What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

The Ultimate Guide to Applying to the University of Virginia

What’s Covered:


The University of Virginia, originally founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, is a large public research university with deep historical roots. Nicknamed “Mr. Jefferson’s University,” UVA offers a highly competitive and well-regarded undergraduate education that’s in tune with the modern era, and if you’re a resident of Virginia, UVA even sweetens the deal with greatly reduced in-state tuition.


Academically, UVA ranks as the third-best public university in the country and is frequently referred to as one of the “Public Ivies.” In total, 23,721 students called that campus home during the 2015-2016 school year, 16,793 of whom were undergraduates. Sixty-eight percent of UVA students come from Virginia, and 32% come from elsewhere in the country or in the world.


Uniquely, Thomas Jefferson’s original vision for the school included making it a campus of intellectual equality. This means professors at UVA are generally referred to with the less formal titles of “Mr.” or “Ms.” instead of “Dr.”, and the school is singularly committed to a community model that is less stratified than at many colleges and encourages students and faculty to mix and interact outside the classroom. All of this compounds to make studying at the University of Virginia a high honor for many students, making their admissions process very competitive.


Average Stats of Accepted University of Virginia Students


UVA received a total of 50,926 applications for the class of 2026, of which 9,503 applicants were accepted, making the overall acceptance rate 18.7%. However, since UVA is a state school, in-state applicants have a higher acceptance rate of 20.6%, while out-of-state applicants have a lower acceptance rate of around 15%, meaning it can be more difficult for an out-of-state student to gain admission to UVA. 


Regardless of your location, UVA students generally have excellent academic profiles. For first-year students in Fall 2022, 86% of students ranked in the top tenth of their class and the middle range of standardized test scores was 1400-1540 and 32-35 for the SAT and ACT, respectively.


That being said, UVA has adopted a test-optional policy that continues through at least the 2023 admissions cycle, meaning that those who do not choose to report their standardized test scores will not be at a disadvantage in the application process. However, if your scores do fall within the middle 50% range of those of enrolled students, particularly on the high end of the range, it is generally recommended to submit. If you submit scores that may be considered below their average, you may be at risk of not having your application fully considered. This is because many prestigious schools like UVA use a tool known as the Academic Index to help facilitate their application process by automatically reviewing if a student may qualify for admission.


That being said, UVA wants to see that you have a strong academic background regardless of your test scores, which means a multitude of other factors such as recommendations, course selection, and extracurriculars will paint a better picture of your student profile. Additionally, UVA is looking for applicants who will not only take the best advantage of the resources available to them at UVA but who will also add something special to the campus experience themselves.


University of Virginia Application Process


If you choose to apply to the University of Virginia, here is everything you need to know about the UVA’s application process.


Application Overview


All applicants to UVA apply using the Common Application and are required to fill out UVA’s supplemental questions, which we’ll go over in detail below. Additionally, there is a $75 application fee, with fee waivers available based on financial need. Applicants have a choice between three admissions timelines: the Early Decision (ED) timeline, the Early Action (EA) timeline, and the Regular Decision (RD) timeline.


Application Type

Application Deadline

Early Decision

November 1

Early Action

November 1

Regular Decision

January 5


The ED and EA application timelines allow you to submit your application to UVA and receive your admissions decision according to an earlier set of dates. The ED program is binding, meaning that if you’re accepted ED, you’re contractually obligated to attend. On the other hand, the EA program allows you to hear your admissions decision earlier without having to formally commit to attending.


That being said, there is a definitive advantage to applying ED, especially if you are fully determined to go to UVA, as last year’s ED applicant pool had an acceptance rate of 24.5%, nearly six percentage points higher than the school’s average acceptance rate.


Additionally, keep in mind that regular decision applicants often make up the lowest percentage of the school’s incoming class, with only 29% of accepted students in UVA’s Class of 2026 having been admitted through regular decision.


If you’re applying as a fall transfer, your application will be due by March 1st. Spring transfer applications are due by October 1st, but potential transfer applicants should be aware that not all of the undergraduate programs accept spring transfers. For more information about transfer applications to UVA, check out the school’s transfer admissions website.


Application Components


  • Common Application
  • High School Transcript
  • School Report
  • Teacher Evaluation (1 required, 1 optional)
  • Mid Year Report
  • Final Report
  • SAT/ACT Scores (optional)
  • Portfolio (optional)
  • Supplemental Essays


Supplemental Essays: Writing supplements are an opportunity to differentiate yourself on a college application, and the University of Virginia offers a wide variety of short responses for you to choose from. In total, you will be asked to respond to two prompts of your choice in 50 words or less.


Option A: What’s your favorite word and why?

Option B: We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. What is one of your quirks?

Option C: About what topic could you speak for an hour?

Option D: Take us to your happy place.

Option E: You can wake up tomorrow and a skill you already have will become expert-level. What skill is that?

Option F: What is the last gift you gave someone that wasn’t bought with money?

Option G: What website is the internet missing?

Option H: After a challenging experience, how do you recharge?

Option I: Tell us about a place you’d like to share with everyone, but also keep to yourself.

Option J: UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?

Option K: Tell us about a time when, faced with an opinion or perspective that differed from your own, you responded as an empathetic speaker or generous listener.


Besides your Common App essay, these supplements will be your best chance to showcase your personality, interests, and voice beyond the rest of your student profile. For a more detailed breakdown of each prompt, check out CollegeVine’s article How to Write the University of Virginia Essays 2022-2023. And if you’ve already crafted your essays, you can also get free feedback from peers or paid expert evaluation using CollegeVine Essay Review


While all UVA applicants use the same application, when you fill out your application, you’ll be asked to specify the school to which you’re applying, as well as for your first and second choices for intended majors. Remember, UVA takes your response to this section seriously; while you’re allowed to change your major later on, transferring to a different college within UVA is a lengthy process, and acceptance is not guaranteed.


Most application requirements are the same for the different undergraduate schools at UVA, but as we’ll describe below, you’ll encounter some different questions on the application depending on which school you select.


If you intend to pursue a major within the McIntire School of Commerce, the Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy, or the School of Education (excluding Kinesiology), you’ll initially apply to the College of Arts and Sciences, and will apply to your chosen school after you enroll at UVA.


Portfolio: An optional part of the application, submitting a portfolio of student work through Slidework is encouraged for any student looking to majorly contribute to the arts community at UVA and wants their work to be considered as part of their application. This can be an opportunity to showcase any additional extracurricular or artistic interest outside of what is included in the application.


When Will You Hear Back?


Admissions decisions will be relayed corresponding to the pathway of admission you choose. ED or EA applicants who are deferred will also be considered for acceptance in the RD applicant pool and will be notified alongside other RD applicants.


Application Type

Notification Date

Early Decision

By December 15

Early Action

By February 15

Regular Decision

By April 1


University of Virginia Financial Aid


As a public school, the University of Virginia is committed to meeting the full amount of demonstrated need for each of its students, with 35% of UVA students receiving some form of need-based financial aid, which includes loans. Additionally, UVA was ranked as #4 in terms of the Best Public College Value in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.


Costs vary for the different undergraduate programs at UVA; specific figures for each program are available on the UVA website. Below is a calculated table for the sticker price of the College of Arts & Sciences.



Estimated Cost (In-State)

Estimated Cost (Out-of-State)

Tuition and Fees









Books and Supplies



Personal Expenses



Direct Loan Fees










Financial Aid Generosity


The University of Virginia is committed to meeting the full amount of a student’s demonstrated need and remaining need-blind, meaning they do not factor in a student’s financial situation in the admissions process. 


Need-based financial aid packages consist of grant aid, work-study employment, and/or student loans, though according to their website, “UVA is committed to limiting need-based loans for students with financial need” so that these students accumulate less debt.


In addition to UVA’s need-based financial aid, a limited amount of merit-based aid is available in the form of scholarships. There is no separate application process for these scholarships; instead, they’re awarded based on the information that’s already present in your admission application, and all applicants to UVA are automatically considered. 


CollegeVine’s article, What Does It Cost to Attend the University of Virginia?, is a great resource for students interested in learning more about the cost of attending UVA.


How to Apply for Financial Aid


In order to apply for need-based financial aid from UVA as a student from the United States, you’ll need to submit the CSS Profile and the FAFSA by the following deadline, depending on your admissions path. Your family’s supporting documents, such as tax returns, should also be submitted by the deadline to guarantee that you’ll receive your preliminary award letter before you have to commit to UVA.


Student Type

Priority Application Date

Final Application Deadline Date

Early Decision Fall 2023

November 15, 2022

March 1, 2023

Early Action Fall 2023

December 1, 2022

March 1, 2023

Regular Decision Fall 2023

February 1, 2023

March 1, 2023


What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?


While applying to a highly selective school like the University of Virginia may seem daunting, remember that no two applicants are alike and your greatest strength will be how your application manages to stand out. You can utilize our free chancing engine in order to estimate your odds of acceptance at UVA based on factors like academics, extracurriculars, and demographics, as well as use it for hundreds of other schools nationwide.


Additionally, CollegeVine’s University of Virginia profile page has all the information you’ll need and more on UVA’s campus, finances, academics, and how to complete an application to become a Cavalier.

Blog Writer