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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Early Action vs Regular Decision at UVA

With the Early Action deadline around the corner, we're getting more calls and emails than ever about the "right" time to submit an application to UVA. It seems there are some rumors out there about how this all works, so let me go over a few things...

1. Early Action isn't "easier" at UVA.

Our review is the same no matter when you apply. We aren't lenient on one group and hard on another. If you feel your academic program is strong right now, you can feel good about an Early Action application. If you're rebounded from something, see #3 below.

2. We don't fill the class during Early Action.

For the last few years, our applicant pool (the people who applied, not the people who were admitted) has been split pretty evenly between the Early Action and Regular Decision pools. We did not fill our classes during the EA round.

Apparently, there is a gem of a rumor being passed around at one high school (direct quote from a student's email):

"Do you think this year will be like last year where most kids apply Early Action and those who apply Regular Decision receive a denial or waitlist?"

The data doesn't support this. Last year, we made about 5,000 Early Action offers and over 9,400 offers overall to get a class of about 3,700. Please don't think that you must apply early to be admitted to UVA. It's simply not the case. In fact...

3. Regular Decision is the best route for many students.

The big difference between Early Action and Regular Decision is what we know about senior year when we are making a decision. For EA students, we see the courses in which a student is enrolled as a senior, but no grades. For RD students, we get mid-year grades in February, so we also see how well a student is doing in their senior courses. If your grades dipped at some point or you had a slow start, Regular Decision would be the best route for you because you would have one more semester of work to show that you have rebounded.

Which pool is right for you?