VCUarts welcomes Class of 2023

v c u arts banners outside of pollak building

RICHMOND, Va. (August 20, 2019) – This fall, 716 students join the incoming first-year Class of 2023 at VCU School of the Arts (VCUarts). As a group, the class represents a cross-section of talent, creativity, socio-economic backgrounds, cities, countries, interests and cultures that VCUarts values.

“This year’s incoming students are a fantastic group,” says Erin Garmezy, director for undergraduate admissions. “They’re a spirited class from a variety of backgrounds and we can’t wait to see how they develop in their first year at VCUarts.”

Students from outside of Virginia represent 24 U.S. states and territories, with the largest numbers from Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. International students come from China, Germany, Nepal, Saint Helena, South Korea, Spain and Taiwan. Among American students, 30 percent of the incoming class are from underrepresented minority groups, and 22 percent are first generation students.

The average SAT score (math and reading combined) for the class is 1,167. The incoming class averaged 25 on the superscored ACT, 20 percent above the national average. The average high school GPA of the class is 3.68. Based on their academic merit, 41 percent of the Class of 2023 will receive four-year scholarships. This is a significant increase from the 32 percent of incoming students awarded over the previous year. More than 50 students in the Class of 2023 have been granted the new VCUarts Talent Scholarship. 

Arts admissions committees consider multiple factors when reviewing applications, including the strength of the student’s academic history, the student’s personal statement, essays, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, artistic talent and other unique contributions they bring to form a diverse cohort. This year’s class includes students who are Scholastic National Gold Key Award winners, dialect coaches, documentarians, figure skaters, gymnasts, wrestlers, and content creators on YouTube and Twitch. Some students attended the VCU Summer Intensive program, others attended governor’s schools and specialized art and design schools. Their classmates have already co-founded a non-profit music studio, joined the Virginia National Guard, coordinated a fashion show for a local department store, performed at La Escuela de Musica Creativa in Spain, and become the head costume designer for a theatre company. They’ve had internships with the Smithsonian’s phylogenetics labs, the Virginia Stage Company, Quill Theatre, their local chamber of commerce, and a professional photographer.

Classes for the new academic year begin August 20.


About VCU School of the Arts
VCUarts is the top-ranked public art school in the U.S. and offers degree programs across the visual and performing arts and design. VCUarts is housed within a major urban research university that has been recognized for its community-engaged research. Encouraging intellectual inquiry in and through the creative fields, VCUarts fosters rich, interdisciplinary collaborations between artists, designers, health practitioners, and more.