University of Virginia Admissions Statistics

SAT Scores, Acceptance Rate, Financial Aid, & More

USA, Virginia, University of Virginia Rotunda and academical village. Founded by Thomas Jefferson; Charlottesville
Chris Parker / Getty Images

With an acceptance rate of just 27 percent, the University of Virginia is one of the most selective public universities in the country. Successful applicants typically have grades and test scores that are significantly above average. UVA uses the Common Application.

Because of its many strengths, the University of Virginia ranks among the top Virginia collages, top southeastern colleges, top national public universities, and top business schools.

Why the University of Virginia?

  • Location: Charlottesville, Virginia (one of the nation's best college towns)
  • Campus Features: Established over 200 years ago by Thomas Jefferson, UVA has one of the most beautiful and historic campuses in the U.S. Jefferson's home at Monticello is nearby.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 15:1
  • Athletics: The University of Virginia Cavaliers (or Hoos) compete in the NCAA Division I Atlantic Coast Conference.
  • Highlights: One of the top public universities in the nation, UVA has strengths spanning the arts, humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields. The school is an excellent value for in-state students.

UVA Admissions Statistics 2017-18

For students who entered the University of Virginia in the 2017-18 academic year, the acceptance rate was a low 27 percent. Below are standardized test scores for admitted students organized by score percentile.

SAT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 660 740
Math 650 760
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

If you compare SAT scores for top public universities, you'll see that only a couple schools are equally selective. Successful applicants will need scores that are well above average.

ACT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 30 35
Math 28 33
Composite 29 33

The ACT is slightly less popular than the SAT among UVA applicants, but it is still submitted by about half of students. A comparison of ACT data for top public institutions in Virginia reveals that only the College of William and Mary is equally selective.

University of Virginia GPA, SAT, and ACT Graph

University of Virginia GPA, SAT Scores, and ACT Scores for Admission
University of Virginia GPA, SAT Scores, and ACT Scores for Admission. Graph courtesy of Cappex 

The GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data in the graph is self-reported by actual applicants to the University of Virginia. You can see the real-time graph and calculate your own chances of getting into UVA with a free account at Cappex.

Discussion of UVA's Admissions Standards

In the graph above, the green and blue dots represent accepted students. As you can see, the majority of students who got in had "A" averages, an SAT score (ERW+M) above 1200, and an ACT composite score of 25 or higher. Chances of admission improve as those numbers go up, and an applicant will be in a much stronger position with a combined SAT score above 1300 and an ACT composite score of 29 or better.

Even with an "A" average and strong standardized test scores, an applicant has no guarantee of admission. As the graph below reveals, hidden beneath the blue and green of the graph is a lot of red. Many students with scores and grades that were on target for UVA were rejected. The opposite is also true: some students were accepted with test scores and grades a bit below the norm. This is because UVA has holistic admissions, so the admissions officers are evaluating students based on more than numerical data. Students who show some kind of remarkable talent or have a compelling story to tell will often get a close look even if grades and test scores aren't quite up to the ideal. A winning essay, strong letters of recommendation, and interesting extracurricular activities can mean the difference between an acceptance letter and a rejection.

The University of Virginia also looks at the strength of an applicant's academic record, not just grades. The admissions folks will be looking for students who have challenged themselves throughout high school rather than taking easy courses. High grades in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Honors classes can all play an important role in the admissions process, for these classes provide a good measure of college readiness.

University of Virginia Data for Rejected Students

Waitlist and rejection data for the University of Virginia
Waitlist and rejection data for the University of Virginia. Graph courtesy of Cappex. 

The earlier graph in this article makes it look as if most students with strong "A" grades and above average SAT/ACT scores are likely to be admitted. The reality is quite different. When we strip away the blue and green dots for accepted students, we see that a significant number of students with perfect GPAs and strong standardized test scores were rejected from the University of Virginia. The reasons for this can be many: shallow extracurricular involvement; no demonstration of leadership experience; sloppy or generic application essays; and so on.

More University of Virginia Information

The University of Virginia does well on the academic front, and the school has one of the highest graduation rates among public universities. The school represents an excellent value for in-state applicants, but realize that only about a third of students receive grant aid, and the price tag for out-of-state students is quite high.

Enrollment (2017)

  • Total Enrollment: 24,360 (16,655 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 45 percent male / 55 percent female
  • 95 percent full-time

Costs (2017–18)

  • Tuition and Fees: $16,853 (in-state); $47,273 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,320 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $11,220
  • Other Expenses: $2,820
  • Total Cost: $32,213 (in-state); $62,633 (out-of-state)

UVA Financial Aid (2016–17)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 56 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
  • Grants: 35 percent
  • Loans: 28 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
  • Grants: $21,171
  • Loans: $7,758

Academic Programs

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 97 percent
  • Transfer Out Rate: 3 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 88 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 94 percent

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Squash, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Wrestling
  • Women's Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Golf, Lacrosse, Rowing, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball

If You Like the University of Virginia, You May Also Like These Schools

For universities like UVA with low acceptance rates and a high admissions bar, applicants should never assume that they are likely to get in. You'll want to make sure you apply to schools with a range of admissions standards to help ensure you'll receive at least one acceptance letter. Schools that are popular with applicants to the University of Virginia include Virginia Tech, George Mason University, Wake Forest University, the University of Maryland, Georgetown University, Duke University, and Vanderbilt University.

Data Sources: Graphs courtesy of Cappex; all other data from the National Center for Education Statistics