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UVa accepts 6,000 'early action' applicants, will accept fewer applicants overall this year

The University of Virginia has accepted nearly 6,000 students during the “early action” second phase of its admittance process.

Although the university received a record-breaking total number of applications for the class of 2027 and a 16% uptick in early action applicants alone, the dean of admissions said UVa will be accepting fewer students than last year.

“Early action is the largest of three pools to increase,” Dean of Admissions Greg Roberts told The Daily Progress. “It jumped from about 31,000 to 36,000. That’s around when students receive an admission decision earlier, in February, but are not bound to enroll if admitted. It’s an early notification with the greatest flexibility for the families. For that reason, we tend to see the most applications to that route.”

This year, UVa received 36,000 early action applications from prospective undergraduate students. Out of 9,500 applications from Virginia residents, 2,565 were accepted. The university also accepted 3,240 out-of-state applications among the 27,000 it received.

Early action is one of three application options at UVa; it allows prospective students to receive their admittance decision one month before regular decision applicants without committing to enrollment at the university. It is the second phase of the application process, sandwiched in between early decision, which allows students to receive an early decision by Dec. 15 and automatically enroll at UVa at the same time, and regular decision, which grants applicants a decision by May 1.

Roberts said the university plans to admit a total of 9,500 students from the most recent pool of all applicants. He said the university accepted too many applicants last year, so the admissions office is being cognizant of this year’s acceptance and enrollment numbers. As a result, UVa has accepted about 300 fewer early action students this year than it did last year.

“We did admit more than usual [last year],” Roberts said. “We [usually] admit about the same amount as the previous year, but more students accepted our offer than we anticipated [so] we exceeded the class size slightly. Because there’s some space limitations, we don’t want to do that again.”

Class size affects several aspects of university operations, including bed and living space, classroom space, the budget, financial aid and the number of faculty needed, Roberts said.

To avoid overcrowding, the university this year has accepted about 1,000 early decision students and 6,000 early action students with plans to accept 2,500 regular decision students.

Students who are not accepted during the early action or early decision periods still have a chance to become a Hoo. Roberts said students who apply during their first two application periods may be deferred or placed on the waitlist, which places them in the pool of regular decision applicants to be reread.

“So we take the kids in early decision and early action that we liked but didn’t have space for at the time and we push them into the regular decision round,” Roberts said. “What we wanted to do was save some space for those who applied regular decision as well as those who were deferred. For that reason, and because we were slightly over-enrolled last year, we wanted to be cautious with offers, and we made fewer early action offers this year compared to last year.”

Last month, UVa announced that it received more undergraduate applications for the class of 2027 than it has for any class in its entire 204-year history.

As of Jan. 5, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions received 55,845 applications, a 10% increase over the 50,813 it had received by the same time last year.

The accepted students will attend one of the university’s five undergraduate schools that accept high school graduates. So far, the College of Arts & Sciences, the largest undergraduate school at UVa, has made 4,000 offers; the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences has made 1,351 offers; the School of Nursing has made 144 offers; and the kinesiology program within the School of Nursing made 83.

So far, the pool of accepted students includes citizens of 97 countries and 949 first-generation students.

Roberts said, between April and May, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will host open houses and other events that will present opportunities for prospective students to learn more about the university before making their decision and receiving a financial aid package.

Regular decision applicants and those who have been deferred or waitlisted will receive a decision from the university by April 1 and have until May 1 to make their own decision.


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