The current senior class at Auburn University arrived in 2008 with the highest incoming ACT score in the university’s history. With an average of 25.9, they were the highest achieving group of students ever to walk the campus.
Having the title of the smartest class at Auburn did not last for long, however. Each incoming freshman class since 2008 has eclipsed their record. This year’s freshman class boasts an average ACT score of 27.2.
With general academic scholarships for residents of Alabama starting at an ACT score of 28 and scholarships for non-resident students starting at a score of 29, the average Auburn student is close to being scholarship eligible.
Mindy Street, ’06 COMM, is helping recruit high ability students. Street is the liaison for the Very Impressive Tigers (VIT) program for the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.
According to Street, VIT invitations are sent to students based on their test scores.
“These are usually the highest test scores you can get,” Street said.
Once the impressive tigers receive their invitations, Street helps organize a full day of activities on Auburn’s campus for them if they are interested.
Street has helped students meet with a variety of organizations from the Honors College to the Auburn University Marching Band. Some students have even had the opportunity to meet with the deans of Auburn’s colleges and schools, as well as with Jay Gogue, president of Auburn University.
Street believes there are two main reasons Auburn is successful in recruiting high ability students. The first reason is the quality of the education at Auburn University.
“I know that degree I have hanging on my wall actually holds more and more value with each year that I have been graduated thanks to these wonderful students,” Street said.
When Street entered Auburn in 2002, the average ACT score for her class was a 23.8. In nearly a decade, that average has risen more than three points.
Secondly, Street believes that capping the enrollment at Auburn to 25,000 students has allowed Auburn to become more selective when admitting students. .
The VIT program is not the only way Auburn chooses to recruit intelligent students. Receptions for students with scores eligible for the Honors College are held in different cities across Alabama and Georgia. Also, the university sends nearly 80,000 invitations to prospective students based on their test scores inviting them to events held on Auburn’s campus.
“These students we are getting are setting records each year, and I am just privileged and feel honored to be a part of that,” said Street.