How Holistic is UVA

Based on what my friends say and some personal internet research I’ve repeatedly heard that of the elite public schools UVA is one of the least holistic schools in the nation.

I’m an in-state student from a very competitive HS with a 1430/32 which is about avg for UVA but I have a 3.4 GPA which is like a full point below their average. I have a very solid set of EC’s, essays and teacher recommendations (I hope at least) though.

Based on their weird essay topics it would seem to me that they do care about the softer parts of an application. But literally everyone I’ve talked to strongly disagrees.

What do you think, is it even worth applying?

Sounds like you already know you shouldn’t get college counseling from your friends…you have a school counselor for that! Where have you done the rest of your research? I’m happy to talk to anyone who is putting out incorrect information.

We are not a data-drive school and if you read my blog (15 years of posts!), follow me on social, and participate in my weekly, live q&as, you’ll see me explain that GPAs don’t provide the amount of detail we need to make a decision and four hours of a flawed test will never overshadow the other parts of the application. I say it so much that I’m sure some of my followers are tired of hearing it! :slight_smile:

I’m not sure what “elite public schools” includes, but every admission office is given different priorities by their leadership. You can’t group us all together.

ETA some blog posts that might be helpful.

  1. The old “what does holistic mean” post from 2014: Notes from Peabody: The UVA Application Process: What Does Holistic Admission Mean?
  2. Course Rigor is not a Number from a October: Notes from Peabody: The UVA Application Process: Course Rigor is Not a Number in the #UVA Admission Process
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