10/04/2012 16:55:42

Caltech Welcomes New Students

This year, the first week of October marks the first week of instruction for the fall term at Caltech. With the school year’s beginning, the Institute has welcomed some of the most accomplished and outstanding new undergraduate and graduate students, who will become an active part of campus through their research, coursework, and student activities.  

The new freshman class is 264 students strong (166 males, 98 females). Chosen from a record 5,537 applications, these students come to Caltech from 32 states, one U.S. territory, and 11 foreign countries. In fact, 23 percent of the entering undergraduates were born outside the United States. Academically, they are the top tier, with average scores on the SAT critical-reading, mathematics, and writing sections of 747, 783, and 753, respectively. In addition, about three-quarters of the class scored a perfect 800 on the SAT Math Level 2 subject test. Fifty-seven percent of the entering class has already been involved in research, and 13 percent of the students have already been authors on published papers.

Beyond academics, the members of the class of 2016 also have interests that extend to music, design, sports, volunteerism, old-world crafts, and more. Among this class of men and women are a blacksmith, a unicycler, mountain climbers, dancers, and at least one serious knitter. Forty-seven percent participated in high school athletics. Many play musical instruments, ranging from the ukulele to the mellophone to a traditional Korean instrument called the daegeum. One student climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, one memorized the Koran as an eighth grader, and another made a wetsuit to see how late in the year she was able to swim in her frigid Midwestern pond.

"We are thrilled to have such a talented and diverse group of new students join our community," says Anneila Sargent, Caltech's vice president for student affairs and the Benjamin M. Rosen Professor of Astronomy. "We wish them a successful journey of discovery at Caltech."

Written by Kimm Fesenmaier