Over the years, many area residents have had their plans of attending UVA dashed when they failed to gain admission to the elite school sometimes referred to as the “Ivy League of the South.” In the last few years, though, the University has taken steps to free up its ranks, including its recent decision to revoke its early admission process.
In 2006, UVA took perhaps a more significant step when it agreed to guarantee admission to students from Virginia’s 23 community colleges. According to the agreement, a student who completes an associate degree in arts and sciences within the two-year period preceding application—earning a minimum of 54 transferable credit hours—and achieves a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 or better is guaranteed admission to UVA.
Piedmont Virginia Community College transfers to UVA have gone up almost 30 percent since 2006.
“This new agreement will encourage more community college students to transfer to the University of Virginia,” UVA President John Casteen said at the time.
Recent figures from Albemarle’s only community college, Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC), backs up this prediction. While UVA admitted around 70 students a year for the past couple decades from PVCC, that number jumped to 83 for 2006-2007 and 90 this academic year.
“There’s a heck of a lot of interest,” says Mary Lee Walsh, PVCC’s dean of student services, who explains that UVA has just mailed out their acceptances for next fall. “This is an incredible opportunity for students in the area.”
Especially for those who had their heart set on UVA but have neither the grades or the connections to get in. “Now they have a guarantee,” says Walsh. “Our job is to just keep getting the word out.”
While admissions are getting even tighter at UVA, the school says it’s pleased with the program. “PVCC students have been very successful at the University and we welcome the increase in numbers,” says Carol Wood, UVA spokesperson. “They bring a seriousness of purpose and maturity that serves them well here. They add to the richness and diversity of our community. Through the articulation agreement we hope to be able to attract more community college students in the coming years.”
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