This year’s Virginia Tech incoming class – which includes new first-year students and transfer students – is the most diverse in the university’s history.
According to 2022-23 enrollment data from the university’s census on Sept. 19, 40.4 percent of the incoming class are underrepresented minorities or underserved students (URM/USS), which includes Pell-eligible students, first-generation students, and veterans. In 2017, underrepresented minorities or underserved students comprised 33.1 percent of the incoming class.
Reaching 40 percent URM/USS in 2022 was a key strategic goal proposed by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in his 2017 State of the University Address and included in the university’s 2019 strategic plan, “The Virginia Tech Difference: Advancing Beyond Boundaries.”
“This is an important milestone that enriches our university with talented students from diverse backgrounds and reflects our commitment to access and equity in higher education,” Sands said. “Their experiences, ideas, and engagement will strengthen our impact on the commonwealth and communities we serve as we take on the world’s most pressing challenges.”
For a third consecutive year, Virginia Tech set a record with 45,238 first-year applications for the fall 2022 semester, a 7.57 percent increase over 2021. Transfer applications increased slightly, from 2,807 in 2021 to 2,890 in 2022. This year’s entering class of 7,101 first-year students represents 47 states and territories and 62 countries.
Transfer students total 997 students this year, up from 893 in 2021. Fall transfers arrived from 27 different states and territories and 20 countries.
Breaking down the entering class further, 20.8 percent, or 1,685 students, of the cohort are first-generation college students, a 13.6 percent increase from 2021 and a 34.6 percent increase from 2017. Plus, 8.7 percent of the 2022 entering class identify as Black — including students identifying as Black and other races, doubling the number of Black students in the 2017 entering class. Hispanic/LatinX students comprise 10.9 percent of the 2022 entering class, an increase of 79 percent compared to 2017.
The number of underrepresented minorities or underserved graduate students increased from 17.9 percent in 2021 to 18.2 percent this year. The number of underrepresented minority or underserved professional students (pursuing educational opportunities beyond an undergraduate degree in medicine and veterinary medicine) dropped slightly from 19.5 percent in 2021 to 19.3 percent in 2022
“Our commitment to increase access and equity to enhance the educational experience of every student in our campus community and support our land-grant mission to serve the commonwealth continues strong” said Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Luisa Havens Gerardo.
Director of Admissions Juan Espinoza praised the work of the Virginia Tech admissions team. “They made transformational changes to our admissions process in 2018 which greatly improved our engagement with prospective students who are interested in a Virginia Tech education.”
Virginia Tech overall undergraduate enrollment is 30,434, which is consistent with the university’s strategic plan. For fall 2021, undergraduate enrollment stood at 29,760 students.
Virginia Tech’s graduate enrollment is 7,063, an increase of 217 students compared to a year ago. The Graduate School welcomed 1,360 new master’s degree seeking and 469 new doctorate degree seeking students.