissions, since it is the responsibility of Admissions to make the initial determination about each applicant's capacity to succeed academically at Georgia Tech.
- Once we have received the list of students interested in HP consideration, we begin reading their original GT applications--and doing so very carefully. We take note of GPA and SAT scores, of course, but we don't do our selection process simply by the numbers. Given the overall profile of the students admitted to Georgia Tech, with average SAT scores of over 1427, strict numerical measures don't make meaningful distinctions among outstanding students, nor do they provide valuable insight into the broader profile of students' personal attributes.
We mean to be clear on one important point: The Honors Program does not select students based solely on academic achievement, but also on academic approach. That is, we seek students whose high school record indicates evidence of intellectual, cultural, and social engagement, a consistent commitment to and a decent measure of success in one or more areas of interest. To that end, we look especially carefully at the latter pages of the GT application form, where students list and explain their curricular and extracurricular activities, indicate the jobs they've held, explain any special circumstances surrounding their educational or personal situation, and reveal something of themselves in a personal essay. Our assumption is that if students have demonstrated significant commitment and passion in one or more areas of their lives as high school students, they will bring that commitment and passion to Georgia Tech. In short, we look for students who seem to take an active approach to education, who seem willing to take ownership of it and make the most of their Georgia Tech experience. So far, the results have been outstanding.