UVA Wise Sets Admissions Application Records Again This Year

Record number of applications 6380

Go Cavs Go. 

For the second year in a row, more students sought to become a Highland Cavalier than ever before. 

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise received nearly 6,400 applications for fall 2024 admission. That’s almost double last year’s number which set a record for the past two decades.

Logan Smith, UVA Wise student government association president, says he’s seen a significant increase in campus activity, including students getting involved on campus, since he first started college during Covid. 

“There is definitely a bigger sense of community and pride to be a Highland Cavalier. The campus is a lot more fun and a fun campus means happy students,” said Smith.

Even though the College is growing, UVA Wise has a small tight-knit community, he said. 

“UVA Wise is a place where you get one-on-one connections with faculty, staff—even the Chancellor—that you can’t do elsewhere. And everyone is always willing to lend a helping hand,” Smith said. 

There’s been a lot of momentum on UVA Wise’s 396-acre campus. This spring, UVA Wise opened its $16.6 million, 28,500-square-foot renovated Don R. Pippin & John C. Wyllie Hall, a nursing education center to expand nurse training at the school and health-care coverage across Southwest Virginia. The new facility offers classrooms, three skilled-nursing labs, two simulations labs, four examination rooms, group study rooms, offices and a large lecture hall.

“This affirms the College’s growing reputation as a higher education destination location. With great upgraded facilities and enhanced access and affordability to a high-quality education, the best kept secret seems to be out,” said UVA Wise Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Jeffrey Baylor. “Our beautiful mountain campus is ready to welcome more soon-to-be Cavs this fall.”

With the new Little Cavaliers Early Learning Center, UVA Wise now offers educational opportunities from pre-school to graduate school delivering on the College’s strategic plan, “A College For Your Lifetime,” Baylor said.

This spring, UVA Wise student athletes played on new artificial turf softball and baseball fields.

And more prospective students are discovering the College nestled in the heart of Appalachia, applying from 50 states this year—including Hawaii, Wyoming, Delaware, Oregon, Arizona and Kansas.

A total of 2,776 Virginians applied, the most ever to seek entrance to the College in Virginia’s far Southwest corner.

Outside of Virginia, the most represented states are nearby North Carolina and Tennessee which had 430 and 284 applicants respectively. Both significantly increased from last year and North Carolina’s applications more than doubled.

The Appalachian region has a big showing in the applicant pool. In 2018, the College announced a significantly reduced tuition rate for students living within the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) territory, which includes mountainous, rural counties ranging from New York to Mississippi.

This year, 1,841 students applied from ARC counties in North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Mississippi, West Virginia, South Carolina and Kentucky. That’s three times last year’s applications from the ARC. 

UVA Wise is welcoming an accomplished class with the average grade point average of students who have confirmed attending in the fall is 3.87 out of a 4.0 average. The average GPA of all students who were accepted is 3.76.

There has never been a better or more affordable time to attend the College. Over the past year, 15 newly established scholarships have been created to help students seeking degrees. 

“These scholarships mean so much to me. They are letting me chase my passion of working in the medical field,” said Elisa Dowling, of Fairfax, Va., who is pursuing a psychology major and public health, sociology and music minors. “I have a lot less to worry about and can really focus on my studies. I also don’t have to worry about the financial burden of school being placed on me or my family.”

Smith, a first-generation student, didn’t have guidance about applying to college. He had planned on community college and perhaps later transferring to a four-year college until two of his friends who attended UVA Wise convinced him otherwise.

“They begged me to come and not delay coming to a four-year college. They told me to come here, get involved and engaged and start learning, networking and making those important connections that I would miss,” Smith said. 

Smith, of Cleveland, Va., said it was a great decision. 

“I was blessed with so many opportunities like SGA and serving on the College Board and other leadership positions I would have not gotten anywhere else. It’s led to amazing connections and life-long friends. Who knows what would have been my journey if I didn’t start here?” 

Scholarships also helped Smith attend debt-free and have more opportunity. 

“I didn’t have to constantly work a part-time job and that allowed me to develop more as a leader and hone those skills that matter to my career,” said Smith who will graduate this month and will attend Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Dentistry in the fall.

New students can take advantage of a new hospitality and tourism major and Master’s of Education with a concentration in library media in fall 2024. Applicants’ most expressed interest in majors in nursing, computer science and business.

Admitted students next steps are to confirm their intent to attend in fall, begin the orientation process and sign up for campus housing.

“I would encourage students not to hesitate. We are here to help every step of the way. The quicker they get started the easier the move from high school to college will be,” Baylor. “With the increased numbers this year, there’s no time to wait on housing.”

For more information, visit www.uvawise.edu/admissions.