Apparently the rising cost of college isn't deterring parents or students — at least not in Virginia, where the flagship public university says it has set a new admission applications record.

More than 28,000 students applied to join the University of Virginia's class of 2016, an 18-percent increase over last year, said Gregory Roberts, dean of admissions.

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  • A large portion — 41 percent — sought admission through the university's new early admissions program, which is not binding. Officials say 3,187 of those 11,753 applicants will be accepted.

    The School of Engineering and Applied Science received the most applications: 4,520, a 23-percent jump from last year.

    In a blog post, the Virginia admissions office consoled those who would be receiving rejection notice from the university.

    Remember that your decision is not a statement about your value. With the number of applications we had, we were not able to admit all of the qualified students. Most of our applicants are perfectly capable of doing the work at U.Va. Our first-year class just isn't large enough to accommodate everyone.

    Tuition at the University of Virginia rose 8.9 percent last year, totaling $11,794 annually for in-state students and $36,788 for out-of-state students.

    Gov. Bob McDonnell has proposed increasing funding for higher education by $100 million in fiscal 2013, with the expectation that public universities keep tuition flat.