Future Spiders

April 26, 2018


A record number of students applied for a spot in this fall’s incoming class.

A record number of applicants sought spots in Richmond’s Class of 2022, which enters this fall. (You read that right: 2022.)

More than 11,800 high school students submitted applications for the approximately 800 spots in this fall’s entering class, an increase of 18 percent over the previous year.

“In addition to the quantity of applications, there are more qualified applicants, as measured by quality of courses taken, GPA, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities,” said Rebecca Buffington, senior associate director of admission. Expanded outreach in areas of the country with growing numbers of high school graduates increased the pool of prospective applicants, and the addition of a new early action admission plan offered a new application cycle.

Stephanie Dupaul, vice president for enrollment management, credits a strategic, multiple-year approach.

“The momentum is continuing,” she said. “We are already on track for an even stronger 2019.”

This year’s numbers mark the continuation of a long-term trend for Richmond, which has seen its reputation for academic excellence continue to climb in recent years. This rising reputation, combined with Richmond’s policy of need-blind admission and meeting the full demonstrated need of admitted students, have put Richmond at the top of multiple “Best Value” lists, including U.S. News & World Report, the Princeton Review, Kiplinger’s, and SmartMoney.

Last year’s incoming class was one of the most academically prepared and the most diverse in history. Thirteen percent are first-generation college students, and 30 percent identify as domestic students of color, the highest percentage in university history.