How to Get Into University of Richmond: Admissions Stats + Tips
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- How Hard Is It to Get Into the University of Richmond?
- Average Academic Profile of Accepted University of Richmond Students
- What is the University of Richmond Looking for?
- How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into the University of Richmond
Founded in 1830, the University of Richmond has an almost two-century history of academic excellence and today is considered among the best liberal arts colleges in the country. Keeping the University of Richmond at the forefront of education are unique institutions like its Jepson School of Leadership Studies, the nation’s first undergraduate school of leadership studies.
How Hard Is It to Get Into the University of Richmond?
Getting into the University of Richmond is a challenge. The university received 12,060 applications for its Class of 2025 and accepted a mere 3,727 students—an overall acceptance rate of roughly 30%. The University of Richmond has an early decision admissions process through which 736 students applied and 358 were accepted, for an early decision acceptance rate of approximately 48%.
The University of Richmond’s acceptance rate is low, but your personal chances of admission are determined by the strength of your profile. CollegeVine can help you to better understand your odds at the University of Richmond. Our free admissions calculator uses a variety of factors—including grades, test scores, extracurriculars—to estimate your probability of acceptance and provide tips to improve your profile!
Average Academic Profile of Accepted University of Richmond Students
The average high school GPA of the University of Richmond’s Class of 2025 is 3.67—16.1% of them graduated high school with a 4.0.
The middle 50% range SAT score of the University of Richmond’s Class of 2025 is 1290-1440 and the middle 50% ACT score is 30-33.
50% of the University of Richmond’s Class of 2025 graduated in the top tenth of their high school—nearly 82% graduated in the top quarter.
What is the University of Richmond Looking for?
There are some qualities that seemingly every student at the University of Richmond shares—they’re curious, determined, and goal-oriented individuals who have an impact both inside and outside of the classroom.
The University of Richmond fields diverse classes and aims to have its campus populated with students from different backgrounds who have unique interests, talents, and points of view. More than a quarter (29%) of the Class of 2025 is students of color and 14% are first-generation college students. Forty-seven states are represented on the University of Richmond’s campus, along with 62 countries.
How the University of Richmond College Evaluates Applications
According to their 2020-2021 Common Data Set, the University of Richmond considers the following factors “very important”:
- Course rigor
These factors are “important”:
- Class rank
- Test scores
These are “considered”:
- First generation
- Geographic location
- State residence
- Racial/ethnic status
- Volunteer work
- Work experience
And these are “not considered”:
- Religious affiliation
- Applicant interest
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into the University of Richmond
1. Achieve at least a 3.67 average GPA while taking the most challenging classes available
GPA and course vigor are paramount to University of Richmond admissions—they’re the only two factors the school considers “very important.” The average high school GPA of the University of Richmond’s Class of 2025 is 3.67 and the average admitted student has completed seven AP/IB/Accelerated classes.
Highly selective schools like the University of Richmond use a tool known as the Academic Index to filter out candidates who don’t meet their academic standards. Academic Index is your entire academic performance represented by a single number and if your Academic Index isn’t competitive with that of other applicants, you risk your application not receiving serious consideration.
If your GPA is low but you’re early in your high school career, there is still time to raise it. Check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, it’s more difficult to improve your GPA, making higher test scores the easiest way to increase your Academic Index.
2. Aim for a 1440 SAT and 33 ACT
Standardized test scores are “important” to admissions decisions at the University of Richmond. The school’s Class of 2025 had a middle 50% SAT score of 1290-1440 and a middle 50% ACT score of 30-33. Any score in the middle 50% range will gain you consideration for admission, however, the higher into the range you score, the more appealing your application becomes.
The University of Richmond superscores both the SAT and the ACT. This makes taking the SAT or ACT two or three times a smart strategy for getting the highest test score possible and increasing your odds of acceptance. For more tips on how to improve your SAT/ACT score, check out these free CollegeVine resources:
- How to Get a Perfect 1600 Score on the SAT
- How to Get a Perfect 36 Score on the ACT
- More SAT Info and Tips
- More ACT Info and Tips
The University of Richmond is providing a test-optional admissions path for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. That said, CollegeVine recommends taking either the SAT/ACT if you can do so safely and submitting your score if it’s at or exceeds the 25th percentile for accepted students. Students who submit test scores are accepted at higher rates than those who do not. You can get recommendations on whether or not you should apply test-optional using our free chancing engine.
3. Cultivate one or two Tier 1-2 extracurriculars (find your “spike”)
Extracurricular activities are “important” to admissions at the University of Richmond and, in their words, are how they “identified ambition, determination, and curiosity.” Wondering what type of extracurricular activities win over University of Richmond admissions officials? Check out some figures about the university’s Class of 2025:
- 73 students founded a club, community organization, non-profit, or business during high school
- 24 completed independent research or projects
- 92 engaged with social justice issues
- 78 pursued international and/or political engagements
- 231 were involved in the arts
- 521 played varsity athletics
A highly developed interest, known as a “spike,” or one or two well-developed interests and Tier 1 and Tier 2 extracurricular activities—the two most influential of the four tiers of extracurriculars—will make your application more competitive.
- Tier 1 activities are the least commonly seen and most impressive extracurriculars. These impactful activities demonstrate exceptional achievement, leadership, or merit and include noteworthy accomplishments such as winning a prestigious national award and attending a renowned merit-based summer program.
- Tier 2 activities also exhibit great achievement, leadership, and merit, but are more common and carry less weight in admissions than those found in Tier 1. Tier 2 activities include winning a regional award, gaining state-level recognition in music or athletics, and holding leadership positions such as student body president—305 of the admitted Class of 2025 applicants were student government presidents, Eagle Scouts, or team captains.
4. Write engaging essays
The Richmond Essay is another “important” aspect of admissions at the University of Richmond and is an excellent area to separate yourself from other candidates. The school requires students to compose one 350 to 650 word essay in response to one of three prompts:
- Tell us about the most unusual talent you have, and how you have made it useful.
- Spiders are essential to the ecosystem. How are you essential to your community or will you be essential in your university community?
- Please share one idea for actions or policies that you think would begin to address an issue of racial or social injustice.
To compose an attention-grabbing college essay, be sure to write in your unique voice and highlight your strengths and talents (both “important” to University of Richmond admission decisions), how you’ll fit on campus, and how the school will benefit from you being there. For specific advice on the Richmond Essay, check out our article, “How to Write the University of Richmond Essays 2021-2022.”
5. The right recommendation
Recommendations are another “important” aspect of University of Richmond admissions. The university requires you to submit one recommendation letter and, ideally, that letter will come from your school counselor. The University of Richmond will also allow you to submit two additional letters of recommendation.
If you’re going to tap a teacher to write an optional letter of recommendation, it’s important to understand your obligations, such as ensuring they have enough time and the supporting material needed to compose a compelling letter—the nine rules for requesting letters of recommendation from teachers provide a good guideline to the process.
6. Apply Early Action/Early Decision
The University of Richmond has four admissions tracks: early decision I (ED 1), early decision II (ED II), early action (EA), and regular decision (RD). Below are the admission tracks the Class of 2025 took at the University of Richmond:
- 43% early decision
- 34% early action
- 23% regular decision
Applying ED at the University of Richmond can boost your odds of admission—the largest percentage of the Class of 2025 was admitted through ED, and the early decision acceptance rate of roughly 48% is considerably higher than the approximate 30% overall acceptance rate.
Early decision is not for everyone, however. Both ED I and ED II are binding, meaning that when you apply through them you are also committing to attend the university if accepted. This makes ED ideal for students who are 100% sure they want to attend the University of Richmond. Early action is non-binding, confers the same benefit of receiving an admission decision earlier, but has a lower acceptance rate than early decision.
How to Apply to the University of Richmond
Early Decision I
Early Decision II
The University of Richmond accepts both the Common Application and the Coalition Application. Other materials required include:
- Richmond Essay
- Secondary school report
- Recommendation letter
- Senior progress grades
Other optional materials are:
- SAT/ACT scores
- Letters of recommendation (up to two)
- Art portfolio
Learn more about the University of Richmond
Interested in learning more about the University of Richmond? Check out these other informative articles:
- Spiders Chat: Learn All About the University of Richmond
- What Does It Really Cost to Attend the University of Richmond?
- University of Richmond Essay Example
Want to know your chances at the University of Richmond? Calculate your chances for free right now.