Nov 14, 2011

UVa’s New Early Action Program Attracts a Huge Number of Applicants

The University of Virginia announced that 11,417 high school seniors met the deadline for nonbinding early admission to the UVa Class of 2016. According to Assistant Dean of Admission Jeannine Lalonde (Dean J), about 2000 of the applications were received on November 1st—the last day applications could be submitted for UVa’s newly reinstated early action program.

“Interesting. A lot of eager beavers,” said one poster on Dean J’s Notes from Peabody Admissions Blog. “Close to half of what you’ll see overall, I would imagine.”

That estimate is probably about right. Without an early action program, UVa received a total of 24,005 applications for this year’s entering class. The nonbinding early action pool represents just under 50 percent of last year’s total.

According to a press release, the university is planning to enroll between 3,360 and 3,400 students for the class that enters in August 2012. This is down slightly from last year’s unexpectedly large class of 3,450 students, which resulted in students being housed in “forced triples.” The total admitted last year was about 7750 (3,562 Virginia residents and 4,183 from out-of-state).

Dean of Admission Greg Roberts indicated that there will be no cap on the number of students who will be admitted under the UVa early action plan, adding, “I think we’ll be cautious, because we don’t know what will be coming in during the regular admission cycle.”

Early admission figures are slowly being announced by other colleges and universities throughout the country. UVa’s traveling partner, Princeton University, received 3,547 early applications under a new “single-choice” early action program. Undoubtedly affected by the reentry of Princeton and Harvard into the early admission field, Penn’s binding early decision applications fell by 1.3 percent to 4,510 applicants.

Dartmouth College received 1,800 early decision applications, a 3 percent increase from last year, while about 2,900 students applied early decision to Brown representing a 4 percent increase from last year. Northwestern received 2,450 early decision applications, 15.2 percent more than last year.

Closer to home, Johns Hopkins is currently reporting that 1,432 students applied early decision, which calculates to an 8 percent increase (this figure may go up as storm-delayed applications make their way in). And Georgetown received a record 6,750 early action applications from students hoping to snag one of 1,600 spots in the Class of 2016.

But the most impressive numbers, so far, come from Duke University, which received 2,716 early decision applications—a 23 percent increase over last year.

While most early applicants will receive a decision by mid-December, UVa hopefuls will have to wait until late in January to learn whether their applications have been accepted, declined or deferred to the regular admission pool.

Applicants may be deferred by UVa to give admissions readers one more look at their senior-year grades or test scores, or to see how they “stack up” against the regular admissions pool, Roberts said.

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