The University of Virginia is consistently ranked among the best public universities in the nation by publications like Newsweek, the U.S. News & World Report, and the Princeton Review.
After ceasing its binding Early Decision option in 2006, the school reinstated the admission option in 2019. Students can now apply as Early Decision, Early Action, or Regular Decision candidates.
Originally, UVA halted the Early Decision option out of concern for a bias against low-income students (who could not commit to a binding option without understanding their chances for financial aid).
The Early Action option, which began in 2011, warrants the return of the Early Decision option in that the former gives students more time to compare their financial aid packages.
So what is the difference between Early Decision and Early Action?
Early Decision is a binding admission plan, ideal for students who are confident that UVA is their top college choice. Upon admittance, Early Decision candidates are obligated to cancel any other outstanding college applications and enroll in UVA.
Early Decision students should boast compelling applications and academic records, which leave no doubt in the admission committee’s mind that these candidates will continue their exceptional performance throughout their senior year of high school.
Early Action is also an excellent option for students whose applications and academic records hold their own – the only difference is that this option is non-binding.
Applying early is a good idea for students who are clear on what school they wish to attend and can be trusted to continue excelling academically throughout their final year in high school.
In what follows, we will discuss the acceptance rates for students applying to UVA via Early Action and Early Decision.
We will note the application deadlines, financial aid deadlines, and notification decisions for each admission cycle and comment on situations when students are deferred.
Finally, we will conclude with instructions for applying to the University of Virginia – one of the best and most affordable public schools in the United States!
University of Virginia Early Action & Early Decision Acceptance Rate
For early decision, UVA accepted 31.7% of applicants for the incoming class of 2026: out of almost 3,500 applicants, 1,109 received admittance.
For early action, UVA received an astounding 31,000 applications and accepted 6,243 candidates, an acceptance rate of around 20.1%.
This admission cycle at UVA witnessed record numbers, with the number of first-generation admitted students increasing by 68% from the past year.
Overall, 37.8% of accepted students were in-state early decision applicants, and 25.1% were out-of-state early decision applicants.
Within this cohort, 41% of early action offers were made to Virginia residents.
Without a doubt, UVA receives most of its applications during the early decision and application cycle.
The class of 2025 brought in a whopping 47,827 total applications, while nearly 51,000 applied to commence in 2022-2023.
In this most recent cycle, almost 61% of all incoming applications came in during the school’s early action cycle.
Students accepted into UVA are known for their achievement, and the vast majority (67% of the class of 2025) hail from Virginia.
UVA accepted barely under 20% of applicants for the 2021-2022 school year.
The middle 50% ranged between 690-750 on the Evidence-based Reading & Writing section of the SAT and 700-780 on the Math section.
University of Virginia EA & ED Decision Date
Early Decision applicants can anticipate an admission decision arriving by December 15, while Early Action applicants will hear from the Office of Admissions by February 15.
These dates are in comparison to April 1 for a Regular Decision notification date.
Candidates in the Early Decision/Early Action cycle will receive one of three decisions: admit, deny, or defer.
If an applicant is deferred, their application will be moved to the Regular Decision applicant pool and reviewed once the candidate has submitted their Mid-Year Report.
Students admitted in the Early Decision cycle must submit their initial enrollment deposit by January 1.
In contrast, Early Action admits have significantly more time to decide if they wish to enroll at UVA. Their initial deposits are due May 1.
Once an applicant has received a letter of admission, it is a good time to weigh one’s financial options.
One of the benefits of applying Early Decision/Early Action is having more time to budget for expenses and apply for scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid.
For first-year in-state students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, the 2022-2023 tuition and fees at UVA are estimated to cost $14,878.
For out-of-state students, that amount increases to $50,348. Fortunately, UVA is known for its generous financial aid packages.
In 2022, The Princeton Review ranked UVA the “#1 Best Public College Financial Aid Package.”
UVA Early Action & Early Decision Deadline
Early Decision and Early Action applicants have until November 1 to submit their applications.
November 8 marks the deadline for materials submitted by teachers and guidance counselors, which we will discuss in an upcoming section.
If students are interested in receiving a financial aid package, they must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile by March 1.
There are no negotiations or excuses when it comes to their boundary.
Students must submit both of these forms by the deadline to be considered for financial aid by the University of Virginia – the only materials that may be submitted after March 1 are tax returns.
Early Decision and Early Action admits can expect to receive a summary of their proposed financial aid package sometime in early April.
This deadline marks a distinction between applying Early Decision versus Early Action.
Early Decision candidates, if accepted, essentially make the first tuition payments before knowing if they will receive a financial aid award.
Alternatively, Early Action admits have until May 1 to submit their initial deposit, so they have a few weeks between learning their financial aid packages and the deadline to make their initial deposit.
Many students rely on financial assistance to attend college. If you are enthusiastic about attending UVA and covering tuition costs does not pose an obstacle, we recommend applying for Early Decision.
However, if your ability to attend UVA is contingent upon the financial aid package amount, we recommend applying for Early Action.
UVA Early Action & Early Decision Deferral Rate
The University of Virginia’s EA & ED deferral rate is 4%.
About 18% of applicants (8,690 students) were offered a place on the waiting list, up from last year’s 17%.
Barely more than half (4,924 students) accepted an invitation to the waitlist. A mere 86 students represent the 4% of deferred students offered admission.
Therefore, it is safe to say that the odds of gaining acceptance from the deferral list are unlikely.
UVA’s waitlist is divided into ten “buckets,” including an in-state and out-of-state bucket for each of the schools’ five main academic concentrations.
After budgeting for the projected number of students enrolling from both the Early Decision and Early Action cycles, UVA has a better idea of how many additional students they can accept in each school.
Students deferred during the Early Decision and Early Action cycles will be reviewed with Regular Decision applicants.
Applications are deferred for various reasons; most commonly, the school wishes to confirm that the applicant maintains a certain standard of performance throughout their senior year of high school.
If deferred, Early Decision applicants have until January 15 to inform UVA that they wish to be reconsidered during the Regular Decision review. Deferred Early Action students have until February 15 to accept their spots in the Regular Decision pool.
Candidates are asked to refrain from sending additional information or letters of recommendation at this time, with new SAT or ACT scores being the only exception.
All deferred and Regular Decision applicants will receive their final admission decisions no later than April 1.
How to Apply to UVA for Early Action or Early Decision
Early Decision and Early Action applicants may apply to one of five schools at the University of Virginia.
Most choose to apply to the College of Arts & Sciences, while others select from the School of Architecture, Engineering, Nursing, or Kinesiology.
Outside of the Kinesiology program, admitted students are not required to declare a major until the end of their first or second year.
In addition to submitting an online application and application fee, Early Decision and Early Action applicants should also submit a secondary school report and a teacher evaluation.
Both materials may be submitted online. The first should include the school profile, the applicant’s official transcript(s), and an optional counselor recommendation letter.
UVA realizes that not all applicants are in a position where a guidance counselor can personally attest to their aptitudes and personal qualities.
In these cases, the teacher recommendation is more compelling, and the school permits an administrator or additional teacher to write a letter in place of the guidance counselor.
The University of Virginia is extending its test-optional policy into the Fall 2023 admission cycle, which means that Early Decision and Early Action applicants are not required to submit their SAT or ACT scores.
The admissions committee will consider official scores if submitted on behalf of the applicant, but there is no disadvantage to not submitting test scores.
One interesting component of the application process is the option to take a gap year. In-state applicants placed on the waitlist for the College of Arts and Sciences have the opportunity to attend UVA-Wise for one year.
As long as they earn 30 credits and maintain a 3.0 GPA, they can transfer to the Charlottesville campus to complete their degrees.
Early Decision or Early Action candidates may also request consideration for a gap year. Any student requesting this will need to share a draft gap year plan.
Students must pay their initial enrollment deposit on time and complete a gap year form by July 1 – they should receive approval or denial of their request within two weeks.