Mar 27, 2019

UVa applications up and admissions offers down

Hours before Associate Dean of Admission Jeannine Lalonde (Dean J) posted her usual heads up to applicants that the University of Virginia was getting ready to post decisions, parents on College Confidential were speculating that Friday would be the day, “…first UVA game today at 3:00, what a great day to release.”

As if on cue, Dean J confirmed that applicants could expect to see one of three decisions—admitted, denied or waitlisted—sometime in the next few hours. And by 5:00, the wait was over.

Some reacted with hesitation. “My son doesn’t want to look at it—he is so nervous. He says he will look at it tomorrow. I left him alone.”

But others were gleeful. “I am blessed to have been accepted.”

And the joy spilled over to Twitter. “I am so thankful and excited to say that I have been accepted to my number1 school, the University of Virginia!” exclaimed Madison. “I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me in the fall.”

Sadly, the news wasn’t universally happy. Denied. UVA is my dream school, but I definitely wasn't expecting to get in because it's a reach for me. Congrats to everyone who got in!”

And a few parents offered a little advice. “Make sure and apply to a dozen schools fellow parents!”

To give the decisions context, Dean posted preliminary numbers for this year and recommended that admissions junkies with a real “need to know” could research numbers using a tool devised by the UVa assessment team for presenting data in Tableau.

But the simple comparison with 2018 is interesting enough. Last year at this time, UVa reported receiving a little over 37,000 applications (this number tends to jump around a little)—a significant increase from the previous year—and made initial offers to 9,849 students.

For this year’s class, the total number of applications soared to 40,869, with the number of in-state applicants increasing from 11,338 reported a year ago to 12,010 for the class of 2023.

The biggest contributing factor to the overall increase in applications, however, was the bump from out-of-state students who submitted 28,859 applications—up from 25,884 during 2017-2018.

Presumably considering factors related to yield (both in-state and out-of-state) and an unexpectedly large class from the year before, UVa decreased the total number of offers from 9,849 to 9,787.

But a large percentage of offers were already made by the time regular decision candidates were considered. Early action admits accounted for 6,550, or almost exactly two-thirds of total—something next year’s applicants might carefully consider.  And the overall admission rate decreased by 2.4% from last year to 24%.

For those who like to keep hope alive, 12% of students deferred from early action were admitted—down from 16.6% last year. And 13% of the regular decision applicants were offered spots on the wait list—again down from 28.6% last year.

For the record, according to information provided by UVa to the Common Data Set, 5,972 students were offered spots on the wait list in 2017-18, and 3,588 accepted the offer. Of those students, 13 were eventually admitted. The previous year (2016-17), 117 were taken from the wait list.

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

Total number of applications: 40,869 (up from 37,182 last year)
Total number of VA applications: 12,010
Total number of out-of-state applications: 28,859

Overall offers:
Total VA offers:  4,331 or 36% of resident applications
Total out-of-state offers:  5,456 or 19% of nonresident applications 

Note that the offers of admission for nonresidents are higher because historic yield for nonresidents is generally lower than that for in-state student.

In a press release, UVa reports that offers to first-generation college students rose from 10% to 11.5%, and a record 40% identify as members of a minority group—an increase of 5% from last year.

“This is a remarkable class of admitted students in every way,” said Dean of Admission Gregory Roberts. “We are particularly pleased that so many of the students who received offers will be the first in their family to attend college. It’s an honor to welcome this talented and richly diverse group of scholars to UVA. We hope to see many on Grounds in the coming weeks for open house events as they make their college selection.”

And they present outstanding credentials. More than 90% of the admitted students were in the top tenth of their high school class, and their mean SAT score was 1438.

This year, UVa aims for a first-year class of about or 3,750—down from the 3,821 students enrolled in the class of 2022 (according to the Common Data Set). And it’s worth noting that all admitted students have until May 1 to accept their offers.

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