The Collegian
Thursday, July 09, 2020

Competition is greater than ever for class of 2015

Applicants to the University of Richmond are on the rise. The number of applications for admission to the university have increased 73 percent since 2006 and 9 percent since last year.

This year, more than 9,400 students applied to the university. Thirty-two percent of these applicants were offered a spot in the class of 2015.

"And we're [in the Office of Admission] really proud of the fact that we have grown the applicant pool with stronger students and more diverse students," said Gil Villanueva, the dean of admission. "And those two things are not separate."

Villanueva said that the applicants for the class of 2015 were stronger applicants than in past years, which was evidenced by the quality of courses they took in high school, the grades they earned, their test scores and the fact that they were equally busy outside of the classroom.

Of the students admitted to the class of 2015, there were 99 valedictorians (in schools with rank), 569 of them were straight-A students and 286 students received at least one perfect score on a section of the SAT, according to the University of Richmond undergraduate admission website.

According to the website, students from 45 states and 60 countries were accepted this year.

Because of the caliber of students that applied this year, almost 3,000 students were accepted. The reason the university extends an offer to so many students has to do with the yield on offers that is expected, Villanueva said. He said that because this year's group was stronger and more diverse, they would have more options.

According to last year's data, on average students admitted to the university applied to nine schools and on average, they were admitted to six universities, Villanueva said. He also said that last year's data also revealed that three of the top 12 universities that share applicants with the University of Richmond were Ivy League schools.

"We need to make sure that we have at least 770 happy future alumni," Villanueva said.

The university hopes to enroll 770 students overall for the class of 2015. The largest class in the university's history is the current sophomore class, the class of 2013. Although the university's target enrollment was about 815 for that year, 918 students enrolled to begin classes in the fall of 2009, Villanueva said.

Villanueva said that in the last two years, the incoming class size had been smaller because with such a large class (the class of 2013), it was important to balance out the size of the university in subsequent years. The university is looking to keep the average class size between 17 and 20 students, he said.

Villanueva said that the university was looking for the right match when it came to admitting students. If they admitted just by the numbers, they would not need more than 14 people reading applications, they would just have the computer do it all, he said.

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"In other words, we're looking for the kind of student that will fully benefit from all of the academic, intellectual and social opportunities available here," Villanueva said.

Villanueva also said that what made their jobs exciting in the Office of Admission was that they had deemed more than 80 percent of the students that applied to be capable of doing the work given at Richmond. Applicants were good students and a very self-selecting pool, he said.

"I see the Office of Admission paying a little bit more attention [in the future] to those students that are clear about their interest in attending the University of Richmond," Villanueva said.

Contact reporter Michelle Guerrere at michelle.guerrere@richmond.edu

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