An excited hum of anticipation spread through Charlottesville this week as signs of students’ imminent arrival began to appear. Volunteers artfully drew chalk directions around Grounds; Corner restaurants posted banners welcoming arriving students; and the cheerful notes of “The Good Ol’ Song” floated through the air as the Cavalier Marching Band began practice.
As older students trickle back onto Grounds this week, an army of excited University of Virginia Greeters and resident advisers prepare to welcome the newest class of first-year Wahoos, who will officially move in on Friday and Saturday. Classes begin Tuesday.
With 3,707 expected students, the Class of 2019 is among the largest in recent years. Among its ranks are some of the best and brightest from around the world; 89 percent finished in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes.
“Each year, we strive to attract students who have the potential to transform this University – and the world,” U.Va. Dean of Admission Gregory Roberts said. “Academic accomplishments, grades and test scores receive a lot of attention – as they should – but the impact these students make outside of the classroom is often what sets them apart from their peers.”
Entering first-years will find themselves part of a unique and talented group. The 2,473 in-state students will be joined by peers from all over the United States and international students from more than 70 countries, including Kyrgyzstan, New Zealand, Ghana and Peru.
These new Cavaliers come from all walks of life, too. The class includes 335 first-generation college students, and 1,258 with demonstrated financial need will receive assistance from AccessUVA, the University’s financial aid program. The new class also includes 404 federal Pell Grant recipients.
“In this year’s class you will find students with diverse experiences and backgrounds,” Roberts said. “An Intel Science and Engineering finalist might be living with a nationally ranked fencer, and a champion mountain bike racer could work in a research lab with a world finalist in drumline competitions. This is a remarkable group of students on many levels, and we are excited to see what they will do over the next four years at U.Va.”
Sixty years after U.Va.’s integration and 45 years after the admission of the first fully coeducational class, the University welcomes a diverse new wave of students. The Class of 2019 has a slightly larger proportion (54.4 percent) of females; 1,141 entering students self-identify as being from a minority background. The numbers of students identifying as African-American or partially African-American, Asian and Native American were all up compared to the previous year.
Incoming Cavaliers may also be able to claim the title of “Most Social.” Since admissions offers began arriving in April, the Class of 2019 has been sending a mass outpouring of school spirit over social media. There have been more than 1,400 posts on the #UVA19 hashtag on Instagram, where incoming first-year students display their Wahoo pride, in addition to thousands of tweets and other posts in anticipation of their arrival on Grounds.
As they begin their time at U.Va., the Class of 2019 will surely have even more to share with the world.