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Admissions Director Reveals Record Darden Round 1 Results, Encourages Round 3 Applicants

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Sara Neher, who heads admissions for the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, took to her video blog a few weeks ago to share details about Round 1 results, talk about Round 2, which was then still underway, and encourage applicants considering Round 3 to apply.

“We are very excited about those of you who have paid a deposit and decided to come to Darden,” she said in the February 29th post. The group is very diverse, she continued, including students from Chile to China, Indonesia to Finland and all over the United States.

Record Darden Round 1 Results in Terms of Women Choosing to Come to Charlottesville
She also shared that the group that had committed so far as part of Round 1 was 43 percent women. Bearing in mind that later rounds could cause that number to shift up or down, it is well above last year’s entering class, which was 35 percent female. In a conversation with Clear Admit last summer, Neher indicated that improving gender equity in the MBA class—and diversity in general—was an important goal of hers, but that change had come slower than she hoped. “We couldn’t be more excited about all of those things and hope that those of you applying in Round 2 will want to join them,” she said in the post sharing the Round 1 results.

record Darden Round 1 resultsIn the weeks since Neher’s post, hundreds of applicants have flocked to MBA LiveWire to share their fate as part of Round 2. Consortium applicants began reporting offers of admission in early March, followed by a flood of acceptances last Tuesday and Wednesday. For those who are curious, here’s a little of what LiveWire data told us about those who shared their Darden Round 2 admissions decisions:

For those who shared Round 2 admissions decisions via LiveWire, the average reported GPA for those accepted was 3.44 and the average GMAT was 715. Those waitlisted reported the exact same average GMAT score, 715, but a slightly lower average GPA, 3.36. Those who didn’t get in had a lower average GMAT score, 698, but the average GPA for rejected Round 2 applicants, at 3.43, was actually very close to the average for those who gained admission and higher than the average for those placed on the waitlist. That some of these stats were so close across groups certainly suggests that other elements of the application process—essay, interview, recommendations—play a significant role in determining who makes the final cut.

Because LiveWire data is subject to selection bias—meaning that those who get in are far more likely to share the news than those who don’t—admission rates can be misleading. But it is worth noting that students reporting acceptances outnumbered those who were waitlisted by a factor of 4.25.

Acceptances and Scholarship Money Still to Come in Round 3
It’s also not too late to apply in Round 3—Darden’s final deadline is Friday, April 8th. “I expect we’ll have more scholarship funding available for Round 3 than we have in the past, so I encourage you to apply I you are still trying to decide,” Neher said.

She also reminded applicants that Darden provides feedback to those who don’t get in. “At Darden, we give everybody personalized feedback over Skype or the phone,” she says. “So if the worst happens and you don’t get in you actually will still get feedback from an admissions committee member about how to improve your application for the following year.”

View Neher’s complete video blog.