March 28, 2011 — On Friday afternoon at 5 p.m., thousands of high school seniors logged on to a secure University of Virginia website to learn the outcome of their admissions applications.
Of the record 24,005 who applied, 7,750 received good news: They were offered admission into U.Va.'s Class of 2015.
"This group of applicants was among the most talented we've seen," said Greg Roberts, dean of admission. "Selecting a first-year class from so many terrific students is always a challenge, but we're very excited about this group of high school seniors."
The University is targeting an entering class of 3,360 students – or 120 more than last year. Of those additional students, approximately 84 will be Virginians, as U.Va. takes the first step toward expanding its overall enrollment by 1,500 students over the next five years. The growth comes in response to Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's call for state colleges and universities to award 100,000 additional degrees to Virginians by 2026.
This year's offer rate of 32 percent matched last year's. However, due to the jump in the number of applications, that translated into 538 more admissions offers, which Roberts calculates will be needed to fill the entering class.
Another 3,833 applicants were placed on a waiting list, which may be tapped after the May 1 deadline for those accepting admission to make their deposits.
"It's always difficult to be placed on a waiting list because it draws out the process even further, but for the last several years we've utilized the wait list and have made some students very happy in May and June," Roberts said.
Of those offered admission, 94.5 percent rank in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes, Roberts said. Their median SAT score was 2,070 on a 2,400-point scale, with the middle 50 percent scoring between 1,950 and 2,210. The admission committee also considers extracurricular involvement, essays, recommendations, leadership and citizenship, among many factors, as they evaluate applications.
Those scores may change as offered students decide on their final destinations in the coming weeks, Roberts cautioned, but should come into sharper focus when the class arrives in late August. The University's official census is taken in October.