The Collegian
Thursday, May 06, 2021

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Early Decision applications increase by 52 percent

The number of Early Decision applications at the University of Richmond increased by 52 percent from 2009 to 2010.

"It's too early to tell if Early Decision applications will increase this year," Gil Villanueva, the Dean of Admission at the University of Richmond, wrote in an e-mail.

"But to have more talented and dynamic students identify Richmond as their top choice college is always exciting."

585 people applied for Early Decision last year, while 385 applicants applied for Early Decision in 2008.

"While it is never easy to identify the exact reason(s) behind the dramatic increase in Early Decision applications last year, I suspect that our enhanced outreach and marketing efforts are partly responsible," Villanueva, wrote. "The Office of Admission has partnered with other university departments to better promote the University of Richmond."

One could make the jump that as applications continue to increase, Early Decision applications should continue to increase, Director of Admission Michael Kabbaz said.

"The ultimate answer is we really don't know [whether there will be more applications this year]," Kabbaz said.

Kabbaz said that there were some leading indicators that might show that applications in general will rise this year.

He said that visits to campus were one of the most influential reasons a student applied to the university and that the number of campus visitors has increased.

"So as as more and more people are interested in Richmond, more and more people are gonna to visit campus," he said.

He said that high schools have been inviting the Richmond admissions counselors to participate in evening programs.

Kabbaz also said he had a gut feeling because as he has been travelling, he has been hearing more and more interest in the university.

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"But clearly as we travel, the interest in Richmond is continuing to grow, " he said.

Kabbaz said that last year, there were about 800 spots available for about 8,600 applicants, noting that about one student was accepted for every ten who applied.

"As an institution draws more and more interest, you're gonna draw more and more students who realize Richmond's their first choice," he said.

There were a lot of contributing factors for drawing students in, Kabbaz said.

Some of the factors he cited were the academic programs, how the university continued to build facilities, and having a President who was recognized and well respected.

"And I think a lot of that kinda comes together to really to really create a buzz about Richmond," Kabbaz said.

He also said that rankings drew attention to the university.

"We we don't chase the rankings but it helps any time you're continually nationally put in the spotlight," Kabbaz said. "That does draw attention to the institution."

Despite the large number of applications the university receives, one thing is certain.

Kabbaz said the university can't continue to expand despite the number of applications received.

The classes are the perfect size and they don't want to change the academic environment, he said.

Kabbaz said that they would not be able to tell for certain about Early Decision applicants until January.

"I wish I had a crystal ball, it'd it'd make my career a lot easier," he said.

Contact staff writer Michelle Guerrere at michelle.guerrere@richmond.edu

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