Mar 27, 2012

UVa Admit Rate Drops Significantly

Surprising many, the University of Virginia admissions office released decisions promptly at 5:00 p.m., on Friday afternoon. Almost immediately, reactions began pouring into student discussion boards including College Confidential.

“I feel giddy right now,” crowed one happy admit from central Virginia.

But the news wasn’t universally good. “I’m a bit disappointed,” remarked another from Virginia. “I'm not sure what the deal was but I wish the best of luck to everyone who was accepted.”

And for those who thought there is “no rhyme or reason” to the decisions, Jeannine Lalonde, senior assistant dean of admission (Dean J) was quick to point out, “We dedicate months to this process and arrive at decisions after collaboration and discussion.”

To give the decisions some context, Dean J posted preliminary numbers for this year and recommended that admissions junkies with a real “need to know” could research numbers as far back as 1977 on the webpage maintained by the UVa Office of Institutional Assessment.

But the simple comparison with 2011 is interesting enough. Last year at this time, UVa received 24,005 applications (this number later decreased) and made initial offers to 7,750 students. Including those pulled from the wait list, the total number of offers for the Class of 2015 was 7,844.

For this year’s class, the total number of applications dramatically went up to 28,272, with the number of in-state applicants increasing from 7,955 in 2011 to 8,788.

But the bulk of the increase in applications came from out-of-state students who submitted a grand total of 19,484 applications.

To make up for an unexpectedly high yield last year, which resulted in 90 extra students, the admissions office kept the offers at 7758—almost exactly the same as last year. Of these offers, 3,403 went to Virginians (3,562 last year), and 4,355 went to out-of-state students (4,183 last year). Overall, the initial admission rate went down significantly from 32 percent in 2011 to 27 percent in 2012.

There was no discussion on Dean J’s blog of the size of this year’s wait list. Last year, the wait list increased to 4326 applicants, 2726 of whom accepted spots. According to numbers provided for the Common Data Set, 191 were ultimately admitted from the wait list.

In any event, here are all the "unofficial" numbers released today by the UVa admissions office:

Total number of applications: 28,272 (up from 23,971 last year)
Total number of VA applications: 8,788 (up from 7,955 last year)
Total number of out-of-state applications: 19,484 (up from 16,045)

Overall offers: 7,758 (7,750 this time last year—7,844 including wait list offers)
Total VA offers: 3,403 or 39.4 of resident applications (3,562/45% last year)
Total out-of-state offers: 4,355 or 23.4% of nonresident applications (4,183/26% last year)

The offers for non residents are higher because historic yield—or percent of students accepting offers—for nonresidents is generally lower.

Dean J reports that the mean SAT for Critical Reading and Math for admitted students was 1395. And 95.7 percent of the students receiving offers of admission were in the top 10 percent of their class.

“Every school is building a class that meets many different institutional needs,” concludes Dean J. “You can’t always predict decisions at one school based on those that are released by another.”

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