The Class of 2006 shares a multitude of interests and academic accomplishments.

“I like to freestyle,” said freshman Ashwin Garlapati. “It’s rapping without any set lyrics. You just say whatever comes to your head.”

Another member of the Class of 2006, Jon Lax, likes photography. “It’s something I really enjoy, mostly for artistic purposes.” Lax’s academic interests are very different from his hobby, however. He is considering a major in electrical computer engineering.

Garlapati, Lax and their classmates are academically strong ?two thirds of their class graduated high school with a GPA above 3.7, and 76 percent were in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes.

In addition, standardized test scores were high. The middle 50 percent of scores ranged between 1280 and 1430 for the SAT, and between 27-31 for the ACT. “Academically, we’re getting the type of applicant we’re looking for,” acting Director of Admissions Greg MacDonald said.

Of the 929 students that comprise the Class of 2006, 9.5 percent are from underrepresented minority groups. “Diversity is a priority in admissions. We are interested in students with a variety of ethnic backgrounds, and we will continue to pursue a diverse student population each year,” MacDonald said.

Extracurricular interests also spanned a wide range. Three quarters of the Class of 2006 participated in high school athletics and over half were involved in the band, orchestra or choir. Sixty-seven percent did volunteer work or community service, 48 percent were national honor society inductees, 20 percent were involved in a school publication and an equal percentage held student government positions.

“I played the violin in high school, and now I’m playing here in the Chamber Orchestra. I’m interested in pre-med, and I know we have a good hospital, but I also came here because of the Eastman school,” freshman Joanne Kim said.

“I read everything. I like all types of fiction ? historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy. I read newspapers and scientific journals too,” freshman David Krsnak said.

Geographically, the Class of 2006 is also diverse. Approximately half of the new freshmen are from New York, with 13 percent from the greater Rochester area, and 7 percent from New York City. Of the out-of-state students, 15 percent come from New England, and 14 percent come from the Mid-Atlantic states. Seven percent are from the Mid-Western states, three percent are from the South and three percent are from the Western states. International students make up two percent of the class.

MacDonald has high hopes for the Class of 2006. “Ninety-two percent of last year’s students returned, and I think we can hope for the same this year.”

“I think students thrive at the University of Rochester because of its unique curriculum and the quality of the education. We’ve chosen a group of students who we feel will excel here, and I anticipate that they will,” he added.

Bright can be reached at

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