Forty-one percent of GC’s class of 2016 came from four counties in the Metro Atlanta region, while at least 25 rural counties did not contribute a single student.
“Our game plan is to grow our pool of diverse students while maintaining our strong connections to the Atlanta suburbs and other areas throughout Georgia,” said Ramon Blakley, director of admissions at GC.
Fulton County yielded the highest percentage with 848 students, followed by Gwinnett County with 839, Cobb County with 521 and Dekalb County with 256. All of these counties are adjacent to one another. Nine counties out of the 30 that make up the metro Atlanta region accounted for 59 percent of the 2016 GC incoming class.
Although GC primarily recruits prospective students in Georgia, recruiters in 2017 have traveled to cities such as Nashville, Tennessee and Charlotte, North Carolina.
“We can define diversity on campus in many ways, including ethnic, geographic, religious, political diversity and more,” said Will Brown, senior associate director of admissions. “All of these aspects are at the core of a liberal arts education in learning how to think critically and how to learn with an open mind.”
Cassius Young, Jake Pralgo and Tarez Miller all hail from the Atlanta area
GC has a selective application process, but the review is the same for any student in differing counties and states. The goal is to attract the best students.
“We evaluate the rigor of a student’s high school curriculum within the context of the school they are coming from,” Blakley said. “When we’re able to hear directly from the students in their essays, evaluate their leadership potential in their resumes and read about their character and work ethic from their teachers/counselors, these help us to try to determine if the student will ultimately be successful at GC, both inside and outside of the classroom.”
GC evaluates academic and non- academic factors as “very important,” “important,” “considered” and “not considered.” The geographical residence of a student is only “considered,” but state residency is “important.”
“We note our geographic diversity from a statistical point of view, as it’s certainly important to what we do,” Brown said.
GC’s Within Reach program offers incentives targeted toward prospective students from schools in Baldwin County and surrounding areas.
“This outreach includes application days, application fee waivers and college planning seminars,” Blakley said.
These incentives will potentially increase the pool of applicants around Baldwin County and surrounding areas. The 2016 class included 318 students from Baldwin County.
“I feel as though the school is trying to diversify, but there always seem to be a minority within pictures either on the website or in pamphlets given to possible students,” said GC junior De’onna Pennamon. “It’s not as diverse as they make it seem.”