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Oxford moves in 'highly credentialed class'

Oxford College sophomore Brittany Fears moves in her Dickey Hall dorm with help from her uncle Rudy Fears on a rainy Tuesday morning. She is a biology major from Newnan and likes the small Oxford campus so she can get to know more people. Staff Photos: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith

Oxford College sophomore Brittany Fears moves in her Dickey Hall dorm with help from her uncle Rudy Fears on a rainy Tuesday morning. She is a biology major from Newnan and likes the small Oxford campus so she can get to know more people. Staff Photos: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith

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Sophomore Andrew Morsilli from Rhode Island gets help from his father, Peter Morsilli while moving his black fridge up the stairs to the second floor of his dorm. He is a political science major. He and his parents, Susan and Peter, flew down and rented a car to help get him settled in this year.

OXFORD -- Oxford College is welcoming its most highly acclaimed class this year, and top college officials have high hopes for them.

Incoming freshman at Oxford College boast an average GPA of 3.79 and have combined SAT scores -- in critical reading, math and writing -- in the 25th to 75th percentile, ranging from 1820 to 2050, out of 2400.

The college also set more records this year with its incoming class -- it received 40 percent more applications than last year. The college admitted more than 2,500 students from its nearly 6,500 applicants.

From those, 470 new students are entering the college this year.

"With applications up significantly, we were able to enroll the most highly credentialed class ever while also considering applicants' fit with Oxford's liberal-arts intensive program," said Stephen Bowen, dean of Oxford College. "We believe we have an excellent entering class that will mesh well with their sophomore counterparts. This promises to be a great year for Oxford."

The college reports that 24 percent of the class entered through an early-decision admission, which the college offered for the first time this year.

The first-year students come from 367 high schools in 38 states and 20 nations. The new class is 58 percent female and 42 percent male, according to the college.

About 900 students, including sophomores, are enrolled at Oxford this year.

This fall and possibly for the next few years, students will be dealing with several renovation and restoration projects that are in progress on the historical Oxford campus.

Three are nearly complete -- the exterior renovation of Seney Hall, structural and roof work on Williams Hall/Old Gym and the conversion of the Oxford quad to a pedestrians-only zone.

Two major projects remain -- the renovation of Language Hall, built in 1874, which will be complete in time for the start of spring semester in January 2013, and the construction of a new library and academic commons, which will open in time for fall semester 2013.

To provide materials, research consultation and study areas as usual, the library has decentralized its services to multiple locations across campus, according to the college.

New students moved in last week before attending a freshman orientation program from Friday until Tuesday, and sophomores moved in Tuesday. Classes begin today, and a convocation will be held tonight.

Students usually attend Oxford College for two years before they attend the Atlanta campus of Emory University.