Dear U.Va. Alumni,
We here at the Alumni Association consider it a privilege to serve our alumni by providing an additional point of contact and a source of information for alumni families who have children applying as first-year or transfer applicants to one of U.Va.’s five undergraduate schools. Alumni frequently request information regarding admission as it relates to legacy applicants, and we are happy to provide a brief overview of the process.
While the University admission process has changed very little over the past ten years, the competitive nature has grown. In 2000, U.Va. received 14,472 applications for an entering class of 2,927, and by 2016, the number of applications increased to 32,426 for an entering class of about 3,675. With over double the total number of applications and only a 30% increase in class size, admission has become more selective over time. While legacy status continues to hold weight in the process, admission is getting tougher for everyone.
Specifically, with respect to the process, a student’s academic record remains the most important part of an application. The Office of Undergraduate Admission committee continues to seek out students who have challenged themselves in high school and who have thrived in the classroom. This means that the admission committee is looking for challenging curriculum, strong grades, and a genuine desire to learn on the part of the applicant. Letters of recommendation provide insight into the student that might not be obvious on a student’s transcript. In addition, the Office of Undergraduate Admission is interested in students who have committed themselves to extracurricular activities and have demonstrated focus, leadership, and the development of skills. Standardized test results are taken into account as well, but are not nearly as important as the academic record.
The Admission Liaison Program at the Alumni Association is a useful resource for alumni families going through the application process. We encourage students to attend our morning information session (or participate in the same session by watching via webinar) and to schedule an individual meeting with either the Director or Associate Director who will be able to provide specific feedback and work with you throughout the application process.
We hope this information has been helpful and look forward to working with you in the future.
U.Va. Alumni Association