Kate Sundquist 5 min read Applying to College, College Lists

What Does it Take to Get Into University of Connecticut?

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Home to more than 30,000 students, the University of Connecticut, also known as UConn, is considered a national leader among public research universities. Founded in 1881, the school is located primarily in Hartford, CT though it boasts four regional campuses throughout the state. It offers eight undergraduate degrees in 116 majors, 17 graduate degrees in 88 research and professional practice fields of study, and six professional degree programs.

 

Its large size is primarily accounted for by undergraduates. There are nearly 24,000 of them, with around 20,000 attending classes on the main campus. In 2018, the freshman class contained 3,748 students. Over 75% of undergrads are in-state Connecticut residents, while 8% are international students.

 

Ranked in the top 25 Public Schools in the country, UConn provides great value for in-state students and a solid academic foundation for any undergraduate. To learn more about getting in, keep reading.

 

Applying to UConn: A Quick Overview

 

UConn accepts either the Common Application or the Coalition Application. You can learn more about the Common Application in our Guide to the Common App.

 

Applicants can choose from four options for applying. The Priority Freshman Application Deadline for Merit & Honors Consideration is December 1, as is the deadline for undergraduate combined Special Programs in Medicine, Dental Medicine, Law, Pharmacy, and Education. The Storrs Campus Application Deadline for the main campus is January 15, while the Regional Campus Freshman Application Deadline is May 1. Regional applicants to the Stamford campus should note that priority housing closes early so applicants should apply by March 15 if they plan to live on campus.

 

In addition to completing the Common Application, all applicants must submit:

 

  • $80 Application Fee (non-refundable)
  • Required Essay
  • Two Optional Letters of Recommendation
  • Official Secondary School Transcripts or GED Records
  • Official SAT or ACT Scores

 

UConn Acceptance Rate:  How Difficult Is It to Get In?

UConn is popular amongst undergraduates, especially those who plan to apply as in-state residents. In 2018, the overall undergraduate acceptance rate at UConn was 48%.

 

This is only part of the story, though. UConn’s admissions differ significantly from one campus to another. The primary Storrs campus accepted just 43% of applicants, whereas regional campuses accepted 77% of students. 

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So, How Does One Get Into UConn?

 

UConn prides itself on a holistic admissions process, which means that many different elements of your application are reviewed. While extracurriculars, essays, and personal characteristics are all considered important, UConn admissions places the greatest emphasis on academic achievements. Grades, test scores, the rigor of your secondary school classes, and your class rank are considered the most important factors by the admissions committee.

 

In order to apply as a first year student, you must first meet the minimum admissions standards. This includes having taken the following in high school:

 

  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of math (algebra I, algebra II, and geometry)
  • 2 years of social studies (including 1 year of U.S. history)
  • 2 years of a single foreign language (3 years strongly recommended)*
  • 2 years of laboratory science
  • 3 years of electives

 

In addition, applicants to the School of Engineering & School of Nursing must have taken high school level chemistry and physics.

 

Successful applicants will present a strong academic background with a solid GPA. 50.2% of first year students on the main campus in 2018 were in the top 10% of their graduating class, and 84.1% were in the top 25%. These included 70 valedictorians and 78 salutatorians.

 

Test scores are also weighed heavily. In 2018, admitted students achieved an average SAT score of over 1300.

 

How to Make Your Application Stand Out

 

Academic Achievement. The most important factor in UConn admissions is your academic ability. You can highlight this skill by taking the most rigorous classes available at your high school, landing a top rank in your graduating class, and doing well on standardized tests. These factors alone will be the most important elements of your application, so plan well ahead if you hope to get into UConn based on academic merit.

 

Extraordinary Athletic Ability. UConn plays in the elite NCAA Division I and boasts especially competitive teams, particularly in basketball and football. In 2018, UConn handed out $16.9 million in athletic scholarships. If you’re a standout athlete with the ability to compete at the highest level, your athletic prowess could not only earn you an acceptance; it could also mean a scholarship.

 

Regional Campus Applicants. If you aren’t sure that you meet the criteria for acceptance at the main Storrs campus in Hartford, UConn offers a comparable education at its regional campuses across the state. These campuses also have significantly higher acceptance rates, so they are a good alternative for students who don’t quite meet the academic criteria for acceptance at the main campus.

 

Stay on the Waitlist. UConn uses its waitlist annually at a rate that is higher than the average for most colleges, where only a handful of students may ever get off the waitlist. In 2018, around 2000 students elected to accept spots on the waitlist at UConn. Of these, nearly 10% were eventually offered a spot. While the odds aren’t spectacular, they are definitely higher than the minuscule percentages of being accepted from the waitlists at many other universities.

 

What If You Get Rejected?

 

If you get rejected from UConn, you aren’t without options. In fact, UConn is one of a few schools with clearly established avenues for seeking admissions even after an initial rejection.

 

The first possibility is through an admissions appeal. While these are generally unlikely to be successful, there is at least a standardized process for appealing, unlike at many other schools that will not even consider an appeal. At UConn, students may appeal an admissions decision if they can present “significant new academic information that was not present at the time of application review.” To do so, you’ll need to fill out an Admission Decision Appeal Coversheet and follow the instructions outlined on the Decision Appeal Process site.

 

Alternatively, rejected students might consider the Guaranteed Admission Program, which is  partnership between the Connecticut Community College System and the University of Connecticut. Students in this program work towards an associate’s degree at a community college and are guaranteed admission to UConn upon its completion and fulfillment of appropriate courses, minimum grades, and requirements for the selected program. See the Guaranteed Admission Program page to learn more.

 

The Regional Campus program is another possible point of entry. Students begin their work at one of the four regional campuses and, after having completed 54 credits, transfer to the main campus to complete their degrees. Because the application deadline for regional campuses is not until May 1, it’s possible to apply for a spot here after receiving a rejection from the main campus in March. Find out more on the Regional Campus Applicants page.

 

Many options exist for pursuing a coveted degree from the University of Connecticut, and an initial rejection doesn’t mean that the school is completely out of your reach.

 

That said, it’s always best to gain acceptance on the first attempt, and CollegeVine is here to help. For more assistance perfecting your application to UConn or anywhere else, consider enlisting the help of CollegeVine’s Applications Guidance service. Here, you will be paired with a personal admissions specialist from a top college who can provide step-by-step guidance through the entire application process. 

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Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.