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March 31, 2014
Mythbusters: The Wait List
Tom Nicholas

Well, we had another highly competitive year for admission and, as is always the case, we had many more qualified applicants than we have space for in our class. Those of you who have been offered a spot on the wait list are students whom we believe are fully qualified and would contribute greatly to our campus but for whom we don’t, given our size limitations, have space at present. Selective admission is a difficult process for us, as we try to select a class from among many strong, similarly-qualified applicants.

March 3, 2014
Mythbusters: Predicting College Admission
Tom Nicholas

One of the most frustrating myths about the application process to those of us at selective institutions is the notion that admission can be predicted. From students asking about GPA and standardized test ranges all the time, to the “chancing” that goes on in certain online forums, to the frustration of many who match our profile but aren’t admitted and can’t understand why, there’s a lot of misunderstanding about just what it is we do. This isn't an accusation; I understand what a stressful and anxious process this is for students. You want to know what your chances are. And we try to make the admission process as transparent as possible, but there comes a point in selective admission when the process is just opaque — you can’t predict it.

July 17, 2013
Mythbusters: Increasing Your Chances of Admission
Tom Nicholas

“How can I improve my chances of admission?” I usually start to hear that question around this time of year. By October, I’m hearing it on an almost daily basis. It’s understandable that this is one of the most common questions we get from high school seniors beginning the application process – guidebooks, web searches, and the media would have you believe that there are a myriad of hidden tricks that can significantly boost your odds of getting in (if you could just figure out what they are).

May 15, 2013
Mythbusters: Rankings and Guides
Tom Nicholas

College rankings tend to be a pretty hot topic, for a myriad of reasons. Year after year, the national media runs stories and op-eds calling attention to the rankings and their controversial nature. Philosophically, universities and admission offices often struggle with how to react to rankings (as you’d expect, colleges will tend to boast about rankings when they’re favorable and ignore or decry them when they’re not). But I’m more interested in the practical. Should you use rankings in your college search/decision-making process? If so, how, and to what extent? That’s what we’ll be mythbusting today. If I have time, I'll also include a subsequent post with some specific examples I frequently encounter.

March 20, 2012
Mythbusters: Selecting a Class
Tom Nicholas

One of the most exciting (and daunting) tasks that admission offices face is selecting or creating a class. Each year, admission committees at selective colleges across the country are tasked with reviewing and considering thousands of applications in order to create a unique, exciting, and well-rounded incoming class for the next year.

Tom NicholasTom Nicholas
Senior Assistant Director of Admission 


A Richmond alumnus (Class of 2007), Tom has been working and blogging for the Office of Admission since he graduated. He loves his alma mater and the city that shares its name.

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Beth Anne SpachtBeth Anne Spacht
Assistant Director of Admission


Beth Anne was a double major at Richmond (English and Latin American & Iberian Studies) and now enjoys helping prospective students discover the best of her alma mater.

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The University of Richmond is a highly ranked liberal arts university offering an extraordinary combination of the liberal arts with law, business, leadership studies, and continuing education. The university is consistently named a best value in higher education by leading publications.

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