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Online Applications Speed Admissions Process
University Of Virginia Receives More Than 15,000 Applications, Extends Offers To 4,724 Students For Class Of 2008

March 31, 2004 -- The University of Virginia’s Office 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 Monday, 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. Monday.

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 were 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 hinted that applying electronically may soon become mandatory unless there are extenuating circumstances that would prevent it.

The profile of those offered admission continued several trends. Academic credentials continue to get stronger numerically, with the median scores on the SAT-1 scores 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 class rank 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 class is 3,040.

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 classes.

The number of Hispanic-American and African-American applications increased this year, Blackburn noted. U.Va. received 629 applications from Hispanic-American 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 class that 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.

In December, the University accepted an additional 943 students into the Class of 2008 as part of the early-decision program, under which students agree to attend the University, if accepted, in exchange for early action on their applications.

Those offered admission have until May 1 to respond.

Contact: Dan Heuchert, (434) 924-7676

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-Nov-2005 10:39:38 EST
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