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Early Action Decisions

By Tom Nicholas

January 19, 2018

To all Early Action applicants: It’s official. EA decisions have left the building! Keep an eye on your mailbox; we don’t notify online or via email (except for students living outside the United States, who should receive emails within the next week). This means, for most of you, that some good, old-fashioned mailbox stalking may be in order. Letters were sent today via the U.S. Postal Service and will most likely arrive early next week, depending on your distance from Richmond. We know you’re excited to hear from us, but please try not to go postal on the postal service.

This was Richmond’s first year with an Early Action plan, so we weren’t entirely sure what to expect (and we appreciate your patience as we’ve worked out a few small kinks in the process). All told, we received approximately 5,700 applications for EA consideration; and this pool was, to put it simply, the most qualified applicant pool in the University’s history, on virtually every metric. We’ve spent a lot of time – a LOT of time – carefully reviewing applications and thoroughly discussing them over many weeks in the admission committee.

There are three decisions that the admission committee ultimately rendered in Early Action: Admit, Defer, and Decline. Following are a few words to each of those groups.


To all admitted students: Congratulations! Given what I just described, your admission is quite an accomplishment. We are at your disposal in the months ahead, and we hope to see you on campus at one of our admitted student events. Moving forward, the New Spiders website will be your best source of information, both before and after you enroll – from now until you arrive on campus for orientation in August.

If you applied for need-based financial aid, you can expect to receive your aid package, by mail, in early February (assuming your aid application is complete). On the merit-based side, all Presidential Scholarship offers were mailed inside admission packets. The Richmond Scholars committees are still selecting finalists, who will be notified via email by the end of January.


To students whose applications have been deferred into the Regular Decision pool: Take a deep breath and regroup. Again, this was an extremely competitive EA pool; many of our deferred applications would have been very competitive in previous years’ Regular Decision pools. Though we don’t yet have a full picture of this year’s RD pool, we hope to accommodate many deferred students in the near future.

There are a few reasons we defer applications into the RD pool. In the vast majority of cases, the committee simply wants to see these applications in the context of the entire applicant pool. (This is especially true in our first year with EA, when we’re not yet sure what the big picture is going to look like.) In some cases, however, there may be something specific the committee wants to see – for example, your full first semester grades, if your first quarter grades were of concern or if you had a significant dip in your junior year and the committee wants to see a full semester’s recovery. Deferred students should feel free to contact their admission counselor and ask if there’s anything more they can do to improve their application in Regular Decision; just keep in mind that, nine times out of ten, the answer will be no, the committee just wants to review your application in light of the whole applicant pool.

A small number of applications were deferred because a key required piece of the application was missing (test scores, recommendations, the Richmond Question essay, etc.) If that’s the case, you’ll want to ensure you submit the missing document(s) as soon as possible. We do our best to notify students when their applications are incomplete, but it’s ultimately your responsibility to ensure this. Be sure you’re checking MyApp to make sure everything is on file – even if you know that you (or your school) submitted a document, that doesn’t guarantee that we received and fully processed it.

One special note regarding senior year grades: Due to recent inclement weather and school closures in many parts of the country, we released EA decisions this year with or without senior year academic progress on file; no application has been deferred because we were missing senior grades alone. Admitted students without senior grades on file will have their senior progress checked by means of their final transcript this summer; deferred students should be sure to have mid-year grades sent for Regular Decision review, regardless of whether you submitted first quarter/trimester grades.


Students whose applications were declined are students that the committee felt would simply not be competitive in Regular Decision. We’re grateful for your interest in Richmond, but admission is highly selective, and we can only accommodate a small portion of applicants. If your heart remains set on Richmond beyond this admission cycle, we encourage you to consider applying as a transfer student after a successful year at another institution; feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this option or even about what sort of curriculum to pursue in order to make your transfer application more competitive.

Once again, congratulations to all of our EA admits for the Class of 2022! Any other questions? Comment below!

Tags: Application Process Inside the Admission Office

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Tom NicholasTom Nicholas
Associate 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.

Learn more about Tom

Beth Anne SpachtBeth Anne Spacht
Senior 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.

Learn more about Beth Anne

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