Advanced Academy of Georgia

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Advanced Academy of Georgia
Type Public
Established 1995
Director Adriana Stanley
Undergraduates 60[1]
Location Carrollton, Georgia, USA
Colors Blue and Red         

The Advanced Academy of Georgia is an early college entrance program at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia. It was established by Dr. Beheruz Sethna in the 1995–1996 academic year.


The Advanced Academy does not focus on a specific discipline, and therefore requires a minimum GPA, minimum SAT and ACT scores, and that its applicants be on the College Preparatory track. The program traditionally accepts students during their high school junior and high school senior years, though younger students considered to be exceptionally gifted have been accepted in the past.

While enrolled, students are free to pursue whatever discipline they want, provided they meet the credit requirements for graduation at their high-school. Because of recent changes to the College Credit Now program, one 3-4 credit hour college class "counts" as a full unit of high school credit. Therefore, students earn a full year of high school credit in one semester at the college level.

Student life[edit]

Students are housed in Gunn Hall, a residence hall on the south-eastern corner of campus. Previously housing both young Academy students and typical college-aged honors students, Gunn Hall was for a time dedicated solely for housing Academy students and support staff, but since Fall 2014 has reverted to one wing of the building.

Since the students are housed together, they often form strong relationships during their time in the program. The administration of the program encourages this sense of community, providing activities such as Thursday Night Dinner, at which guests come and speak to the students of the Academy on a variety of subjects, and regular events in Gunn Hall and around the campus specifically for the Academy students.

Several events for Academy students have become yearly traditions. Among these are "Formal" (a prom), a collaborative poetry and music performance called "Coffee House", and "The Decathlon". The last of these is a very significant event for many current and former Academy students, in which two teams drawn up from both floors compete against each other in many different events, including sports, board games, a scavenger hunt, and an engineering contest, known as the "Challenge." The Decathlon tends to inspire a great deal of camaraderie among the residents of a floor, while creating drama and competition between the floors as a whole. The Decathlon always takes place on the weekend immediately preceding Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January and serves as a time of reunion for former students and housing staff, who often come and stay in Gunn Hall for the weekend and participate alongside current students in the competitions.

Academy students are allowed to participate in any extracurricular clubs or activities on campus except for social fraternities and NCAA athletic teams. Current Advanced Academy students have, at various times, headed the school's robotics laboratory, intercollegiate mock trial team, Catholic Life Society, Asian Student Association, and the student LGBT support group, Lambda. Past students have gone on to take professional or leadership roles in the West Georgia community, including the roles of student newspaper editor, Housing and Residence Life staff, and Honors College staff.

Notable alumni[edit]

Over 750 students have attended The Advanced Academy of Georgia since its inception in the Fall Semester of 1995. Academy alumni have gone on to attend several prestigious colleges and universities, including Georgia Institute of Technology, Brown University, Columbia University, Duke University, Emory University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, MIT, Stanford University, University of Chicago, Wellesley College, Yale University, California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, University of California, Berkeley, and several others. They have pursued degrees in several fields including law, medicine, engineering, sciences, and humanities.

  • Ajay Pillai '08 - The youngest person to ever graduate from a University System of Georgia institution with a 4-year degree. Pillai came to the Academy at the age of 13, graduated with an honors degree in biochemistry at the age of 17, and went on to graduate with a Doctor of Medicine from Georgia Health Sciences University at the age of 21.[2][3]
  • Nkosi Thandiwe '07 - Attended the Advanced Academy of Georgia from 2005-2007. In 2011, he was arrested and charged with one count of murder and two counts of aggravated assault for the Atlanta shooting that left Brittany Watts dead, paralyzed Lauren Garcia, and injured Tiffany Ferenczy.[4] He was sentenced to life without parole plus 65 years in prison on 31 January 2013.[5]


  1. ^ "2013-2014 UWG Fact Book" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-10. 
  2. ^ "State of the University" Retrieved on 2010-11-17.
  3. ^ "21-year-old graduates medical school" Archived May 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2012-05-12.
  4. ^ "Man arrested, charged in Midtown triple shooting" Retrieved on 2014-11-12.
  5. ^ "Midtown shooter gets life plus 65 years in prison" Retrieved on 2014-11-12

External links[edit]