The University sits near the top of difficult schools to get into. For out of state students, it can be even harder. Below is advice to increase the likelihood of gaining admission. Some of the recommendations reach as far as freshman year of high school; if this point has passed and the recommendations haven’t been fulfilled, keep in mind it is still entirely possible to gain admittance.
Note: Applications for the Class of 2018 will be accepted through 31 DEC 2013.
|AUG 1||Application available on Common Application website.|
|OCT 1||Submission deadline for art supplement materials|
|NOV 1||Early Action submission deadline for Common Application, U.Va. Supplement, and payment on Common Application website.|
|JAN 1||Last recommended testing date for the SAT I and SAT II, Submission deadline for Common App, U.Va. Supplement, and payment on Common Application website.|
|JAN 10||Submission deadline for School Forms (transcripts, recommendations, etc.)|
|FEB 15||Submission deadline for Mid Year Report.|
|MAR 1||Priority deadline for completed financial aid paperwork.|
|APR 1||Admission decisions available online.|
|MAY 1||Deadline for admitted students’ reply to offer of admission and payment of deposit (completed online via student self-service account)|
Admission Statistics (Class Entering 2012)
8,083 offers of admission
3,360 students enrolling
93.1 percent of enrolling students ranked in top tenth of class
Middle 50% rate for SAT scores:
630-720 Critical Reading
UVA now uses the Common Application (includes one essay) with two supplemental essays specific to the University of Virginia.
The Common Application essay can be on a topic of the applicant’s choice or a response to pre-written questions.
Most importantly, be original. The essay is an applicant’s chance to become a person rather than a statistic. A good essay can make a huge difference on an application.
It is not recommended to write about an event that “changed” oneself (ex. a mission trip), especially if it is an obvious stretch to see this event as life altering. Though no topic is right or wrong, admissions receives countless essays of this type and “un-originalizes” the applicant. A good essay captures part of who the applicant is. It captures a moment in time. For example, describing the experience of driving around at night with friends, or the importance of a piece of jewelry and it’s story, etc. The essay should be personal and give a brief glimpse into the life of the applicant. Parke Muth, the Associate Dean of Admissions at UVA says admissions are looking for the students voice. He advises students to read their essays to their best friend. “If it sounds like a Ph.D. thesis, it’s probably not their voice, the voice we’re looking for.” Make the essay your own!
The supplemental essays should have equal originality.
UVA accepts both the SAT and the ACT. Admissions will take the highest score of the ACT, and will take the highest score for each section of the SAT. Therefore taking the tests several times can only help you and won’t penalize you.
The middle 50% of the class of 2013 scored 1250-1430. This does not reflect the difference in scores between in-state and out-of-state applicants.
It is HIGHLY recommended to take two SAT subject tests. There are 20 different subjects: U.S. History (especially soon after taking AP U.S. History), English, and Math are popular. If you take an AP course try and take the subject tests that corresponds to that class soon after in June. See the College Board’s website for more information.
High School Course Work
4 years of mathematics
4 years of English
2 years of a foreign language
1 year of social science
2 years of science (3 for engineers)
4 years of mathematics, including calculus
4 years of English
4 years of a foreign language
4 years of science
4 years social science
A good GPA isn’t enough – it must be paired with the correct classes. Five solid academic classes are recommended. The applicant should take the most rigorous course load offered by your high school each year AND do well in those classes. If you can’t start at the toughest level right away, increase the rigor of your schedule each year. For example in 10th grade you may be taking 4 honors classes and one AP class. Junior year you take 2 AP courses and 3 honors. Senior year 4 AP Courses and 1 honors. Do not lessen the rigor in successive years.
The question often comes up whether to take an easy class and get an “A” or take an AP course and get a “B.” The best answer is to take the AP and get the “A.”
Some schools offer IB programs and others many AP classes. The important thing to keep in mind, whether your school offers these different sorts of classes or not, is you will be judged by what courses you completed based on your school curriculum, your school requirements and yours alone. If your school does not offer AP courses or an IB program that will not be held against you. What is important is that you are taking the most challenging courses that your school offers and are doing well in them.
Courses taken senior year should increase (at a minimum maintain) the rigor of previous years. A “senior slide” is an easy rejection by admissions.
In addition to a rigorous courseload, the University is seeking well rounded individuals outside of the classroom. Involvement outside of class is necessary, and leadership in these activities is a major aid. While its great to be involved in many activities, it is better to be involved in just a few and hold a position, than to be in numerous teams/groups and hold none. Find an activity you are passionate about and contribute to it.