Long considered a “public Ivy,” the University of Virginia offers strong academic programs, a small-town atmosphere, and a robust alumni network. Students both in and outside of Virginia compete to join the school’s 18,000 undergraduates as first years on UVA’s Grounds. (UVA prefers the terms “first years” and “Grounds” to “freshmen” and “campus.”) Undergraduates at UVA can choose from a variety of majors, ranging from philosophy (housed in UVA’s College of Arts & Sciences) to aerospace engineering (part of UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science) to architectural history (in the School of Architecture) to nursing (in the School of Nursing).
YOU SHOULD CONSIDER UVA IF…
You’re a student in Virginia:
It’s no secret that UVA is a good choice for in-state students. In addition to the increased odds of admission for Virginia students (more on this below), Virginia residents pay significantly less in tuition and fees than out-of-state students. Take a look at UVA’s estimated costs of attendance to see the price breakdown by school.
You like history:
On top of its strong academic and research programs, UVA has a strong sense of history. Its Grounds—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—feature architecture designed by Thomas Jefferson, extensive archival collections, and countless student-led traditions. In recent years, UVA has begun to grapple with its history of slavery and racism through programs like the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University. Undergraduate students can also explore America’s presidential history by visiting nearby sites like Jefferson’s Monticello and James Monroe’s Highland, and even carry out research at these institutions through programs like the Monticello-University of Virginia Archeological Field School.
You are interested in business:
Not many top schools offer undergraduate business degrees, and those that do generally require high school students to apply directly to the university’s business program. However, UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce—ranked #8 among undergraduate business programs by U.S. News and World Report—takes a slightly different approach. UVA students apply to the school’s B.S. in Commerce program during their sophomore year, after completing two years of liberal arts classes. This not only provides business students with a well-rounded education, but it also gives admitted students some time to figure out whether or not business is the right path for them.
You are a strong candidate for honors programs:
UVA does not have a single Honors College, but it offers numerous honors programs. These include:
- The Echols Scholars Program, a College of Arts & Sciences program that offers academic flexibility, priority enrollment, and a common first-year living community.
- The College Science Scholars Program, which offers mentorship and research experience for STEM-focused students in the College of Arts & Sciences.
- The Rodman Scholars Program, which offers priority registration, special scholar housing, and unique curricular opportunities to the top 5% of students admitted to the School of Engineering.
For admitted students, these programs can provide a strong sense of community, along with other perks. There’s no need to apply to any of these programs directly; all applications to the College of Arts & Sciences are automatically considered for Echols and College Science Scholars, and all applicants to the School of Engineering are considered for the Rodman Scholars Program. Students who are not initially accepted to these programs in their first year have the opportunity to apply for admission during their time at UVA.
UVA also offers two major scholarship programs for incoming students: the Jefferson Scholars Program and the Walentas Scholars Program. The Jefferson Scholars Program provides full merit scholarships, foreign travel experience, and career networking opportunities for exceptional applicants. The Walentas Scholars Program—which launched last fall—provides the same benefits to first-generation students. Applicants to both programs must be nominated by their high school, and each participating high school is limited to one nominee. If you are interested in being considered for either scholarship, we recommend talking to your counselor about it well before the nomination deadline.
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UVA ACCEPTANCE RATE: BY THE NUMBERS
Like most schools, UVA’s acceptance rate has become increasingly competitive. Take a look at the school’s admissions data for the past five years:
Class of 2026: 18.7%
Class of 2025: 21%
Class of 2024: 21%
Class of 2023: 24%
Class of 2022: 26.5%
It’s worth keeping in mind, too, that UVA’s acceptances are not distributed equally. As a state-supported school, UVA offers significant admissions privileges to in-state students. In fact, UVA has pledged that 2/3 of the students enrolled at UVA will be Virginia residents. This means that UVA’s admit rate for Virginia students is much higher than its admit rate for out-of-state applicants. The Class of 2026, for example, had an 18.7% admit rate overall, but that broke down to a 28% admit rate for Virginia students and a 15% admit rate for out-of-state students.
UVA also offers several admissions rounds for interested applicants, including Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Decision. The fact that it offers Early Decision makes UVA relatively unusual among state flagship schools, as many of its peer institutions (UNC, University of Michigan, etc.) offer only Early Action and Regular Decision options. When UVA relaunched its Early Decision program in 2019, the university argued that it was meeting demand from students who ranked UVA as their top choice. As we have noted before, however, Early Decision is attractive to colleges because it helps them ensure a high yield of admitted students. Early Decision also offers an effective way for UVA to “lock in” strong candidates early, rather than competing with other top schools that might want to admit them.
As you might expect, then, students interested in UVA have the best chance of admission applying in the Early Decision round. Just take a look at some of the admissions data from recent cycles:
Class of 2026:
- Early Decision Admit Rate: 32% (38% in-state admit rate, 25% out-of-state admit rate)
- Early Action Admit Rate: 20% (30% in-state admit rate, 16% out-of-state admit rate)
- Regular Decision Admit Rate: 13% (17% in-state admit rate, 12% out-of-state admit rate)
Class of 2025:
- Early Decision Admit Rate: 33% (39% in-state admit rate, 26% out-of-state admit rate)
- Early Action Admit Rate: 21.4% (30% in-state admit rate, 18% out-of-state admit rate)
- Regular Decision Admit Rate: 16.4% (20% in-state admit rate, 15% out-of-state admit rate)
As you can see, both in-state and out-of-state students get a big boost from applying in the binding Early Decision round. If you know that UVA is the school for you, don’t be afraid to commit! Applying in the Early Action round offers some benefits, but your odds of admission won’t be quite as strong as they are in the Early Decision round.
Finally, UVA offers guaranteed transfer admission to students attending Virginia’s Community Colleges who meet a defined set of standards. While these standards vary among UVA’s schools, they generally include a minimum number of transferrable credits, a specified GPA, and specific course requirements. (To see the full list of requirements, check here.) For Virginia students, this transfer policy offers a chance to pay a lower tuition rate for several years, while still graduating with a UVA degree. It can also offer students with a weaker high school record a path to enrollment at UVA.
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APPLYING TO UVA
So what can you do to strengthen your application for UVA?
Take courses in all core areas:
Like all top colleges, UVA looks for students taking the most challenging classes available to them in core areas: English, history, math, science, and foreign language. While it can be tempting to focus on the subjects that come easily to you and to skip the ones that are harder, avoiding certain subjects will hurt your admissions odds at UVA (and other highly ranked schools). In fact, Jeannine Lalonde, Associate Dean of Admission at UVA, explicitly discourages high school students from “doubling up” on one subject at the expense of another. If you have a particular field of interest, you’d be better off exploring it in a sixth class or through a course at a local college.
Get involved in your community:
While academics are the most important piece of every admissions puzzle, UVA also looks for students “who will add to our community in different ways.” To show the admissions committee how you plan to get involved on Grounds in the future, make sure to take part in your community at home now. Could you get involved with local advocacy work? Launch an initiative to improve your area? Taking action now will also make it easier to write essays for the UVA application, which often include at least one community-focused prompt. In 2021, for example, UVA asked questions like:
Rita Dove, UVA English professor and former U.S. Poet Laureate, once said in an interview that “…there are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.” Describe a time when, instead of complaining, you took action for the greater good.
Get to know the school:
UVA does not officially track demonstrated interest, but admissions officers want to admit students who have learned about the school and understand why it’s a good fit for them. With this in mind, it’s a great idea to explore the university before applying. Consider taking a virtual or in-person tour of the school, attending an information session, or connecting with current students through UVA’s Monroe Society. You can also check out student publications like The Cavalier Daily to learn about events and opinions on Grounds. Take a look at our recent tips for college visits to help you prepare and explore the school thoroughly!
Is 67% of acceptance rate high? ›
According to U.S. News, college acceptance rates average out to 68%. Although the hardest colleges to get into have less than a 10% acceptance rate, Pew Research Center found that over half of U.S. universities have an admissions rate of 67% or higher.What acceptance rate is considered prestigious? ›
An acceptance rate of 50% or higher is considered a high acceptance rate. Students may also regard acceptance rates above the average as high rates. Institutions with high acceptance rates take in the majority of their applicants. They are also considered less selective in choosing applicants for admission.What is an acceptance rate to be considered hard to get into? ›
In general, schools with low acceptance rates (lower than 10 percent) are more selective or have high standards, or have tens of thousands of students applying for relatively few spots.Is a 66% acceptance rate good? ›
Extremely selective colleges (the top-tier ones) have around 7 - 15% acceptance rate. Highly selective colleges have around 15% - 30% acceptance. Selective colleges have around 30 - 45% acceptance. Community colleges have around 65 - 99% acceptance.Is a 50 chance of acceptance good? ›
Match colleges mean you have a good chance of being accepted – around 50% or even better. Under this category, you meet the targets for GPA, extracurriculars, and test scores.What GPA is 60% acceptance rate? ›
For even mildly selective schools (think 60-80 percent acceptance), you should have at least a 3.0 unweighted GPA. Once you start thinking about even more selective colleges (less than 60 percent acceptance), GPA standards are usually around a 3.5 or higher.What is the least competitive Ivy League? ›
Cornell is considered the "easiest" Ivy League to get into because it has the highest Ivy League acceptance rate. While it's easier, statistically speaking, to get into Cornell, it's still challenging. It's also important to remember that students apply directly to one of Cornell's eight undergraduate colleges.What is the easiest ivy to get into? ›
- Cornell University. Cornell is the easiest and youngest Ivy League school. ...
- Dartmouth University. The second most accessible Ivy League school to get into is Dartmouth, established in 1769 and based in Hanover, New Hampshire. ...
- Brown University. ...
- University of Pennsylvania.
Despite the hype surrounding the acceptance rate, here's the truth. It does not really tell you much about the quality of education you will receive at a particular school. It's a measure of its exclusivity, not necessarily its quality or worth.What college has a 100% acceptance rate? ›
American Samoa Community College was founded in 1970 and is a public school. It's located in a rural village called Mapusaga in American Samoa. Although the college has a 100% acceptance rate, only legal residents of American Samoa can be admitted to ASCC.
Does it matter if my acceptance rate is low? ›
A driver will not get fewer requests if they have a low acceptance rate. Not completing the orders you accept is the only way to be in danger of account deactivation.Does a 100% acceptance rate mean everyone gets in? ›
A school's acceptance rate for incoming freshmen is a ratio of up to 100 percent. If a school has a 100% acceptance rate, it means that anyone who meets basic criteria and applies will get in. Schools with an acceptance rate of 50%, will accept half of all applicants.What is considered a highly selective college? ›
VERY SELECTIVE colleges accept fewer than 50% of all applicants AND possess an average composite ACT (25%tile) score of at least 27 or an average combined SAT (25%tile) score of at least 1280. They include: American University. Babson College.What is the easiest acceptance rate? ›
- University of New Mexico: 97%
- Kansas State University: 96%
- University of Maine: 96%
- North Dakota State University: 95%
- University of Memphis: 95%
- University of Utah: 95%
- East Carolina University: 94%
- University of Kentucky: 94%
Any school that has an acceptance rate of less than 15% is a reach school even for the best students, and any school with an acceptance rate of less than 30% is still very selective.Does applying early increase the chance of acceptance? ›
Applying early to colleges isn't absolutely necessary, but it's certainly advantageous. Colleges like to see early applicants, and the statistics show it. Both early decision and early action applicants are accepted at a higher rate than their standard deadline counterparts.How can I increase my college acceptance odds? ›
- Earn Good Grades in Challenging Courses. ...
- Get a High SAT/ACT Score. ...
- Write a Compelling Personal Statement. ...
- Demonstrate Interest. ...
- Secure Strong Letters of Recommendation. ...
- Apply to a Diverse Selection of Colleges. ...
- Opt for an Early Admission Plan. ...
- Manage Your Online Reputation.
This means that the average student is more likely to get in when they apply early decision than when the same student applies regular decision to the same school. On average, applying ED is going to result in a 1.6x or a 60% increase in your chances of admission to super selective schools.What is the lowest GPA a university will accept? ›
Unofficially, 2.0 is the lowest GPA accepted into a standard college, so while there's a chance that college admission is possible, it's not likely at more than a few institutions.What GPA is barely passing? ›
3.5-2 which corresponds to good but not excellent work; 2-1 where one can barely pass their classes without enough effort on their part; 1-. 75 where one has difficulty passing their classes even when they try hard.
What is the lowest GPA to get accepted? ›
What's the lowest GPA a college will accept? Typically, colleges will not accept a GPA below 2.0 to a four-year program, but there are options for students with a GPA lower than this to succeed in being accepted.Is 67 a low acceptance rate? ›
The average rate of admittance to colleges, according to U.S. News, is 68%. Over half of U.S. universities have an admissions rate of 67% or higher, according to Pew Research Center, even though the toughest colleges to get into have acceptance rates of less than 10%.Is a 70% acceptance rate high? ›
70% getting in is a good chance. Compare your stats to the average of the school, and decide where it lies on your likelihood spectrum. You could be the 1% or the 99%, and that matters a whole lot in this process.Is 65 percent acceptance rate hard? ›
No, it is not considered selective. Far from it. You could say, it is harder to get rejected - than be accepted - by a college with a 65% acceptance. But selectivity is by no means, a good measure of the academic standards of any program at any university.What does a 50% acceptance rate mean? ›
For example, if an elite university admits 5% of applicants, but the school receives 50,000 applications, that still means that 2,500 students have been accepted. In contrast, if you apply to a school with a 50% acceptance rate, but that school only receives 5,000 applicants, the school admits 2,500.What GPA is too low for Ivy League? ›
Any lower than 3.5, however, you'll have to either have an impressive, relevant achievement or pray for a miracle to get an offer. Therefore, it is best to aspire for the maximum 4.0 to play it safe. But as long as you have at least a 3.7 GPA, you can still get a serious chance at consideration for an offer.What is the lowest score to get into Ivy? ›
Ideal ACT/SAT Scores for Ivy League School Applications
Generally speaking, you need a minimum ACT score of 31 to get into an Ivy League School. The minimum score is 32 at a few of these schools, including Harvard and Yale.
You'll usually need to receive a letter grade between A and D to pass a class, often the numerical equivalent of 65 percent or higher. Receiving an F—which stands for “fail”—indicates that you did not pass the class. The cutoff to receive an F is usually 64 percent.What college has 100 percent acceptance? ›
|School||Location||Fall 2021 Acceptance Rate|
|Academy of Art University||San Francisco, CA||100%|
|Adams State University||Alamosa, CO||100%|
|Alliance University||New York, NY||100%|
|Baptist College of Florida||Graceville, FL||100%|
|School Name||Acceptance Rate|
|Metropolitan State University St. Paul, Minnesota||100%|
|Montana State University–Northern Havre, Montana||100%|
|Wayne State College Wayne, Nebraska||100%|
|Weber State University Ogden, Utah||100%|
Do acceptance rates mean anything? ›
A college's acceptance rate says very little about the quality of the programming, resources, community, and experiences a student will find there. All this statistic shows is how many students are admitted. A “selective” college is not better simply because it is selective.Why is a low acceptance rate bad? ›
A college with a very low acceptance rate indicates extremely stiff competition for study places, while a college acceptance rate that is very high may not be as selective as a highly dedicated and accomplished student might prefer.Is a 40% chance of acceptance good? ›
Assuming your schools are competitive, a 40% chance of getting in is actually pretty good. Like if the average acceptance rate for a school is 10%, then 40% is actually 4x higher than average.