More seats at U-Va. could ease admission woes
The University of Virginia announced Monday that it had received more applications than ever: 23,942, a 6 percent increase.
But the university is adding freshman seats in the fall, and that means a slightly more favorable admission rate.
The university will enroll an entering class of 3,360, an increase of about 120 students, said Greg Roberts, dean of admission, in a release. That translates to about 200 to 250 more offers of admission.
The public ivy is looking at potentially expanding its student population by about 10 percent overall, or about 1,400 students, over time, President Teresa Sullivan said last week in a meeting with the editorial board of The Washington Post.
Adding seats is one way to appease Virginians -- Northern Virginians in particular -- who resent the ever-longer odds of gaining entry to the state public flagship university. The admission rate for Virginians, once well over half, has declined to about 45 percent in recent years. As far as admissions are concerned, this is not your father's U-Va.
For this, Virginians tend to blame non-Virginians: If U-Va. didn't accept anyone from outside the state, there would, in theory, be space for a couple thousand more Virginians. Up to one-third of each incoming class is non-residents. They are the very essence of diversity and give U-Va. much of its worldliness, Sullivan said.
Admitting more students of every sort would allow the university to accept more residents without admitting fewer non-residents. U-Va. relies on non-residents to effectively subsidize the residents: non-residents pay three times as much.
There is mounting political pressure for U-Va. to open the door to more Virginians, by hook or by crook. There's room on the grounds to grow by a tenth. Hence the proposal.
"There had been a longstanding growth plan, but not quite that much growth," Sullivan said. But she cautioned that it was "facile" to describe the proposal as a response to political pressure. That means too simple. I looked it up.
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Daniel de Vise
| January 24, 2011; 3:32 PM ET
Categories: Access, Admissions, Public policy | Tags: UVA accepting more students, UVA admissions, UVA applications record, University Virginia admissions
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