Virginia Tech’s student retention remains strong, and its first-year class entered the university this fall with the highest ever GPA for an incoming group, according to the recently completed fall enrollment census.

According to the census, Virginia Tech’s total student population is 38,294, which includes 35,734 taking classes on the Blacksburg campus. Breaking it down further, the student population includes

  • 30,504 undergraduates
  • 7,100 graduate students
  • 497 Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine students
  • 193 Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine students

The 2023 first-year class of 7,141 students came from a record 47,208 applicants. The university extended offers to 26,923 first-year applicants. The first-year students came from 69 countries and entered Virginia Tech with an average GPA of 4.09, which represents the highest ever for an incoming group at the university. The average GPA for last year’s group was 4.05.

Strong retention rates

Retention rates remain a point of emphasis for university officials, and the census displayed positive outcomes, including

  • 91.9 percent of last year’s group attending college for the first time returned for a second year, a 1 percent increase from the previous year
  • 90.2 percent of last year’s underrepresented minorities returned for a second year, a 2.3 percent increase from the previous year
  • 88.3 percent of last year’s first-generation students returned for a second year, an increase of 1.2 percent. 

"With the highest-ever GPA for incoming students and impressive retention rates, we are proud to be a destination of choice for diverse talent from across the globe,” said Luisa Havens Gerardo, vice provost of enrollment management. “We are committed to continue cultivating such talent by enhancing student financial support, promoting career readiness, and fostering transformative learning experiences through initiatives like the Virginia Tech Advantage to ensure that all students have the support they need to thrive.”  

In-state students

The census shows that two-thirds of undergraduate students at Virginia Tech hail from the state. A closer look at the numbers:

  • In-state undergraduate students: 20,317
  • Out-of-state undergraduate students: 10,009
  • First-year students from Virginia: 4,346
  • Transfer students from Virginia: 965 (out of 1,102)

Of note, Virginia Tech recently launched Virginia Tech Advantage, a universitywide commitment to offer a broad educational experience to undergraduate students who are from Virginia and have documented financial needs. The initiative focuses on reducing unmet financial needs, increasing support for basic needs such as food assistance and emergency funds, increasing resources for career preparation by facilitating paid internships and co-ops, and increasing resources for transformational learning activities such as study-abroad and research experiences

Undergraduates a diverse group

Of Virginia Tech’s 30,504 undergraduates, 36.8 percent are underrepresented minorities or underserved — a percentage that includes international students and is a 1.2 percent increase from 2022. The university’s underrepresented minority population alone increased nearly 1 percent from 17.99 percent in 2022 to 18.86 percent this year.

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