UVA Puts Out the Welcome Mat to Thousands More Students for the Class of 2028

February 5, 2024 By Jane Kelly, jak4g@virginia.edu Jane Kelly, jak4g@virginia.edu

Katie Rankin was at her house in Bristol, Virginia, on Friday doing homework when the clock struck 5 p.m. The 18-year-old quickly pivoted to her “MyUVA applicant portal” and waited.

At that moment, she and about 37,600 other students were looking for the same news. Had they been admitted to the University of Virginia in “early action,” the school’s second of three application phases for the Class of 2028?

Related Story

Portrat of Katie Rankin

Katie Rankin was born and raised in Bristol, Virginia. (Contributed photo)

Rankin had high hopes. The Virginia high school senior was first in her class when she’d submitted her application and is an award-winning leader. Her classmates voted for her to win the annual Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award. And just last week, she received the Harry Byrd Jr. Leadership Award at a ceremony in Richmond. 

She’d come for a tour of UVA in November and felt an immediate sense of community. “I definitely did feel welcome,” she said. “It felt like they made an effort to say that they wanted me at their school, and that was really encouraging for me to hear.”

Getting back to that moment on Friday, Rankin said she was “a little anxious to know what happened. I was really excited to see that I gotten in,” she said. “I ran over to my mom, and she had people calling her, asking you how it was going. She was really excited for me also.”

Can You Feel the Love in This Video? These Newly Admitted Students Sure Do

Rankin wasn’t the only one rejoicing. Admitted students from all over shared their reaction videos with UVA Today. Take a look to put a smile on your face.

Meet More Members of the Class of 2028

Adrian Klaits’ route to UVA is a circuitous one. The son of a United States Foreign Service Officer, he logged two years at Marshall High School in Falls Church before heading to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. There, he’s had internships at the U.S. Embassy, “which I was very fortunate to be able to be selected for,” he said. He has also been teaching English as a second language to local primary school students.

Portrait of Parvina Sharifova and Adrian Klaits

Adrian Klaits, right, with his cousin Parvina Sharifova, (Contributed photo)

Klaits took a gap year because there was “so much he wanted to do before” going to college.

“I think it’s important to kind of take time where you have to just experiment within your own community, or within what’s available to you because there’s so much out there that has to be explored personally,” he said. “And it’s not something you usually have the liberty to do once you’re on the fast track at a university.”

Like Rankin, Klaits knew he would feel at home at UVA. Filling out the application was even welcoming, he said.

“Especially like the kinds of questions UVA asks kind of forced me to be creative, which I thought was super important, and reflected well on the school,” he explained. “It was not like a school where there were prompts that are asked across the board at other schools. I had to be creative and think for myself.”

From Colombia to Charlottesville

Juana Maria Diez also took a gap year and is excited to be joining the Class of 2028 in the fall.

Portrait of Juana Maria Diez

Juana Maria Diez is from Medellin, Colombia. (Contributed photo)

She has been singing professionally since she was 8 years old, specializing in children’s songs. One, a cover of a Christmas classic in her home country, Colombia, has been viewed on YouTube nearly 800 million times.

The song is “Mi Burrito Sabenero,” translated roughly in English to mean “Little Donkey of the Savannah.” Diez tried to explain the extreme popularity of her version of the tune. “Christmas is a really, really big deal in Colombia,” she said. “We celebrate all of December.”

Diez’s passions are so varied and fast-moving that it’s hard to decide what to highlight. The 18-year-old has been moving from country to country, first camping and hiking across the western United States and learning about ecosystems. UVA Today caught up with her in London, where she’s taking classes in sewing, creative writing and fashion at the University of Arts London.

“After the courses end, I will be in a 10-week intensive French course in Montpelier, France,” she said.

UVA Is ‘Grateful and Honored’ That Students Put Their Faith in the University

Last year, the University had a historic application year, and this year eclipsed that, receiving 58,970 applications, up 4%. The school’s first-year enrolling class target is 3,970 and students who applied in the regular decision pool will receive their notifications by April 1. Both they and the students admitted Friday will have until May 1 to accept their admissions offers.

‘Inside UVA’ A Podcast Hosted by Jim Ryan
‘Inside UVA’ A Podcast Hosted by Jim Ryan

“This is a remarkable class of admitted students. In fact, the entire applicant pool impressed us, which made our job selecting students more difficult than any year in my memory,” Greg Roberts, dean of admission, said. “We are grateful and honored that so many students put their faith in us, and we wish all applicants our very best as they complete their senior year and select a college home for the fall.”

Media Contact

Jane Kelly

University News Senior Associate Office of University Communications