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University of Virginia 2016 Essay Prompts and Profile

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UVa College SpotlightThe University of Virginia has become an increasingly respected and popular academic institution over the past decade, and it’s easy to see why. This distinguished public university, located in Charlottesville, Virginia was founded by none other than United States president Thomas Jefferson. The Jeffersonian architectural influence is especially evident when visiting The UVa campus and The Rotunda, a building located in the heart of campus, was designed by Jefferson himself! If the beautiful neo-classical architecture is not enough to convince you to check out UVa, then maybe its focus on academics, research, community involvement and leadership will. Students agree that the faculty is highly dedicated to the success of their students and there is a wide array of academic programs offered, which makes UVa a great choice for students from all backgrounds and with a variety of future aspirations. In addition, the University of Virginia has a strong reputation for encouraging undergraduate research through its UNLEASH research program, which allows undergraduate students to apply to faculty research projects. UVa also places a strong emphasis on community by hosting campus-wide service projects, and offering a variety of clubs and organizations and NCAA Division I sports for students to get involved in. Not convinced?  Maybe the school’s emphasis on student self governance, an initiative developed to make students into better leaders, will push you over the edge.

Basic Stats

  • Number of undergrads: 16,483
  • Student/faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Acceptance rate: 29%
  • SAT/ACT required: Yes
  • Coalition or Common App: Both
  • Early Action Deadline: November 1st
  • Regular Application Deadline: January 1st

Digging to the Details

School Mission Statement

The University of Virginia’s mission statement is as follows:

“The University of Virginia is a public institution of higher learning guided by a founding vision of discovery, innovation, and development of the full potential of talented students from all walks of life. It serves the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world by developing responsible citizen leaders and professionals; advancing, preserving, and disseminating knowledge; and providing world-class patient care.

We are defined by:

  • Our enduring commitment to a vibrant and unique residential learning  environment marked by the free and collegial exchange of ideas;
  • Our unwavering support of a collaborative, diverse community bound together by distinctive foundational values of honor, integrity, trust, and respect;
  • Our universal dedication to excellence and affordable access.”

Coolest School Traditions

The Lawn

It is an honor for a student to live in a room on the coveted “Lawn”. Available to fourth and fifth year undergraduate students, there is a serious process that goes into selecting who gets to live in these rooms. A panel of students is responsible for choosing peers whose high academic performance and service to the University make them deserving of residency. It’s nice when studying up and contributing to campus has extra perks!

Student Self-Governance

Students at UVa are encouraged to make decisions that directly affect campus life. The University Judiciary Committee, Honor Committee, Student Council, and Lawn Selection Committee are just a few of the student-governed boards responsible for important decision-making. Get involved and be part of the change-making!

Secret Societies

Among UVa’s student body walk members of secret societies. Some of the more organizations include the Seven Society, IMPs, Zs, 21, Thirteen, P.U.M.P.K.I.N., T.I.L.K.A., Rotunda Burning, Purple Shadows, and Eli Banana. Students are “tapped” to become members based on achievement and member preference. Creepy or cool? You decide.

Most Popular Academic Programs



Biology/Biological Sciences

International Relations and Affairs


Social Media

Remember what we said about stalking your top choice schools on social media? Well, UVa is totally worth adding to that list. They maintain a frequently updated Facebook and Twitter page to keep you in the loop on admissions and happenings at UVa. In addition, their Instagram is not only filled with important information pertaining to student life and other campus happenings, but their admissions Instagram is speckled with photo’s of the Dean of Admissions’ two adorable dogs! So, if you’re not in it for the academics, at least check it out for the friendly pets.

University Facebook

Admissions Facebook

University Twitter

Admissions Twitter

University Instagram

Admissions Instagram

So what do you have to so to apply to this awesome school? Answer the prompts below (in addition to your personal statement, of course).

Essay Prompts


*Essay 1 (~250 words): Answer the question pertaining to the school to which you are applying. 

College of Arts and Sciences: What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences: If you were given funding for a small engineering project that would make everyday life better for one friend or family member, what would you do?

Kinesiology Program: Discuss experiences that led you to choose the kinesiology major.

School of Nursing: Discuss experiences that led you to choose the School of Nursing.

School of Architecture: Describe an instance or place where you have been inspired by architecture or design.

*Essay 2 (~250 words): Choose 1/4. 

  • Essay Option 1: What’s your favorite word and why?
  • Essay Option 2: We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are.
  • Essay Option 3: Student self-governance, which encourages student investment and initiative, is a hallmark of the UVA culture. In her fourth year at UVA, Laura Nelson was inspired to create Flash Seminars, one-time classes which facilitate high-energy discussion about thought-provoking topics outside of traditional coursework. If you created a Flash Seminar, what idea would you explore and why?
  • Essay Option 4: UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?

Read on about the University of Virginia prompts right now! And don’t be afraid to reach out if you need additional instruction — we’re here to help!

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