McIntire School of Commerce accepts 54.6 percent of applicants for Class of 2021

School of Commerce acceptance rate increased from 52.1 percent last year

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The McIntire School of Commerce accepted 306 candidates out of 560 applicants for the Class of 2021. 

Riley Walsh | Cavalier Daily

The McIntire School of Commerce announced admissions decisions for the Class of 2021 undergraduate program last Thursday, with a 54.6 percent acceptance rate — a slight increase from last year’s 52.1 percent. 

Of the 560 applications received, 306 were accepted, 38 were deferred and 216 were denied. Accepted students have until March 21 at noon to accept or deny their offer. 

The average cumulative grade point average of those who applied was 3.60, which is a minor increase from last year’s 3.59. Accepted applicants had an average GPA of 3.75 — a slight decrease from 3.77 last year — with a range from 3.0 to 4.0. Deferred applicants had an average 3.43 GPA — a decrease from 3.50 last year — and denied applicants also had an average 3.43 GPA, which is an increase from 3.34 last year.

Because the application process has not been completed, the official demographics report for the Class of 2021 is not yet available. Of the total applicant pool this year —  58.2 percent were white, 15.71 percent Asian-American, 7.1 percent non-resident aliens, 3.73 percent black or African-American, 3.73 percent Hispanic, 3.55 percent multiracial, 0.18 percent Native American or Alaskan Native and 0.18 percent Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. An additional 7.4 percent did not specify race and ethnicity. 10.3 percent of the applicant pool were first-generation students. 

“[In] Demographics... we saw a slight dip in Hispanic and multi-race and non-resident alien applicants, but not anything shocking,” said Sadie Royal Collins, McIntire Director of Undergraduate Admission. “We saw a pretty nice uptick in our first generation applicants but this is only the first year we have tracked this number. There were not huge differences.”

In 2018, the McIntire undergraduate program was 52.35 percent white, 14.82 percent Asian-American, 11.22 percent non-resident alien, 6.79 percent Hispanic-American, 4.57 percent African-American, 4.16 percent multiracial American, 0.14 percent Native American or Alaskan, 0 percent Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 5.96 percent unknown.

As in previous years, students registered to apply for McIntire in the fall and completed an application by Jan. 26 detailing honors and awards, four activities they participate in during the academic year, any family information that might be a factor in their application and an essay question. Their academic information — including their transcript — was sent directly from their Student Information System account. 

A committee of four faculty members then gathered to review each application. All decisions were deliberated by at least three faculty members, though many had all four members read through the application before making a decision, according to Collins.  

“They are making independent decisions,” Collins said. “The decision committee really commits to creating a class that brings in a diversity of experiences, backgrounds, skills, possesses intellectual curiosity around a business education [and] shows academic preparedness to engage with our pretty rigorous curriculum.”

The application process was slightly altered in comparison to previous years. Instead of five extracurricular activities, students were asked to put only four that occurred during the school year. While previous years required two essays and one optional essay, this year’s applications only had one essay and a space for students to explain any extenuating circumstances that could impact their application.

The deferral process also no longer requires an interview for admission — a change made this year. Students who were deferred are instead given the opportunity to complete an additional essay and submit their spring semester grades.

“[Taking away the interview] should make [the process of deferral] easier,” Collins said. “In terms of time it will be shorter. Deferral is about academics and we are looking to learn more about their academics. They have their spring grades and an additional essay to be reviewed by the committee again.” 

Collins added that each student has a different reason for being drawn to and applying to McIntire. The school offers a comprehensive business education that culminates in an overall degree of commerce, until students choose a concentration — including finance and marketing — in their fourth year. 

“Our curriculum is really dynamic — it’s interesting, it’s different from anything [students] have ever experienced at the University,” Collins said. “I think that we teach a really nice blend of thoughts and hard skills… I think it is a combination of our comprehensive education and the community here.” 

For second-year College student Abdullah Maqbool — who was recently accepted into McIntire — the decision to apply rested in his lifelong curiosity of business mechanics and his desire to work in the Finance and Investment Banking industries.

“In the long run, I want to work for/start a non-profit organization that help uplift underprivileged entrepreneurs in developing countries like where I was born (Pakistan),” Maqbool said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “I want to integrate commerce and social entrepreneurship.”

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