Greetings from Virginia Commonwealth University

In with the new…
The spring semester is in full swing at VCU! Our current students are settling into their schedules and enjoying the winter season in RVA. Now that our January 15 new freshmen application deadline has passed, our admissions staff is hard at work reviewing applications and mailing out decisions. We look forward to having VCU’s class of 2020 join the Ram Nation this fall!

While much of our attention is focused on fall 2016 applicants and admits, it’s certainly not too early to begin conversations with high school juniors and prospective transfers about the college admissions process. Many of our counselors will be on the road this spring attending junior symposiums and college fairs. We welcome any questions that students or their families may have as they begin the college search process. If you are hosting a college night this spring and would like someone from our team to attend your event, you can send your requests to us at ugrad@vcu.edu. We hope to see you and your students on the road this spring!
Financing College
College is one of the most important investments in a student’s life. We encourage your students and their families to have conversations about funding college as early as possible so that they can consider all of their options. At VCU, students have several ways to seek financial assistance:

Financial Aid TV:
Students and families with questions about financial aid at VCU are encouraged to check out Financial Aid TV’s short video clips. These short segments are a great way to learn more about the financial aid process and get answers to questions about financial aid eligibility; completing the FAFSA; scholarships; loans; and veteran education benefits.
Need-based Financial Aid:
We encourage all of our students and their families to fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. The March 1 deadline is quickly approaching; there have also been some changes to the form and filing process that you and your students should be aware of before starting the application process. You can find out more about these changes by visiting our website or FAFSA.gov.
Merit-based Scholarships:
For your high school juniors who are already marking their calendars, our merit-based scholarship deadline for fall 2017 applicants is December 1, 2016. Students who apply by the deadline are automatically considered for our merit-based awards as long as they submit a completed application by the deadline. More information including scholarship amounts and average academic information can be found here.
We are continuing to review fall 2016 scholarships applications. Only those students who have received scholarships will be notified of their award in writing via U.S. mail. Most decisions should be sent out by early-March.
Transferring to VCU
The fall 2016 transfer application deadline is quickly approaching. While the deadline for general admissions is March 15, deadlines may vary for programs in the School of Arts and for undergraduate health science programs on the MCV campus. Applicants are reviewed for admissions on a rolling basis throughout the spring semester until the class is filled.

All transfer applicants should submit their application and official college transcripts by the appropriate deadline. Applicants with fewer than 30 completed credit hours should also submit their high school transcripts, and if under the age of 22, their SAT or ACT test scores. Additional materials may be required for students applying into programs within the School of the Arts and undergraduate health science programs on the MCV Campus.

To assist students as they prepare to transfer, the VCU Office of Admissions welcomes your calls, emails, and visits. In addition to our admissions counselors, we have a team which specializes in transfer admissions: Shanee Crews, Associate Director for Transfer Recruitment; Ryan Hannifan, Regional Transfer Admissions Counselor for Richmond and surrounding areas; and Philip Wilkerson, Regional Transfer Admissions Counselor for Northern Virginia.
2016 Redesigned SAT FAQ’s
This spring the College Board will release their redesigned SAT. There are several changes that will impact students taking the test and how scores will be considered for admissions purposes at VCU. Please take a moment to review the FAQ’s below; if you still have questions, please feel free to contact us for further assistance.

What is the new SAT?
The redesigned SAT will have two 800-point sections instead of three: Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. The essay portion of the test will now become optional and will not be a factor in the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section. Students will be tested on relevant vocabulary words used throughout their lives. The penalization for wrong answers will also be removed. (cited from The College Board)
Will VCU require the optional essay with the redesigned SAT?
No, we will not require the essay from our applicants.
When will the redesigned SAT first be administered?
The first administration of the redesigned SAT will be March 2016.
(cited from The College Board)
Do you prefer SAT over the ACT?
No. We encourage students to take the exam that suits them best. Some students opt to submit scores from both exams; others take advantage of our score optional review. In cases where students submit scores from both exams, we will use the results that are most advantageous to the student.
How can students be considered for score optional review?
Freshman applicants with a minimum high school GPA of 3.3 may request that their application be reviewed without submitting standardized test scores. Applicants should request to be considered for admission to the university without test scores on the application for admission.
Are there exceptions to the score optional review policy?
Yes. SAT or ACT scores are required for applicants who wish to be considered for VCU’s merit-based scholarships (the Presidential, Provost and Deans’ scholarships); students applying to the VCU Honors College and the School of Engineering; home schooled students; and non-native English speakers.
How can students prepare for the redesigned SAT? 
The College Board has partnered with Khan Academy to offer free and personalized practice resources: www.khanacademy.org/sat.
Make is Real
“Make it real” is not just a motto, but a way of life at VCU. Students are encouraged to take the skills they are learning inside the classroom and make an impact on their local and global community.

In 2014, three VCU School of the Arts students created an online shop, DoDream, to raise funds for a child living in poverty in Indonesia. They created things like calendars and postcards and sold their original art, donating all the proceeds to their “surrogate brother.” Wanting to help locally as well, the students majoring in communication arts and graphic arts partnered with students in the English department to write stories aimed at 6- to 12-year old children about overcoming suffering.
What started as a local effort to raise money for a child in need became a broader initiative to help children globally. You can view their artwork and learn more about their story here.
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In some of Richmond’s parks you may find a strange request; “Poetry for Trash.” This movement strives to keep RVA’s parks cleaner by offering poetry for trash pickup. The initiative comes from MFA student, John-Michael Bloomquist in VCU’s renowned creative writing and poetry program.
On signs in area parks, visitors will find the instructions to participate: take a poem and pick up as much trash as you feel it is worth. Once visitors have finished cleaning up the park, they are welcomed to leave their own poem. It is meant to engage people and start a dialogue and deeper understanding of the relationship we have with our environment, socially and artistically.
Students at VCU are always encouraged to find new and innovative ways to share their talents with their Ram family, our community, and people around the world. They are inspired to not just leave their passions and knowledge at the door, but figure out how it can better their community.
Visit Us
Do you have a group of students that you would like to bring to campus? You can find our group visit request form online. Accepted students can also join us in the spring for Preview Days to learn more about VCU.

Remember to send us your spring college fair invitations. Invitations can be sent to ugrad@vcu.edu or by mail to P.O. Box 842526, Richmond, VA 23284.
VCU Office of Admissions
821 West Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23284 – www.admissions.vcu.edu

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