How to Get Into UVA | Acceptance Rate & Requirements

Getting into UVA
May 1, 2024
8 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/1/24

Not sure how to get into the University of Virginia? We’ve got you covered! Read on to learn everything you need to know about how to get into UVA. 

Founded by Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia is a premier institution of the American South known for its high ranking and placement among the Public Ivies.

If you’re interested in attending one of the top 25 schools in the country or simply looking for an affordable and well-rounded education, then you should definitely apply to UVA. Below, we’ll discuss everything you need to know to get into the University of Virginia, including admissions requirements, essay prompts, and acceptance rates. 

Let’s get started!

University of Virginia Acceptance Rate: 16.38%

The overall University of Virginia acceptance rate is 16.38% for the most recent admissions cycle. Virginia residents are in luck because students applying in-state have a higher acceptance rate at 27%, compared to their out-of-state counterparts with only a 12% chance. 

Take our interactive quiz below to find out how likely you are to get into the University of Virginia.

For more data on UVA’s acceptance rates, check out the table below: 

Year Number of Applicants Number of Accepted Students Acceptance Rate
2024-25 58,995 ~9,663 16.38%
2023-24 56,439 9,190 16.2%
2022-23 50,962 9,522 18.7%
2021-22 ~48,000 9,898 20.6%
2020-21 41,017 8,420 20.5%

University of Virginia Early Decision Acceptance Rate: 25%

The acceptance rate for the early decision plan at UVA is 25%, to be specific. This is a slight increase from the previous year’s early decision acceptance rate of 24.5%. For the class of 2028, UVA accepted 1,133 students from a pool of 4,465 applicants. 

University of Virginia Early Action Acceptance Rate: 17.4%

For students who applied early action, the acceptance rate was 16.7%. A whopping 37,665 students applied early action, but only 6,541 were accepted.

How Hard Is It to Get Into UVA? 

UVA’s 16.68% overall acceptance rate shows that it is a selective university. It will be difficult to gain admission unless you have a strong application that sets you apart. 

However, it is significantly harder to get into UVA if you are an out-of-state student, as residency is a key factor in application evaluation. The acceptance rate for Virginian students is nearly twice as high as the rate for out-of-state applicants. 

UVA Yield Rate

The yield rate at UVA is 42%. This means that nearly half of the students who are accepted to the University of Virginia choose to enroll. 

For the most recent class, 9,533 students were accepted, and 3,966 of the successful applicants chose to matriculate and attend UVA. 

University of Virginia Admissions Statistics

To give you a better idea of what numbers you should aim for, here are some admission stats from the most recent incoming class. 

UVA Average GPA: 4.3

The average GPA of incoming students at UVA is 4.3 on a weighted scale. On an unweighted scale, most students have a 4.0 GPA. 

The University of Virginia has no set GPA requirements. However, according to UVA’s most recent common data set, over 90% of enrolled first-year students had a 4.0 GPA. 

Since the UVA average GPA, unweighted, is so high, you’ll need to make sure your application is competitive. Working on getting a high GPA is important, especially since UVA highly values an applicant’s GPA. 

UVA Average SAT Score: 1490

The average SAT score of incoming students is 1490, with a median score of 760 in the math section and 730 in the reading & writing sections. This means that you should shoot for a score equal to or higher than 1490. 

While the University of Virginia is a test-optional school, we definitely recommend submitting your SAT score if you want to improve the competitiveness of your candidacy. The middle 50% range for SAT scores at UVA is 1400-1540, so your minimum score should be 1400, but higher is better. 

To have your UVA self-report scores considered, be sure to self-report them on your application by the deadline. You can submit updated scores through the portal after the deadline if needed. 

UVA Average ACT Score: 33

Incoming students at UVA had a median ACT score of 33 in the most recent class. The 25th to 75th percentiles ranged from 32-24. 

UVA’s test-optional policy is also relevant for ACT scores. However, with such a competitive applicant pool, you’ll want to make sure you stand out. Submitting strong ACT scores will help you do just that. 

Once you send in your results, UVA will use your composite test scores to ensure you meet their requirements. We recommend meeting--or surpassing--the average scores at UVA. This means you should aim to outscore the UVA ACT average score of 33.

What Is UVA Looking For In Applicants? 

UVA seeks to admit students who are academically strong and embrace intellectual challenges. You can demonstrate your academic potential through your grades and standardized test scores in your application. 

You can also find further information on how UVA evaluates applications in their Common Data Set, seen in the table below: 

Academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Rigor of secondary school record X
Class rank X
Academic GPA X
Standardized test scores X
Application essay X
Recommendation X

Non-Academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Interview X
Extracurricular activities X
Talent/ability X
Character/personal qualities X
First generation X
Alumni/ae relation X
Geographical residence X
State residency X
Religious affiliation/commitment X
Volunteer work X
Work experience X
Level of applicant’s interest X

UVA Admissions Requirements

Getting into UVA involves impressive test scores and high grades. You should aim for an ACT score of around 33 or an SAT score of around 1490 to align with the top achievers in the recently admitted UVA class. Notably, these successful applicants also had perfect 4.0 GPAs!

The first step of getting into UVA begins with completing specific admissions requirements. Make sure you gather all the necessary documents before you begin the application process. Here’s a breakdown of everything you’ll need to apply to UVA:

  • Completed Common Application
  • SAT/ACT scores (optional)
  • Secondary school report
  • One teacher recommendation letter
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Supplemental essays
  • Transcripts 

Optional Requirements You May Want to Consider

Since the University of Virginia is a public school, you will want to make sure you’ve confirmed your residency. If you live in the state of Virginia, this will vastly decrease your tuition costs. In-state students pay lower tuition because their parents or guardian(s) have paid the taxes and fees necessary to attend the school just by paying state taxes every year. 

Make sure you have an idea of which school you would like to apply to before you fill out your application. You will be required to choose between the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Architecture, the School of Engineering, the School of Nursing, or the Kinesiology program.  

University of Virginia Rankings

The University of Virginia is ranked #24 in Best National Universities. It’s currently tied with Carnegie Mellon, Emory University, and Washington University in St. Louis. 

Some other notable UVA rankings include: 

  • #5 in Top Public Schools
  • #26 in Best Value Schools
  • #37 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs
  • #11 in Finance
  • #9 in Management
  • #8 in Marketing
  • #16 in Nursing
  • #22 in Economics 

UVA Application Deadlines

Applying for colleges can get chaotic, so it’s important that you stay on top of important dates! Here are some deadlines to know about getting into the University of Virginia:

Application Step Deadline
Early Decision applications due November 1
Early Action applications due November 1
Early Decision notifications released December 15
Regular Decision applications due January 5
Early Action notifications released February 15
Regular Decision notifications released April 1

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into UVA

If you’re concerned about getting into UVA, don’t worry! Even though it’s very competitive, you can still get in with a strong application. Here are some tips to help you make your application stand out! 

Maintain Good Grades

This is the number one tip you should follow! UVA highly values applicants who have good academic standing, so you should take care to keep your grades up. Developing strong study habits in high school will not only ensure you get a high GPA but will also prepare you for the rigorous demands of university. 

Write Essays that Demonstrate Who You Are

The best way to impress the admissions committee and secure your spot at UVA is to be yourself. Avoid using cliches and writing a response you think the admissions committee would want to hear. 

These questions give you a chance to share the story of who you are outside of your academic achievements, so don’t be afraid to be personable and share the experiences that sparked your passions.

Do Your Research

Doing your research on UVA will give you an idea of what the admissions committee is looking for in a candidate. 

You should revisit the mission statement to ensure that you highlight your leadership skills, professionalism, caring nature, and other distinguishing qualities that define UVA. This will align your values with the university, proving that you’re the right fit. 

UVA also states that it is looking for students who are determined to succeed and dedicated to service. Do your best to demonstrate these characteristics in your application. 

Seek the Help of an Admissions Expert

Revising your college application is almost as important as creating it. Having a second pair of eyes reviewing your materials can make a world of difference! Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our experienced admissions counselors to make sure you submit stellar applications.

UVA Essay Prompts

Supplemental essays are an important part of the application process! Your essays will provide a window into your personal life, passions, and interests so that the admission committee can get to know you better. 

For the essays on the UVA application, students will only need to answer one question on the UVA portion of the Common App. Applicants to the School of Nursing, however, will need to answer an additional prompt. 

Here’s the current essay question for UVA:

“What about your individual background, perspective, or experience will serve as a source of strength for you or those around you at UVA? (250 words)” 

If you’re applying to the School of Nursing, you’ll also need to respond specifically to this prompt: 

“Describe a healthcare-related experience or another significant interaction that deepens your interest in studying Nursing. (250 words)” 

FAQs: Getting into UVA

Still have questions about how to get into the University of Virginia? Below, you’ll find our answers to a few frequently asked questions about UVA.

1. How Do You Get Into UVA as an Out-Of-State Student?

It's no secret that the acceptance rate for out-of-state students is slightly lower than for those from Virginia. However, don’t let that deter you from submitting an application! Crafting an application that will make you stand out is key to getting into UVA. Secure a strong GPA and high test scores and write sincere, personable essays. 

2. How to Get Into the University of Virginia With a Low GPA?

UVA doesn’t have a minimum GPA requirement, so if you have a low GPA, don’t fret. The admissions committee will take your entire profile into consideration when evaluating your candidacy. However, UVA still strongly values a high academic GPA, so do your best to study hard and improve your grades before you apply! 

3. What Kind of Students Does UVA Look For?

As outlined in its mission, UVA looks for students who are passionate, caring, and responsible citizen leaders of the world. They exhibit strong leadership skills and professionalism and are honorable, trustworthy, and respectful. Collaborating in a diverse community is also important to UVA students. 

4. Is UVA Ivy League?

No, UVA is not a part of the Ivy League. Ivy League schools are private universities that are only located in the northeastern United States. However, it is considered a Public Ivy. UVA is highly ranked and provides a standard of education that rivals the Ivy Leagues’.

5. Does the University of Virginia Consider Demonstrated Interest? 

No, the UVA does not officially track demonstrated interest in their application evaluations. However, showing genuine interest in UVA in your essays or other materials won’t hurt!

Final Thoughts 

As a high-ranking college, the University of Virginia makes for one of the best educational opportunities for any student looking to go to college in the US. If you want to enjoy the Southern US and be part of a community of leaders willing to break barriers and advance knowledge, then UVA might just be the school for you! 

Follow all the steps in this guide, and you’ll know how to get into UVA, no sweat! Good luck with your application!

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