UVa to Accept All VCCS Applicants

PVCC students have long been told that there’s an unofficial standard of UVa accepting all applicants who have completed the “transfer module,” the set of courses that UVa wants to see transfer students have under their belts. Now the schools have made it official—UVa will guarantee admission to any Virginia Community College System student that meets a basic set of requirements, Melanie Mayhew reports in today’s Progress. Those requirements include a 3.4 GPA, a grade of C or better in every course, and 54 transferrable credits distributed among seven types of courses.

This is a part of a statewide restructuring of higher education, so that more students can start off at a less-expensive community college before moving on to a four-year university. It saves students money, it saves colleges money, and it saves the state money. One likely effect will be students that would otherwise have started at a state university choosing to spend their first two years at their local community college, and those community colleges will need to have their capacity increased accordingly.

11 thoughts on “UVa to Accept All VCCS Applicants”

  1. In response to this new policy, the first of the inevitable letters to the editor from disgruntled UVa students has arrived.

    In a nutshell, the writer thinks the new policy rewards “lazy high school student[s]” who will coast through high school, go to a CC for two years (where the academic rigor is “suboptimal”), and then breeze into UVa where they will dilute the value of this fine young man’s degree.

    Poor thing. Sounds to me like he’s got a winning lawsuit on his hands! Diluting the value of his hard-earned, formerly prestigious degree, and all.

  2. Funny to see Cecil’s comment here. I just wrote about this alum’s letter to the CD.

    According to his facebook account, he goes to law school at George Mason and is active in politics. I don’t think I should go on. I’d be breaking that “if you don’t have something nice to say” rule.

  3. The author of the letter to the Daily Cavalier, one Jeremy Williams, takes the new policy as a “slap to the face”.

    Hmmm… a slap to the face. That seems just about the right penalty for Mr. Williams’ elitist arrogance.

  4. How very odd that any educated person would believe in the ability of the current university admissions system to actually identify the best and the brightest. Why don’t the legacies all flunk out? Are all high schools equal? Does everyone write their own admissions essays? Are all admissions officers brilliant and perspective? How can a student be rejected by some schools and then be very successful in equally respected institions? Does anyone still believe in the ratings game anyhow? I do hope most University of Virginia students are more informed and less egotistic than Mr. Williams.

  5. Gail, I’m surprised you haven’t figured out how things work yet (tongue in cheek, tongue in cheek): when you get accepted to a school, it’s meritocracy in action; when anyone else does, it’s lowering standards or meeting quotas. That’s the general thinking among most of the traditonal admits.

    Seriously, the university helps to encourage that sense of selectivity, that merit has been rewarded; students are rarely flat out told what a random and/or biased crapshoot the whole thing is.

    I give major kudos to the university to committing so clearly to the mission of broadening access to the university, so that you DON’T have to be (a) rich or (b) a National Merit Scholar to gain admission to UVa. I think the public is better served by an institution that makes its amazing resources more broadly available.

  6. The percentage of students on need-based aid is lower than the national average, but I wouldn’t say that means UVA students are rich. Does this perception (that they’re rich) extend beyond Charlottesville?

    Perhaps my view is different because I came here last summer after years in Boston, where the students who look like Abercrombie and JCrew commercials aren’t considered rich (maybe because there are others who shop at Neimans and live in nicer apartments off campus than the average faculty member).

    Perhaps my view is also different because my colleagues and I spent part of our recruitment season in counties where the median household income hovers in the low 30s.

    Anyway, I think we’re all in agreement. Articulation agreements are good, Jeremy Williams is in need of a wake up call. I have a feeling some smart, VCCS transfer will give it to him in the next issue of the CD.

  7. Cecil, I think you are completely right about the mindset of the Jeremy Williams types-I plead guilty to being naive in my previous comment. Still, I cling to my quaint notion that the value one takes away from any education is in knowledge and skills gained, and professional and personal relationships established. If you are very lucky, perhaps you also have a long list of books to read in your postgrad years, and a lot of unanswered questions to keep you humble and curious.

  8. People are way too hung up on the “prestige” of their university, as if that’s the only thing that matters after four years–what is the name of the school on your diploma.

    I believe, and I think studies are bearing this out, that graduating from one of the tippy-top most elite institutions isn’t making a big enough difference, success-wise, to justify the cost (of the private elites–UVa is a bargain compared to them). It seems to be the case that “college” is the key factor, not “this college v. that college.” No matter where you go, you’ll learn things of value, have valuable experiences, and make valuable contacts/friends.

  9. I support the articulation agreement with VCCS. This agreement opens doors for lower-income students — doors that have been rapidly closing over the past several decades. UVa is the least socioeconomically diverse public flagship in the nation, and this agreement will help remedy that unfortunate situation. Also, we should keep in mind that this articulation agreement was a result of the Higher Ed Restructuring Agreement. As UVa has just secured more autonomy from the state, the state had a right and obligation to make certain that UVa did not permanently turn its back on less privileged students.

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