Interview with Kayla Nichols about Virginia Tech's record-breaking application rate.
Thousands of students around the globe anxiously log into their college application portals checking to see if they will be future alumni. Students can only imagine if they did enough in high school to stand out for the admission board. Although university admissions boards want to enroll everyone who has worked hard for a spot into the school they represent, with limited space, hard decisions must be made on who to admit and who to waitlist.
Virginia Tech admissions work tirelessly year-round to introduce to some and convey to others why students should apply to their university. Kayla Nichols—the Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Director of Undergraduate Admissions for Virginia Tech—has helped the school break its applicant record for the last four years. She recalls when the number of submitted applications just broke the previous record of 20,000 applicants; whereas now, the number of applicants in the last year has surpassed 52,000.
Ms. Nichols, a two-time Virginia Tech alumni (classes of 2012 and 2016), recalls not being accepted into the university in her senior year of high school; however, with the option of transferring to Virginia Tech from a community college near her hometown, she eventually became a Hokie. She uses her experience to “highlight that there's another pathway [to Virginia Tech].”
During our interview, I asked Ms. Nichols if she thought Virginia Tech would eventually be able to accept a surplus of students similar to BIG 10 schools—such as Michigan State University or the Ohio State University. She answered, “Trying to grow to that level is something that's going to take a lot of time and it would take a very intentional effort from the institution … it would be something that would be many years in the future if we were to ever [try and capture that] … there are plans for infrastructure as we look to grow; and, so right now, I couldn't tell you what the landscape is going to look like that far in the future … I think right now we're [at the size] that we're looking to maintain right now.” 
The university plans to expand its campus by adding a proposed “Student Life Village”—which includes a clause of adding 10,000 more on-campus beds—admissions have plans to keep their acceptance rates at or around record levels. 
Visiting the university is one thing that admissions stress that people should do. Although not everyone can afford to visit universities far away, Virginia Tech offers “virtual visit opportunities for students and their families as well, whether it be virtual tours online … [or] virtual office hours.” 
Virginia Tech admissions work tirelessly around the clock to show the best of what the campus has to offer. This university might not be the home for everyone but for the ones that want to make it here someday, “It's just really important that students want to get here. We’ll find a way to get them here.”

#Virginia Tech Admissions #Application Record #Common App #Student Life Village #VT28
#Virginia Tech #Kayla Nichols
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