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November 2, 2018
A Parent's Perspective on the Admission Process
Beth Anne Spacht

As a 7-year veteran in the world of higher education, I’ve watched many families tackle the college admission process. Parents help their students in very different ways but the one thing they all have in common –the hope that their child will be happy, healthy, and successful.

So, what is the best way for parents to help their students during this momentous time? I am not a parent and do not pretend to understand the complexity of parenting a high school senior on the precipice of one of the biggest investments of time and money in their lifetime. Luckily, I have two uniquely qualified colleagues to dole out advice: Gil Villanueva, Associate Vice President and Dean of Admission; and Marilyn Hesser, Executive Director of Admission. Together, they have a combined 62 years of admission experience. Gil is parent to one college sophomore and one high school student. Marilyn is the parent of three young adults.

October 29, 2018
Answers to Your Toughest Questions About Richmond
Beth Anne Spacht

I’m fairly new to our Office of Admission, but as a Richmond grad, I thought it would be pretty easy to answer students’ questions. And sometimes it was – questions about student life, the City of Richmond, or UR sports teams were some of my favorite. Other questions weren’t so easy. They got at the heart of what it’s like to be a student at Richmond, but required a lot of thought for me to answer.

Here are three of the toughest questions I heard this fall, and my honest responses.

September 21, 2018
Take a Wrong Turn (And Other Lessons Learned from the Road of Recruitment)
Beth Anne Spacht

Today marks week three of seven on the road of recruitment travel. My life is perpetually packed into a 14 x 22” carry-on, my waistline is suffering from a diet of Oats and Honey granola bars and vanilla mint Tic Tacs, and my distaste for airport travel is only counteracted by the fleeting moments of joy found following TSA on Instagram (an unexpectedly amazing account).

After seven seasons of admission travel, you might wonder why I stick with this job. The reality is that the travel isn’t glamorous, nor is the paycheck large. But each and every year, I am motivated by the possibility of meeting future Spiders who will challenge my way of thinking, reveal new opportunities for empathy, and inspire the ambition I see so prevalent on our campus.

And along the way, I’ve developed a few pieces of advice. Call them words of wisdom or mere musings of an admission counselor. But for what it’s worth, here’s my personal philosophy on how to approach the college search.

September 7, 2018
"How's Your Biology Program?" (And Other Not So Awesome Questions)
Tom Nicholas

We’re still awaiting cooler fall weather here in Richmond, but our students have returned to campus! That also means that our Admission Officers are gearing up to hit the road and visit your high school, college fair, or your neighborhood coffee shop for a quick Spider Chat. Whether you are a senior polishing your admission essay or a junior starting the college search process, fall is a great time to make connections with your admission officer at the University of Richmond and other colleges you might be applying to this fall.

August 30, 2018
UR: Small College, Big Sports
Tom Nicholas

If you know anything about the University of Richmond, it’s probably that we’re a highly selective liberal arts school... but our 17 Division I sports teams are the real deal, too.

July 13, 2018
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).

June 29, 2018
Top 5 Reasons to Start Your Essays Early
Beth Anne Spacht

There’s no time like the present. The early bird catches the worm. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Just do it.

We dole out advice frequently and exhaustively throughout the college search process. And I mean the collective We – teachers, counselors, admission professionals, classmates, friends, family, and strangers who find out that you are a high school senior. Whether helpful or not, offering advice is what we [Admission] do.

So here are our top 5 reasons to start working on your college essays early.

April 13, 2018
Hidden College Costs
Tom Nicholas

Admission decisions are out, the long months of anticipation are over, and it is finally time for our newly admitted students to choose a college home. The ball is in your court, future Spiders! Here are a couple of the most common areas you might find yourself accruing unwanted financial add-ons over the next four years – and, more importantly, how Richmond subsidizes many of these extra costs for our students.

March 20, 2018
Regular Decision Admission and Merit Scholarships
Tom Nicholas

On Friday, Regular Decision letters left the Office of Admission, en route to thousands of applicants waiting to hear from us in our final round of admission for the year.

February 26, 2018
Richmond's Statement on Peaceful Protests
Tom Nicholas

In light of recent and ongoing national events, the following statement was released yesterday by the University of Richmond via the @urichmond Twitter account:

"In recent weeks, we have all shared in the heartbreak of the devastating loss of life at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and we are all wondering what might be done to stem the tide of gun violence that has taken many young lives.  What we know we can do right now is to ensure that those who choose to peaceably participate in civic protests regarding gun violence will not be impacted negatively in any way in the admissions process to the University of Richmond. We all seek a better way."

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.

Learn more about Tom


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.

Learn more about Beth Anne

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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