The best choices are made with accurate information.

Sometimes, however, prospective students have misconceptions that cloud the process of applying for admission to the University.

The Alumni Association’s Admission Liaison Program, in conjunction with the Office of Admission, begins a series this issue to address questions and dispel myths so that students and parents will have “just the facts” about the University.

Will admission be more competitive now that UVA has decided to drop the Early Decision program?

“That is unlikely to be the case,” says John A. Blackburn, dean of admission.

The ED program was discontinued because few students with financial need applied for it. In some years, as much as 35 percent of a class would be filled through early decisions, but only one or two low-income students would be in the group.

“Our decision to change the process opens up all 3,170 first-year places to all candidates,” Blackburn says.

All students accepted in the ED program planned to attend the University. Now, to fill the first-year class, there will be more offers because some applicants will decide to enroll elsewhere.

“Because of the quality and depth of our applicant pool, however, we are confident that there will not be any change in the credentials of the students we accept,” Blackburn says.

In the past, some students accepted in the ED program let their grades slide, resulting in their admission being canceled. “We are far less likely to see this among regular decision applicants,” Blackburn says, “because one of the credentials we always have is the first-semester grade report.

“It will be interesting to see if dropping ED leads to fewer cancellations this summer.”