University of Virginia Offers 4,876 Students Spots in the Class of 2010

April 5, 2006 — The University of Virginia has offered admission to 4,876 students who applied as part of the University’s regular admissions program. Those 4,876 students are in addition to the 953 students who were admitted in December as part of the early-decision program under which students agree to attend the University, if accepted, in exchange for early action on their applications.

Acceptance letters were mailed on Friday, March 31, and more than 85 percent of the successful applicants were able to learn of their decision through a secure Web site because they had applied to the University electronically.

The successful applicants were part of the University’s largest applicant pool in seven years, and applications from African Americans, Hispanics and international students all increased over a year ago.

U.Va. received a total of 16,280 applications for roughly 3,100 spots in the Class of 2010, representing a 2 percent increase over last year and a 12 percent increase since 2000. Meantime, the number of African-American applications was up by 12 percent to 1,159 while applications from Hispanic students increased by 18 percent to 675 and from international students by 17 percent to 976.

“We are especially pleased with increases in the pool that support the University’s overall diversity efforts,” said John Blackburn, dean of admission. “It has been gratifying to have such a positive response from prospective students who visit our campus and see for themselves that we are serious about expanding our commitment to a community that is welcoming for all students.”

Since the target enrollment of 3,100 for the entering class remains the same as a year ago, Blackburn said that the University’s selectivity rate has increased by 2 percentage points this year to 36 percent, which means that prospective students faced a slightly more difficult challenge gaining admittance this year.

According to Blackburn, 40 percent of the applications come from Virginia high school students, virtually identical to a year ago.

“By every measurement, this is another exceptionally strong class,” said Blackburn. “In addition to exceptional high school records and standardized test scores, these students will bring a range of talents to the University that will enrich our community in countless ways.”

This is the third class to be admitted since the University created its innovative AccessUVa financial aid program under which U.Va. commits to meet 100 percent of every applicant’s demonstrated financial need.

“We continue to be encouraged by the response to this program,” Blackburn said. “It is extremely important for us to make a U.Va. education available to qualified students, regardless of their economic circumstances.”

Through AccessUVa, the University has made an annual commitment of $20 million in need-based grants to undergraduates. The program is designed not only to keep a U.Va. education affordable for the lowest-income students, but also to address the concerns of middle-income families who are squeezed by the rising cost of tuition. By limiting debt — or eliminating it altogether, in the case of students with the most need — AccessUVa offers assurances to prospective students that if they are eligible for admission, they can afford to attend the University.