Online applications aid admissions
U.Va. receives more than 15,000 applications, extends offers to
By Dan Heuchert
of Admission has completed the Herculean task
of reviewing more than 15,000 applications for its entering
class — thanks in part to the applicants
themselves, about three-quarters of whom made the process more efficient by applying
online. On March 29, the University mailed letters inviting 4,724 students to
join the Class of 2008.
Those who applied electronically, however, did not need to wait by the mailbox
for word of their fate. Their decisions were available on a password-protected
Web site as of 5 p.m. March 29.
This marked the first year that more than half of the admission
applications were completed online, said Dean of Admission
John Blackburn. Students were
also encouraged to report their mid-year grades electronically, and teachers
able to submit their recommendations online.
Applying online speeds the application process by reducing
the amount of data entry work that admissions staffers
must perform, said Blackburn, who
that applying electronically may soon become mandatory unless there are
extenuating circumstances that would prevent it.
The profile of those offered admission continued several
credentials continue to get stronger numerically, with the
on the SAT-1 up
by 20 points over last year (to 690 verbal, 700 math, 1,390 total);
the mean grade-point average up slightly from 4.05 to 4.07;
and the mean
percentile up slightly from 95.2 to 95.3.
The total number of applicants also increased slightly, from
14,868 last year to 15,094 this year. The target enrollment
for the entering
Those offered admission have until May 1 to respond.
Blackburn projects that once the acceptances come in, in-state
enrollment will remain at about 67 percent, consistent
with the levels of the
past five entering
The number of Hispanic-American and African-American applications
increased this year, Blackburn noted. U.Va. received 629 applications
students and 1,018 from African-American, up from 512 and 912
last year, respectively.
The mix of international applicants has changed. “We are disappointed that
fewer students from the Middle East, particularly men, are applying, because
they think they will not be able to get a visa,” Blackburn said. However,
applications from other parts of the world are up.
Asked where the new applications are coming from, P. Parke
Muth, senior assistant dean of admission, replied, “In a word, Korea.” South Korea has established
a number of high schools designed specifically to prepare students for admission
to U.S. universities. At one such school, student SAT scores average 1,458 — comparable
to only the most elite U.S. schools, he noted.
Thailand is making a similar push, Muth said, with government-sponsored
programs to identify and prepare its top students for study
at American universities.
Another new source of applications is communist China,
where economic reforms have given birth to a new upper
can afford to
send its sons
and daughters to foreign universities (where they receive
no financial aid).
Six years ago,
U.Va. received no applications from China; this year, there
were about 30, Muth said.
Non-U.S. citizens make up 7.9 percent of the undergraduate
student body this year.
December, the University accepted an additional 943 students
into the Class of 2008 as part of the early-decision
attend the University, if accepted, in exchange for early
action on their applications.