What Does It Take to Get Into Villanova University?

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Only 28.9% of applicants get into Villanova University. What does it take to get in?


The U.S. boasts numerous Catholic colleges, but Villanova is the only Augustinian one in existence. Offering students a highly personalized experience, Villanova prides itself on its “morally grounded, globally minded” approach to learning. Students can choose from more than 60 bachelor’s programs designed to stimulate their curiosity.


Additionally, the school is host to more than 265 extracurricular groups and 44 club and intramural sports teams. And with Philadelphia just a short drive away, there’s plenty of excitement to be had while pursuing a degree.


With so much going for Villanova, it’s no surprise that this university is highly competitive. Check out CollegeVine’s tips and tricks for getting accepted to this top-notch institution.


Applying to Villanova: A Quick Review


If you’re thinking of applying to the home of the Wildcats, there are some important dates to keep in mind. The deadline for both Early Action and Early Decision is November 1. For Regular Decision, the deadline is January 15. Villanova requires applicants to submit the following materials:


  • Common Application and the Member School Section for Villanova, including the essay
  • Secondary School Report form
  • Official high school transcripts
  • Standardized test scores for the SAT and/or ACT
  • TOEFL and IELTS (required for non-native speakers only)
  • $80 application fee


Early Decision applicants can expect to hear back by December 20. The notification date for Early Action is January 15, and Regular Decision applicants will receive notification by April 1.


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


With its rigorous academics and exciting campus life, Villanova is naturally very competitive. Of the 22,727 applications received for the class of 2022, the university accepted just 1,670 for an acceptance rate of 28.9%.


It’s worth noting that Villanova doesn’t offer admission interviews. Students are evaluated based solely on the strength of their application packages, including high school performance, academic curriculum, test scores, essays, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation.

So, How Does One Get Into Villanova?


Villanova expects applicants to excel at the high school level. On a weighted 4.0 scale, the middle 50 percent of accepted students had GPAs between 4.10 and 4.48. Additionally, applicants to this Philadelphia-area institution undertook a rigorous high school curriculum including:


  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of mathematics
  • 2 years of history
  • 2 years of foreign language
  • 2 years of electives
  • 1 year of biology
  • 1 year of chemistry
  • 1 year of another science


The university recommends additional coursework for students applying to particular programs. If you’re thinking of applying to the Villanova School of Business, plan to undertake at least one year of high school calculus. College of Engineering applicants should take a physics course.


Additionally, Villanova students boast high standardized test scores. The middle 50 percent of students earned between 1380 and 1490 on their SATs, while ACT scores averaged 31 to 34. Because Villanova superscores results for standardized tests, applicants may want to consider sitting for exams multiple times to up their composite results.


How to Make Your Application Stand Out


While there’s no way to guarantee your acceptance to Villanova University, you can take steps to help your application stand out. Check out these tips for becoming a Wildcat:


Use the Villanova Essay to showcase your values. A Catholic university, Villanova prides itself on selecting students who demonstrate strength of heart as well as mind. If you want to separate yourself from the crowd, use the additional Villanova essay (250 to 1000 words) to provide more insight into your character. Along with highlighting your volunteer work at school and in the community, talk about times when you had to navigate a discrepancy between what you thought in your mind and what you believed in your heart. Explain how you resolved this conflict.


Highlight Challenging Coursework. Villanova is passionate about finding students who will contribute to the campus community. To that end, the school seeks out students who pursued the most rigorous coursework available to them. To give yourself a leg up on the competition, enroll in a challenging high school curriculum and highlight this information in your application.


What If You Get Rejected?


Whether you’re 18 or 80, rejection hurts. If you don’t receive that elusive acceptance letter to your top-choice college, try not to take it too personally. After all, the most competitive schools accept only a fraction of the candidates who apply, and receiving a rejection letter just means that another school is going to benefit from your talent and character.


If Villanova is on your list of dream schools, you might also want to apply at some similar colleges and universities. In the past, students who applied to Villanova also applied to  Boston College, Boston University, Penn State, Cornell University, and the University of Notre Dame. By widening your net, you increase your odds of getting in somewhere great.


For more information on applying to Villanova, check out these posts:


How to Write the Villanova Application Essay 2018-2019

A Guide to Religiously Affiliated Colleges


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Short Bio
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.

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