The University offered admission to 1,120 early decision candidates out of 3,466 applicants for a 32.3 percent admission rate. Decisions were released Friday evening — 33.6 percent of those admitted are minority students, 7 percent are foreign nationals and 53.3 percent are white.
The application pool for early decision to the Class of 2026 saw an 18 percent increase over the Class of 2025, when 2,937 candidates applied — this year, a record 3,466 applied under early decision.
Early Decision is a binding admission plan. Admitted applicants are expected to submit deposits by Jan. 1. The University plans to notify early action applicants of their admission status by mid-February and regular decision applicants, along with deferred early decision applicants, by April 1.
The admissions office extended offers to a diverse array of students — notably, there was a 72 percent increase in Black early decision admits, with 74 Black students accepted compared to 43 in the Class of 2025. 14 American Indian students were also offered admission, compared to five last year, and 96 Hispanic students were admitted compared to 63 last year. 56 percent of accepted students are female — 632 compared to 488 male students.
Dean of Admissions Greg Roberts said that while the pandemic continues to impact recruitment efforts, the University was able to host three open house programs in the fall for Black, Hispanic and first-generation students and families. Members of the University Guide Service were also able to offer tours to prospective students during the fall semester.
“We were thrilled that our amazing partners in the University Guide Service were able to offer Grounds tours throughout the fall term,” Roberts said in an email statement to The Cavalier Daily. “This played a significant role in our ability to attract a larger and more diverse Early Decision applicant pool this year.”
This was the third year the University offered a binding early decision option to students since the pathway was eliminated in 2006 due to equity concerns — applicants who do not demonstrate financial need are typically more likely to apply early decision than minority, low-income and international students. Today, the University allows students accepted early decision to rescind their acceptance if financial aid is deemed insufficient.
This early decision admissions cycle saw a 74 percent increase in first-generation students — 132 first-gen students were accepted compared to 76 early decision applicants accepted to the Class of 2025. 241 students or 21.5 percent of those accepted were legacy applicants compared to 220 last year.
704 students, or 63 percent of those admitted, were Virginia residents, compared to 416 out-of-state students. Because the University is public, in-state residency is a major component of admissions — roughly two-thirds of the undergraduate student population are from Virginia. Students were accepted from 15 countries including Kazakhstan, Vietnam, El Salvador and China.
Applicants were also not required to submit test scores, a policy the University first announced for the fall 2020 admissions cycle that will remain in place until at least the 2023 admissions cycle. 47 percent of those who applied early decision did so without submitting test scores.
The highest offer rate was to the College of Arts and Sciences, with 903 students accepted — 80.6 percent of admitted students early decision were accepted into the College. The lowest offer rates were for the Schools of Education and School of Nursing, which accepted 17 students each.
“We are incredibly proud of this class, and we are excited to offer admission to such an exceptional and inspiring group of students,” Roberts said. “Our goal is to enroll a class that reflects the mission and values of U.Va., and a diverse student body — in all its forms — is one of our annual enrollment goals.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that early decision applicants will be notified of their admission status in February as well as misrepresented a statistic about offer rates to the College of Arts and Sciences. The article has been update to reflect these corrections.