Peabody is the building, Jack is the dog, and I'm Dean J (she/her, btw).

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Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Geographic Quotas and Targets and the #UVA Admission Process

Our office has a tradition of deans coming out of their offices to greet our tours when they return to Peabody Hall. Our front desk emails us to let us know that the tours are starting to end and everyone who is available gathers in the lobby to answer questions. When students from my territory are on break, I tend to be a little more enthusiastic when families come through the doors. I grew up in an area that's sometimes referred to as a "pressure cooker" and I remember how reassuring it was to meet a friendly admission officer on college visits. I want to be that friendly face for students and parents.

We often find ourselves fielding questions that are about quotas, but phrased in a roundabout way. We are more than happy to talk about this topic. We know that rumors about quotas are pervasive in densely populated areas. I remember being convinced that my admission chances were related to how many students from my high school or county applied to the colleges on my list. For some of the schools on my list, that was probably correct. Some schools do have limits on how many students they'll take from a school or region. UVA is not one of those schools. 

UVA made an agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia to maintain a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio* between Virginia residents and non-residents. Beyond that, there are no restrictions on how many students we can take from any school, town, county, or region. You aren't competing with your classmates or neighbors for an allocation of spots.

As always, I'm happy to answer questions in the comments.

Quotas, again?

*Every now and then, a state representative will introduce a bill to mandate a change to our ratio, but the bills always fail in committee. Here are the bills from 2017, 2014, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007 on Richmond Sunlight, a great website for following the state legislature.

**Thank you to the kind parent who wrote to me about an error in this blog post. The Restructuring Act failed in 2004, but was successful in 2005 and has been amended a few times since. I apologize for my mistake.