Admissions Receives Record-Breaking Number of Early Action Minority Applicants

Courtesy: University of Virginia

With 1,580 more applications received than last year, UVa admissions has recently enjoyed a spike in undergraduate hopefuls.

Of the 32,420 total applications received, 16,768 were from Early Action candidates. And of that already high number, a record-breaking 4,259 minority students submitted applications to the University this year. Coming from African American, Asian, Hispanic, and American Islander backgrounds, this surge in Early Action minority applicants symbolizes what Gregory Roberts, Dean of Admissions, hopes is a trend that will continue to rise in coming years.

“We are designing a new outreach recruitment program for African American students that will allow us to identify and connect with prospective students as early as 10th grade,” says Roberts of the admissions office’s efforts to increase the University’s accessibility to minority students. “Also, we have been discussing additional scholarship programs for underserved students that we believe could dramatically impact student yield.”

In addition to the rise in Early Action applicants from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, this year also saw a higher ratio of female-to-male applicants. 9,154 women applied Early Action as compared to 7,614 men. There was also a high number of applications submitted by international students: this year, 1,807 students applied from 65 different countries.

According to Dean Roberts, this rise in minority and international applicants can be attributed to a redesigned recruitment model in which each admissions dean is responsible for a geographic territory, as well as new need-based aid and scholarship programs. Specifically referencing the Affordable Excellence program and the Blue Ridge Scholarship program, he says that many deserving students with financial need have been impacted by these new efforts.

“We believe the visibility of these programs combined with our outreach efforts and partnerships with college access organizations has played a significant role in the increase,” says Roberts.

Dean Valerie Gregory is the Director of Outreach, developing much of the office’s minority recruitment strategy and programming. For Gregory, the priority is showing that UVa is a place where underrepresented families can thrive.

“Our focus has been on better communication, enhancing the personal touch and developing more partnerships with schools and organizations that speaks to the demographics we are seeking,” says Gregory. “This will continue to be our goal as that is ultimately what brings students to our community.”


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