Richmond Scholars Semi-Finalists, and Happy Holidays!

For all students who applied by December 1 for Richmond Scholars consideration, following is an update on the process and where we go from here. But first, I want to wish everyone happy holidays on behalf of Richmond’s Office of Admission! The University will be closing this afternoon at 5:00 and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 3. If you have any urgent admission questions, we’ll be ready to answer them first thing when we return; for now, we need to rest up for the marathon that awaits us when we return: selecting a class. Be sure to read the Don’t Freak Out post if you’re worried about the completeness of your application.

As in past years, we’re planning to select between 400 and 500 semi-finalists for the Richmond Scholars program; we received upwards of 5400 applications by the December 1 deadline, so, as always, there will be many difficult decisions for the admission and faculty committees to make. Please, as always, keep in mind that our applicant pool is not distributed the way your high school is; the vast majority of our applicants come from the top 20% of their high school class, have excellent standardized testing scores, and are leaders in their school communities. Our faculty are looking for the best among these best – the students who go way above and beyond this baseline, academically and personally – and no student advances based solely on strong academics.

As for the process, we notify semi-finalists in batches, via the e-mail address provided on your application, from mid-December through mid- to late January. Some of you may have already received notification, as our first batch went out last week. Each batch is given a unique deadline by which to submit additional semi-finalist materials – generally about 2 or 3 weeks’ time. If you’re wondering why we do this whole process in such a segmented way, it’s because Richmond Scholars consideration is intensive and takes a lot of time. We won’t be able to review all December 1 applicants until near the end of January, but the committees need to begin reviewing semi-finalists at the beginning of January in order to stay on pace, so we notify semi-finalists as we go along. The order in which your application is read and/or moves on to the semi-finalist stage has no bearing on its consideration; this order is also pretty random, so don’t try to extrapolate too much based on dates.

We only notify semi-finalists, so students who do not advance will not be notified but will continue to be considered for admission, a process that occurs primarily in February and March along with all January 15 Regular Decision applicants. If you don’t hear from us by the end of January, it’s safe to assume you have not advanced in the Richmond Scholars process. Keep in mind, though, that there are a variety of other scholarships (not to mention need-based aid) still up for grabs; Richmond Scholars is only one program among many we offer.

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