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Regular Decision Admission and Merit Scholarships

By Tom Nicholas

March 18, 2019

Guest Post by Charlie Broaddus, Admission Counselor

On March 14, to commemorate #NationalSpiderDay (yes, we have the only mascot bold enough to compete with a day dedicated to pi(e)!), Regular Decision letters left the Office of Admission on their way to thousands of applicants waiting to hear from us in our final round of admission for the year.

As was the case last year, this year’s applicant pool was the largest in Richmond’s history. We received over 12,300 applications in total — a record high for the third consecutive year and 500 more applicants than we had last year. It’s difficult to quantify all of the ways in which this pool was exceptionally qualified — its breadth of talent and diversity, the strength of applicants’ grades and curricula, the depth of essays and extracurricular activities. By the numbers alone, the SAT and ACT scores and GPAs we saw this year made the 2019 applicant pool the strongest academically that Richmond has ever seen. Stay tuned for an updated admission profile later this summer.

Students admitted — not just in Regular Decision, but in the Early Action and Early Decision rounds as well — are to be commended on their extraordinary accomplishment. The New Spiders website is your one-stop shop for everything that comes next, from admitted student open houses (we hope to see you on campus soon!) to the day you arrive for orientation in August.

Students offered a place on the wait list are, by and large, equally qualified and talented students whom we would love to admit but simply didn’t have the space to accommodate. You can check out this (older but still very relevant) blog post for some insight into the wait list process; for now, I’ll just note that the single most important thing for interested students to do is to reply to our offer by filling out the wait list response form by April 15.

Our final Presidential Scholarship offers for the year were sent within select Regular Decision admission packets. And since the Richmond Scholars program recently notified recipients, this means all of our major four-year merit scholarships have been awarded (a few smaller scholarships, such as the Bonner Scholars program, have yet to be awarded). Just as competition for admission was particularly strong this year, competition for our merit scholarships was exponentially greater. While Richmond is pleased to award a variety of merit scholarships, keep in mind that our offers are concentrated in a smaller number of larger-value awards (Presidential Scholarships offer one-third tuition, while Richmond Scholars receive a full ride). We don’t award merit scholarships to a large percentage of our applicants; approximately 1 in 9 students on campus has a merit scholarship.

We sometimes hear from students who feel that the lack of a merit scholarship means Richmond “isn’t really interested in me.” With some colleges awarding as many as 70% to 90% of their admitted students some form of small merit scholarship, this feeling is understandable. But Richmond is a relatively small and highly selective college, where we don’t have the space to accommodate thousands of well-qualified applicants for admission, much less merit scholarship, each year. So if you’re feeling that way, allow me to be blunt: your admission to Richmond, especially in this extraordinarily competitive year, is our way of telling you that we’d love to see you become a Spider.

And you can rest assured that Richmond will afford you a breadth of educational, experiential, and career opportunities — funding included — in ways that few colleges do. We'll explore these opportunities more deeply in an upcoming blog post.

Congratulations to the admitted class of 2023!

Tags: Application Process

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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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