Campus half-empty or campus half-full

Virginia colleges have a distinct history of over-acceptance


With the amount of Virginia high school students applying to schools, colleges have been forced to address the over-acceptance crisis (Photo by Colleen Sherry)

Nate Jones, Reporter

It’s no mystery that Fairfax County has a record of producing high school students with big aspirations; many of whom go on to attend staple Virginia colleges like University of Virginia, William & Mary, or Virginia Tech.

However, Virginia Tech and University of Virginia have both admitted too many students into their school at least once over the past few years. The problem primarily stems from the fact that too often colleges incorrectly project their yield rate (how many students will accept their offer of admission) to be lower than the turnout; resulting in the school failing to accommodate an unexpected surplus of first-years.

The biggest problem with over admitting is the housing for the students and the size of the classes.  

“There are only a certain number of dorm rooms, and with the influx of freshmen this year, Virginia Tech found itself unable to accommodate every new student” Virginia Tech freshmen Valerie Templin said. Due to the fact that Virginia Tech over-admitted for the Class of 23, they must now put students in the campus hotel or in student centers. 

“Classes like English first writing requirement is supposed to be less than 18 students to foster discussion and active participation by all students. Over admission would enlarge these classes making them less interactive and more lecture based,” University of Virginia freshmen Maddie Jones said.

Not only are students not getting the full effect of interaction with other students, teachers aren’t either; they are unable to interact with each student individually and some schools don’t have enough teachers for the number of students they have.  

“I do, however, have large classes, one of which has over 600 students,” Templin said.

Students having classes with more than 600 classmates means that the student is not getting the best education he or she could be getting. The teacher will most likely never be able to interact with the students one on one, so if the student is ever not feeling like they are doing well in the class they would not be able to get the help necessary to complete the course.  

“Virginia schools in particular will accept fewer students this upcoming year, as they will try to overcorrect the first-year surplus,” Templin said. This additionally presents an obstacle to applicants this year, as the acceptance rate will drastically decrease to avoid making the same mistake.

“[I will be] applying to the right schools,” senior Stevie Morgan said. 

Since schools will most likely be forced to accept fewer students this year, students will have to understand where to apply to have the best chance of getting in and understanding that some schools might not be able to take as many students as they normally can.