Jul 23, 2009

UVA Class of 2013: Most Diverse, Best Qualified, and Increasingly Engineer

Closing the books on the 2008-09 admissions cycle, the University of Virginia (UVA) Office of Admissions announced an incoming class characterized as the “most diverse and best qualified” in school history. It’s been a tough year with the death of long-time admissions dean Jack Blackburn and the subsequent transition to a new administration under Gregory Roberts. The turn in the economy brought further complications as state residents applied to UVA in record numbers producing a more than 20% jump in applicants for spots in the class of 2013.

As if the change in leadership and deluge of applications weren’t enough, UVA switched to the Common Application, implemented a paperless application process, and went to an all-online reading procedure. But everyone seems to have survived as the Office of Admission recently notified students on the wait list for first year and transfer applicants that no further seats were available. I imagine more than one UVA staff person hit the beach with a sigh of relief.

For those keeping track, here are some numbers provided by the UVA Office of Admission:
  • The applicant pool increased from 18,048 in 2008 to 21,839, from which UVA made offers to 6,775 students or about 31% of the students seeking admission. Last year, offers were made to 6,274 students.
  • About 49% or 3,308 students accepted offers of admission. UVA officials expect a summer “melt” of about 60 students who will drop out before the official census in October, bringing the class close to the target enrollment of 3,240 or slightly less than the 3,260 who enrolled in the fall of 2008.
  • The class of 2013 boasts of impressive qualifications: 88.5% ranked in the top 10% of their high school classes (up from 87.6% last year) and SAT scores were up by about 10 points from a year ago. The median score on the critical reading and math sections of the SAT rose to 1350, with the middle 50% of the entering class scoring between 1250 and 1430.
  • Virginians make up 67% of the entering first-year class.
  • An estimated 205 students qualified for full need-based, all-grant packages under UVA’s AccessUVA financial aid program, up from 170 last year.
  • The first-year class appears more diverse than ever with 303 African-Americans (up from 280 last year), 203 Hispanics (up from 125), 212 foreign nationals (up from 189), and 27 Native Americans (up from 7).

Although admissions officials anticipated more in-state students and fewer non-Virginians would accept offers, numbers only changed slightly from the previous year. “More families are concerned about how to pay for college,” said Dean Roberts. “But in the decision to come, the recession didn’t affect this class as much as we thought it would.” He goes on to note, however, that one curious trend had the office scrambling as many students who were initially accepted into the College of Arts & Sciences requested a switch to the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Most were accommodated.


  1. It sounds like UVA's incoming freshmen are a very talented and accomplished group! Thanks for the great information.

  2. From an applicant's perspective, though, it means that UVA is even harder go get into, even if you are in-state, and even the best candidates should not get their hopes up too high when there is a less than 1-in-3 chance of admission.