Class of 2021 : Most competitive admissions cycle in University history


Courtesy of Chris Deucher/The Villanovan

Austin Hall: the home of the Office of University Admission

Chris Deucher

As the summer of 2017 comes to an end, we welcome the class of 2021 to campus.  The incoming class features a record number of applicants—21,109—with a targeted admitted freshman class at 1,670 students.  The University’s acceptance rate dropped from 43.5 percent last year to an all-time Villanova low 35.9 percent this year.

“This unprecedented record interest representing a 22 percent increase can be attributed to many factors—being listed along with the very best on the national stage in the top 50 by U.S. News & World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek’s #1 undergraduate business school ranking, an epic national basketball championship—but there is so much more to this story,” Michael Gaynor, Director of University Admissions, stated in an email exchange. “We were very fortunate to have received the largest number of applications in our University’s history.”

The University has a reputation for academic rigor, and by the numbers, the highly-qualified class of 2021 is prepared to contribute to the learning environment.  Ninety-six percent of the applicants admitted were at least in the top 20 percent of their class in high school, while 80 percent of the applicants admitted were a part of the top ten percent of their class. The middle 50 percent of the admitted students SAT scores ranged from 1380 to 1460 on the 1600 scale. Similarly, the middle 50 percent of the admitted students ACT scores ranged from a 31 to a 34 out of 36. These notable statistics also included the admitted students’ GPA range: within a 3.96 to a 4.35 on a 4.00-weighted scale. 

“We all stand on the shoulders and efforts of the giants who came before us—students who are now extremely loyal and engaged alumni, and devoted faculty and staff from years ago,” Gaynor stated. “This past year’s 50,000 campus visitors genuinely experienced the distinctiveness of what our Augustinian community truly means.”

Members of the class of 2021 come from various regions of the world. “[As of now,] we welcome students who hail from 46 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and 15 countries from around the globe,” Gaynor stated.

“Their interactions with our amazing student volunteer members from our Blue Key Society while on campus tours, or in our office, plus our admission team’s presentations on campus or while traveling to visit their schools, and the treasured gifts of talent and time shared by members of our Alumni Recruitment Network in their respective home towns-all contributed to our success,” Gaynor stated. “It is indeed quite an exciting time to be a Villanovan!”

The class of 2021 is welcomed with open arms by the faculty and staff of Villanova University, along with the returning students.