Peabody is the building, Jack is the dog, and I'm Dean J (she/her, btw).

There's a decade of posts here, so the search box can help find an answer to common questions. Pick a name, real or otherwise, if posting a comment.
Please link to the specific post if referencing what is written here elsewhere.

Welcome to the blog and thanks for reading!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Sending Resumes, Abstracts, and Writing Portfolios to #UVA

I'm on call today and got two calls in a row from parents who wanted permission to send extra items to supplement their child's applications. I explained that supplements that adhere to our art and architecture portfolio guidelines (available on the application instructions page) are acceptable, but that we can't take anything that falls outside of them. Those calls reminded me that it's time to cover this topic on the blog.

First of all, the application is enough. We ask for quite a bit of information in our application: transcripts, two recommendations, three pieces of writing, test scores, and an activity list. We ask for the things we know we need to make our decisions. If someone is telling you that UVA needs things that aren't listed in our application instructions, they are mistaken. 

Please don't spend your money on stuff like this.

1. Resumes

The Common App allows each college to turn the resume function of the app on or off. It is OFF for UVA. I'm not sure about how the Coalition is handling that feature, but UVA does not accept resumes. The application presents information in a systematic format, which allows us to zero in on pertinent information quickly. You don't need to make more work for yourself. Follow our instructions and use the application to share information in a concise way.

2. Outside Recommendations

We require one recommendation from your counselor and one from a teacher of your choice. We are looking for insight into your style in the academic environment. People who have never taught you can't speak to your learning style or how you work in a classroom situation. Also, those people tend to think they need to summarize facts (hours worked, tasks performed). Repetitive information isn't helpful.

Some people want to send recs from faculty they met at conferences or special programs. Consider how briefly these people have known you and remember that your teachers and counselors have a little more familiarity with you.

The required academic recommendations are perfect! Don't worry about sending extras!

3. Research Abstracts

It's great to tell us about research, but don't send us an abstract. A line or two in the activity part of the application summarizing what you did is great. A paper is over the top and not useful. In fact, if you send us a paper full of jargon, you're increasing the chances that the gist of the work won't be clear. 

4. Writing Portfolios

We get three pieces of polished writing in your application. The application has a long essay and there are two short-answer prompts. That's plenty of writing for us. We don't accept portfolios.

5. Copies of Certificates

You sign off on our Honor Code when you apply and promise that the information in your application is accurate. We don't need a copy of a certificate to believe that you are a member of a certain organization or received an award for something. Leave those papers in the baby book or that folder where you stick important stuff.

6. Newspaper Clippings or Pictures of You Doing Something

Anyone who was on the staff of a literary magazine, newspaper, or yearbook is proud of their work. It's best to keep copies for yourself and your family. The same goes with photos (even the adorable baby-on-the-UVA-Lawn photos). They belong in a safe place at home, not in a college application.




We try to make this clear on out website with a statement above our email addresses:



 Again, colleges ask for the things they need to make their decisions. If we don't ask for it, we don't want you to spend time (or money) on it. Further, to make this process fair, we are specific about what we review for each candidate. We accept supplements that fit the criteria for arts and architecture supplements. That's it. So when you hit submit, it's time to move on to monitoring your status. You don't need to spend time and money crafting extra items to send us.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

How Many APs Do You Need to Get Into UVA?

A counselor emailed us yesterday to say that a family left an information session with the impression that we "required" students to take 8 AP courses. My first reaction was to question whether this was really an information session at UVA. We never, ever mention numbers of AP courses in the context of admission requirements. Everyone knows course options differ. Plenty of students don't even have access to APs or APs in that number.

We don't have firm requirements when it comes to the high school curriculum. This is why we often encourage students to challenge themselves in each of their core subjects. Putting together a great program looks different at each school and for every student at that school. Yes, we want you to stretch and challenge yourself when it comes to course selection and we want you to get good grades. There is no standard formula for that. We hope you're talk to your counselor, some teachers, and parent about the choices that are right for you.

Gratuitous CavPup with students photo

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

How Self-Reporting Scores to #UVA Works

If you've looked at our application instructions lately, you may have noticed that the testing section of the page has changed. We decided that we would start using self-reported SAT and ACT scores with the 2018-2019 application. Let's go over how that will work.

When you fill out the Common Application (and someday, the Coalition Application), you'll enter your SAT and ACT scores in the testing section. Answer "yes" to the first question and then add the types of scores you'd like to report. You must report either the SAT or ACT. International students can submit their TOEFL scores here, too. Reporting scores from other kinds of exams is totally optional.



You aren't required to get official score reports from the testing agencies as part of the UVA application process. However, if you are admitted and decide to enroll, you will be required to have an official score report sent from the testing agencies.

It's no secret that I haven't been a fan of the rising cost of score reporting, so I'm excited about this news!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Notes from Peabody is 13 Years Old Today!

I wrote my first, short post on this blog thirteen years ago today. I was one week into my job at UVA, completely homesick for Boston, and wondering if I could really make it to the end of the three years I planned to stay here. The blog started with my observations of UVA as an outsider, but evolved when I realized people really enjoyed the posts in which I attempted to demystify the admission process.

One of the most popular photos from the early years...our file room.

Whether you just stumbled upon this blog today or have been reading for a while, thanks for reading.

Monday, July 23, 2018

2018-2019 #UVA Application Essay Advice

One of the most common questions I get from students is "what was your favorite essay." It's a hard question to answer because I have read so many excellent essays over the years and could never pick just one favorite. Instead, I often talk about what makes an essay good. Notice that I didn't say great or memorable. Every essay doesn't have to be off-the-charts amazing. They don't have to be destined for publication (more on that later). They have to be good. Aim for good.

A good essay conveys the voice and personality of the writer. A good essay shares something that hasn't come through in the other parts of the application. A good essay has made it to it's final form after a round or two of editing. So how does this all come together? Well, I have three main pieces of advice that I give every year:


1. Don't "Overthink" the Topic

The essay prompts colleges give you are deliberately broad because we want students to have some room to take an essay in whatever direction feels right for them. I think some people spend a lot of time googling essay prompts (that's a major source of traffic for the blog in the fall) because the think someone will tell them what the college wants. What we want is to get to know you through these essays. Use the topic that lets you be authentic in your writing.

As you get closer to the deadline, you may start hearing others talk about their essays. Don't let other people's essays make you second guess your topic. You may be tempted to change your essay. I don't think this is always a good idea. You probably wrote with more authenticity about your first choice topic than you will if you use a topic that popped into your head during a moment of panic.


2. Don't Feel Beholden to the Academic Essay Format

Many students are taught to write the "five paragraph essay" in school (I learned it when I was in grade school, too!). This kind of essay has an introduction, three supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. This format is fantastic for class or for a testing situation, but it's not necessarily the best way to let your personality shine through. Don't feel obligated to use the academic essay format for your application essays. Application essays are personal statements. Use the format that works best for the story or message you want to convey.

I usually tell students to free write first and then cobble together the structure that makes sense for their essay.


3. Get Some Advice.

It's smart to get someone you trust to look over your essays. Remember, though, that these essays need to convey your voice and style, not someone else's. When someone gives you advice that you find helpful, rework it to fit your style. If someone gives you advice that doesn't feel right, don't use it. This sounds obvious, but when you are having a moment of self-doubt, you may need a reminder.

If you're a parent reading this, try to empower your student to say no when the advice they are getting isn't right for them. There are some well-meaning, but not necessarily helpful folks who may want to chime in during this process. The student is the expert on what a high school senior sounds like. They should have final say in what goes into their essays.


  Bonus Tip: Don't Be Intimidated by "Essays that Worked."

The first time you have to do anything, it's really common to google it. If you google "college application essays," you will come across some essays that will be said to have gotten someone into a dream school. First of all, an essay alone doesn't do that. A compelling application, which includes well-written, interesting essays gets someone into college. Second, essays that get published are not normal. Most application essays are never going to see publication. It's fine to look for inspiration online and in books, but do not let an essay about some great feat convince you that your essays needs to be over-the-top impressive. Again, those essays aren't normal.

Most students talk about everyday things in their essays. They write about an academic interest, an activity, a family situation, or a work of art/music/literature. The way you can distinguish yourself from the other students who are going to write about that same topic? You write about why that thing is important to you instead of writing about why it's important to all people.


We can't wait to read your application essays!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Which Activities are Most Valued by #UVA Admission?

I was reading some old articles about admission with an eye towards how parents provide support and guidance during the college search. I came upon a comment on an article that struck me.
The problem is often that children's childhoods are literally sacrificed to that ideal of getting into UVA/Princeton/Yale, etc. This girl may have been discouraged from pursuing her actual interests (scouts, horseback riding, etc.) and instead had them channeled into things that would look better on an admissions application (chess club, afterschool Chinese) beginning in kindergarten.

Our solution was to encourage our kids to do what they loved and to think of college admissions as a crap shoot. 

First of all, lumping UVA in with schools that have single-digit admission rates might not be the best move. We have always published our admit rates broken down by residency. We offered to 38% of the Virginia residents who applied this past year and we offered to 23% of the out-of-state applicants. I can't fathom UVA ever being among the 15 or so schools with single-digit admit rates.

When it comes to a student's involvement outside the classroom, we don't favor certain kinds of activities over others. With 869 student organizations are currently registered in our system, it should be pretty obvious that we value variety. I hope you'll chose to make meaningful contributions in some arena (home, school, job, community, etc) of your life.

I've heard a lot of people talk about colleges valuing long-term activities in the admission process. While it's always interesting when a student has sustained involvement, that isn't something we require. Plenty of students change their activities as their interests evolve. Also, as your academic responsibilities become heavier, it may make sense to cut pack on your involvement so you can get your school work done. I don't want you staying on a team or in a club if it's making your feel stressed or miserable. Move on to do other things!

Lastly, admission is not a crapshoot. Admission offices establish pretty elaborate review processes to form their incoming classes. It is not random. I do like that the parent who wrote the comment encouraged their student to participate in activities that they loved!


Friday, July 06, 2018

2018-2019 #UVA First-Year Application Essay Prompts

The first #UVA22 orientation is on Grounds right now, which marks the end of our time working with last year's senior class. It seems like a good time to share our essay prompts for the next application season.

Each year, we solicit feedback about our prompts from students and admission staff. Some times we tweak a question, sometime we add to the options, and sometimes we remove options. Our prompts aren't changing too much, but we did add one option to the second.


2018-2019 First-Year Application Essay Questions 

1. We are looking for passionate students to join our diverse community of scholars, researchers, and artists. Answer the question that corresponds to the school/program to which you are applying in a half page or roughly 250 words.

  • College of Arts and Sciences - What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences - If you were given funding for a small engineering project that would make everyday life better for one friend or family member, what would you design?
  • School of Architecture - Describe an instance or place where you have been inspired by architecture or design. 
  • School of Nursing - School of Nursing applicants may have experience shadowing, volunteering, or working in a health care environment. Tell us about a health care-related experience or another significant interaction that deepened your interest in studying Nursing
  • Kinesiology Program - Discuss experiences that led you to choose the kinesiology major. 


2. Answer one of the following questions in a half page or roughly 250 words.
  • What’s your favorite word and why?
  • We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are.
  • Student self-governance, which encourages student investment and initiative, is a hallmark of the UVA culture. In her fourth year at UVA, Laura Nelson was inspired to create Flash Seminars, one-time classes which facilitate high-energy discussion about thought-provoking topics outside of traditional coursework. If you created a Flash Seminar, what idea would you explore and why?
  • UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?
  • UVA students are charged with pushing the boundaries of knowledge to serve others and contribute to the common good. Give us an example of how you’ve used what you’ve learned to make a positive impact in another person’s life.

I'm happy to answer questions in the comments. I'll share some more advice for essay writing next week.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Saturday Information Sessions at #UVA

I'll be giving the information session tomorrow morning and thought I'd share a few thoughts for those who will be visiting us on the weekend this summer.

Please keep in mind that the University is closed on Saturdays, so you may experience a fairly quiet visit. Buildings may be locked and those that are open may not be especially exciting. The Rounda is open and I believe you can also view our copy of the Declaration of Independence at the Special Collections Library (it's prime season for tourists!).

If you'll be able to stay in Charlottesville for lunch, I recommend walking to The Corner or driving to the Downtown Mall. The Corner is a shopping district adjacent to UVA and the Downtown Mall is just a mile down University Avenue/Main Street. Your student tour guides can point you in the right direction and Charlottesville residents are usually happy to talk your ear off about their favorite restaurants.

UVA is quiet, but beautiful in the summer!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Follow HooStories, the #UVA Student Blog!

The Office of Admission hires a team of student interns each summer to give tours and work on special projects. One of the special projects the team has take on every summer for the last several years is running the HoosStories blog.

http://hoostories.blogspot.com/

I'm so glad to share that HooStories is back up and running! The interns have published their introductory posts and they are starting to write about different facets of live at UVA.


Be sure to follow the UVA Summer Instagram account, which is a fantastic companion to the blog. The student interns will be sharing over there as well!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

When Should the College Search Begin?

I once had a fifth grader in one of my information sessions. They weren't being dragged along with an older sibling. They were here with Mom and Dad, both of whom attended UVA. The mom said "it's never too early, right?"

Luckily, the University Guide Service gives historical tours of the UVA Lawn and Rotunda in addition to admission tours. Since we were in session, I was able to send the family to the Rotunda for the tourist tour with an invitation to come back to see me in five or six years.

The fact is we're seeing more parents of young students making reservations for tours and information sessions and I don't think that's a trend we want to encourage. While it's smart to be thinking about how course selection early on will affect a student's options in 11th and 12th grade, I don't think we should be encouraging middle schoolers to do a deep dive into the college search. Things change A LOT in high school. We have students who change their minds about the UVA school that interests them between November and April. There's no way we should be encouraging children to craft a college list.

If you want to expose a younger student to a college campus, ours is wonderful. Between the Rotunda, the Lawn, the Declaration of Independence, and Monticello across town, there's a lot to see here! I just hope you won't introduce the admission process until the are withon a year or two of applying.

Jack loves to greet little siblings, but we don't need them to start the college search just yet!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Visiting #UVA in the Summer

We are so excited to see reservations rolling in for our summer information sessions and tours. If you're planning a visit to UVA this summer, here are some notes for you to consider.

1. Registration helps us pick our venue.

The Office of Admission doesn't have an auditorium for large groups, so we reserve spaces around the University to accommodate our information sessions. Making a reservation ensures that we have a large enough space for our guests. Registration for each month typically opens a month prior, but we have July and August up since many people are making summer visit plans now.

Attending the information session and tour will not have any bearing on our review if you decide to apply to UVA. We don't use interest here!


2. We'll communicate with visitors by email.

A confirmation email goes to the student after they register for the information session and tour. In addition, we will send a reminder with parking information in it a few days before your scheduled visit. Please watch for these emails and share them with anyone visiting with you. Parking can be tricky in the summertime because of new student orientation and summer camps on Grounds. Don't just plug UVA into Waze and expect to park when you get close to the University. Use the instructions we send you.


3. Summer is construction season.

As soon as graduation is over, the work crews get busy with all sorts of projects around the UVA Grounds. Fewer people are inconvenienced by closures and detours during the summer. I try to remind myself that these projects are making UVA even better than ever.

4. Bring a water bottle.

Our tours are about 90 minutes long and summer in Virginia can be hot! Bring a water bottle and take advantage of the bottle fillers we have around Grounds (they are usually next to water fountains). We have water coolers in our office, so you can get a refill when your tour guide brings you to Peabody Hall at the end of your tour.


Monday, June 04, 2018

Live Q&A about Curriculum Options in the #UVA College of Arts Sciences


We get a lot of questions about the curriculum options within the College of Arts and Sciences, so I thought I'd share this info. There will be a live chat about the New Curriculum and Forums on Facebook this Wednesday, June 6th, at noon. You can watch and ask questions via the College's Facebook page.

Monday, May 14, 2018

A 2018 Waiting List Update

You may have seen our tweets and Instagram posts about UVA having a higher than usual yield on offers of admission this year. We were able to make a few offers to students on the waiting list, but it's become clear that there will be no movement in certain parts of the class. 

This evening, an email is going out closing the waiting lists for the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, School or Architecture, and School of Nursing. 

After considering the size of the first-year class and the spaces available in the student body, I regret to inform you that we will not be able to offer you admission this year. Our first-year class is full and I believe it would be unfair to keep your name on the waiting list any longer.

We sincerely appreciate your interest in the University of Virginia and wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors. If you are interested in pursuing the possibility of transferring to the University after one or two years in another college or university, please visit our transfer page to learn more about this process.

Sincerely,

Greg W. Roberts
Dean of Admission
University of Virginia

We are keeping the [tiny] waiting list for the Kinesiology program open in case of cancellations.

I know this is disappointing news for many of you. I hope you can look at your chosen school and move forward with you plans to go there with excitement. Thank you so much for being part of this blog.  Best wishes for a wonderful summer and exciting start to your college career!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Last Minute Notes for #UVA22 Decision Day

We are moments away from May 1st and that means UVA's Class of 2022 is coming together! For those admitted students who are still making their decision, here are a few notes:

1. You must pay the deposit fee to secure your spot in the class.
Some students hit "accept," but don't follow through on paying their fee. We emailed everyone who did this last week to let them know that they won't officially be part of the class until the deposit is paid.

2. SIS is built to work with e-checks.
SIS allows you to type the routing and account numbers from a check to pay your deposit. The system takes some credit cards (not all) and charges a convenience fee for those translations.

3. The Orientation and New Student Programs takes over once your deposit.
Enrolled students should start working on the to-do list on the Orientation website after paying the deposit. That list includes info about summer orientation, housing, dining, and more.

4. Final transcripts must be submitted when available.
Your final high school transcript should be sent once it is available. You won't be able to start classes without a final transcript.

There will be a dean on call during business hours tomorrow if you have any last minute questions. Don't hesitate to reach out to me on social media as well.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Mid-April Update

If you only follow me on this blog, you are probably wondering why it's been so quiet for the last few weeks. If you have followed me on Twitter or Instagram, you know that we've been hosting thousands of visitors each week between our Days on the Lawn open houses for admitted students and information sessions for juniors who are starting the college search.


Spring Break might last a week at your high school, but we experience large crowds of visitors for about three since schools schedule their breaks differently. We had full DOTLs on many Mondays and Fridays this month and gave 3-6 full information sessions on the "off" days.


One more item to throw into the mix: spring travel. Many staff members are making quick trips to college fairs, admitted student welcome events, and school programs this month.

Despite all this, there are staff members in the office every day, happy to field your questions if you are an admitted student trying to make your final decision. Don't hesitate to call us if we can help!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Introducing the #UVA22 Days on the Lawn Student Speakers


I'm thrilled to introduce the students who will be addressing our students at each Days on the Lawn this year. Our welcome address always ends with our student speaker and it's become my favorite part of the morning. I know these students work hard on their speeches and can't wait to share some advice (and maybe a few memories) with our visitors! So you can get to know them in advance, they shared their bios for the blog.

Marlina (Friday, March 30th)
Marlina is an Echols and University Achievement Scholar from Chesapeake, Virginia. She is currently a third-year studying Political Philosophy, Policy and Law in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has served our university community as a Resident Advisor, Chair of Student Council's Community Engagement Committee, Program Director for Madison House Tutoring, and a Sustained Dialogue Moderator. Marlina is also driving the Untold Stories video narratives initiative, a video series featuring unconventional students with unique stories at UVA. Marlina is an active member of University Dance Club, where she continues to pursue her 18-year long passion for the art of dance. Her favorite part about UVA has been the relationships she has formed here. Although the University of Virginia is one of the state's larger public institutions, she has found that once you step foot on Grounds, the university community quickly becomes tight-knit, woven together by a web of friends, mentors, and people who are invested in your success.

Adam (Monday, April 9th)
Adam is a fourth year student, from Cleveland Ohio, studying Economics in the department's Distinguished Majors Program. During his time at UVA, he has focused on expanding the University's social entrepreneurship programming as a student member of the Batten School's Social Entrepreneurship at UVA board. As a Minerva Research Grant recipient, Center for Global Health Scholar, and Entrepreneurship Cup winner, Adam launched his own social enterprise in Rwanda looking at higher education opportunities in the country's refugee camps. Adam is a member of One in Four, an all-male sexual assault prevention group, and an intern for the Virginia Film Festival and the Tom Tom Founder's Festival. Adam's favorite aspect of UVA is the opportunity to fund independent research projects, both at home and abroad, that allow students to explore their passions in real world settings.

Tyler (Friday, April 13th)
Tyler is a fourth-year student from Roanoke, Virginia. He is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences and is part of the Honors Program in the Department of Politics with a minor in History. On Grounds, Tyler is a Co-Chair of the Resident Staff Program, President of the Black Male Initiative, a member of the IMP Society, and a Trustee for the Class of 2018. One of his favorite traditions at UVA is Black Alumni Weekend held which is every other year!

Yaselly (Monday, April 16th)
Yaselly was born to Salvadorian parents and raised in rural Martinsville, Virginia, where the roosters sing at dawn. She was ecstatic to to enter a new adventure at the University of Virginia as a University Achievement Award Scholar. As a mechanical engineering student, she participates in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Intel Stay With it Squad, and the Center for Diversity and Engagement while also conducting research, which lead to her first conference publication this past November. She has also been active throughout her four years at the University in the LatinX community by serving as a member in the Latinx Leadership Council, and as a mentor and executive member for the Peer Mentoring Program for Hispanic and LatinX students. In addition, she has worked under the Office of Dean of Students, participated in Housing and Residence Life as a resident advisor, and has also enjoyed every salsa, bachata, and traditional African dance step she’s learned on the way both on Grounds and abroad.

Maddy (Monday, April 23rd)
Maddy is a fourth-year student from Fresno, California. She's graduating in May with degrees in Art History and Psychology. At UVA, she's involved in Greek life and admissions -- she's a former executive board member of her sorority, is currently on the executive board of Virginia Ambassadors, and is one of the chairs for Days on the Lawn. Her favorite part of UVA is the history and tradition of student self-governance.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Notes for the #UVA22 Waiting List

If you were offered a spot on the waiting list at UVA, you had a link to the Waiting List FAQs in your decision letter. Many of the questions we're getting by phone and email are covered there, so please be sure to share that link with your parents so they understand the process. I'm going to go over the parts that come up the most and add some more information. Feel free to ask questions in the comments.

How many people are on the waiting list? 

The waiting list forms as people hit the "accept" buttons under their letters in SIS. We offer spots to many, but about half of those students will actually put themselves on the waiting list. The Common Data Set, something every school fills out, has a section about waiting list numbers. Some schools omit this section, but here are our numbers from 2016-2017:
From the 2016-2017 Common Data Set:
Do you have a policy of placing students on a waiting list? Yes
Number of qualified applicants offered a place on the waiting list: 4,987
Number accepting a place on the waiting list: 2,871
Number of wait-listed students admitted:360
Is your waiting list ranked? No
The waiting list will be big on May 1st because we need to ensure there are students to fit all ten sections of the first year class. The class is made up of Virginia residents and out-of-state students for each of the five schools/programs that take first years.

I accepted. Why are the buttons still there? 

If you hit the "accept" button, you can always come back and pull yourself off the list. That is why the buttons remain after you opt in. There is no going back once you decline, though. If you decline the spot, the buttons disappear.

How many people will come off the waiting list?

Even though I've been doing this for years, I can't predict this one. May 1st is when all of the admitted students need to have deposits submitted to reserve a place in the class, which should be about 3,725 students. If we don't have that number of admitted students accepting a spot, we move to the waiting list.

It's hard to cite trends with certainty. One year, we might have room for in-state Nursing students and the next year, that group could be full on May 1. We're all waiting to see how this works out right now.  

How many people got offers to come off the waiting list in the past?

Here's over a decade of data, which should show you how unpredictable this part can be. I don't have a breakdown of where the offers were for these years. 

2017- 117
2016 - 360
2015- 402
2014- 42
2013 - 185
2012 - 284
2011 - 117
2010 - 240
2009 - 288
2008 - 60
2007 - 159
2006 - 145
2005 - 83  

How do I improve my chances of getting an offer?

There is a lot of conflicting information out there about this. Emailing a update letter to uvaapplicationinfo@virginia.edu is appropriate. Bombarding every admission officer with an email each day is not. Please don't email one or more admission officers directly with your updates. We're just going to forward your email to uvaapplicationinfo@virginia.edu and it will delay your email being filed. Please use the general account.

By the way, showing up in Peabody Hall will have no affect. I can't tell you how many students drive here and then sit on the sofa and ask the questions covered in the FAQs. This is not the best use of your time (or gas money!).

When/How do you make wait-list offers?

We start making waiting list offers as soon as we know we have space in the class. We move quickly because no one wants to drag this out. We aim to have everything wrapped up by the end of June. Last year, we completed the class on June 13th. In 2016, we were done by June 2nd. Every year is a little different. When the time comes, we always email the entire waiting list to let them know the class is full.

If you are going to get an offer, we'll call you at the number you put on your Common Application. The call is a heads up that your status is about to change in SIS. Of course, it's fine if you tell us "no thanks" and that's the end of it. We hope that people who are no longer interested in UVA use the "decline" button to remove their name from the list, but some people forget. When SIS updates, a new letter shows up along with the buttons to accept the offer and pay a deposit.

Because we want to give students a few days to think about the offer (and because the Financial Aid folks need time to post a package if the newly-admitted student applied for aid), this process takes a while. I can't give constant updates on the blog. I can usually check in once or twice in May. I will always tell you when the Dean says the class is full. 

What about aid?

If you applied for aid by March 1st and got all of your documentation in, Student Financial Services will put a financial aid package together. Once that's posted, you'll have a couple days to accept the offer and pay your deposit.
 

What now?

Look at your other options. Get excited about one of them and pay a deposit to guarantee yourself a spot in a freshman class somewhere.


By the way, calling a student and telling them that they are getting an offer of admission is probably the most exciting thing admission officers experience. We can't wait to make them and everyone has a story or two about favorite calls. I promise you that when it's time, we'll be working very quickly so we can deliver some happy news!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Are You a Junior Visting #UVA During Spring Break?


We experience what we call a rolling spring break here in the Office of Admission. We have students visiting us on their spring break starting in the middle of March and continuing through the middle of April. One week, it's New Jersey and Illinois, the next week, it's Colorado and Florida. Add in a few thousand Virginians and it makes for a very busy time on Grounds!

It's extremely important to make a reservation for information sessions and tours because we have limits on parking and seating at our sessions. We also want everyone to experience the fantastic tours given by the UVA Guide Service in a reasonably sized group. Once a session and tour slot is full, it disappears from our reservation system, so if you don't see any options for a certain day on the calendar, it means we are at capacity and can't fit anyone else into the session.

We reserve a parking garage for our guests, so you need to follow the instructions on the confirmation email we send once you register. If you've visited UVA before, you are apt to go to the wrong place to park. Please keep an eye out for that confirmation email!

In light of the crowds, you need to leave ample time to park and walk to the information session location.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Unofficial Admission Statistics for #UVA22

The Office of Institutional Assessment is the source of all official statistics about UVA. They take a census to determine the final statistics for the class later in the year. You can see official admission data in the data digest part of their website

Here are some unofficial numbers about this year's process. These numbers are up to date as of yesterday, March 22, 2018. If you are a reporter, please contact the Media Relations team in the Office of University Communications for current, official information and all of your reporterly needs. :)

Total Applications

Total applications: 37,222 (36,779 last year)
Total number of VA apps: 11,338
Total number of OOS apps: 25,884
We use completed applications in our statistics.

Total Offers of Admission

Overall offers: 9,849
Total VA offers: 4,303 (38% offer rate)
Total OOS offers: 5,546 (21.4% offer rate)
Schools admit more students than the enrollment goal with yield in mind. Yield is how many students accept an offer of admission.

Testing/Rank (offers only)

Middle 50% SAT score:  1330-1490 (VA)  1420-1530 (OOS)
Middle 50% ACT composite: 30-34 (VA)  33-35 (OOS)
We use scores from each section in our review, but the reports on averages generate totals.

Defers and Waiting List

Overall offer rate for the defer group: 16.6%
Students offered spots on the waiting list: 28.6% of the RD pool (RD pool was 20,878)
The waiting list forms as students opt into it via SIS and we have seen up to HALF decline putting themselves on the list. The waiting list will have ten different segments (in-state and OOS for each of the five academic areas that take first-year students).

A couple notes:


1. I do not have additional statistics. You can see last year's stats broken down by residency, school of entry, and other criteria using the "official admission data" link I provided in the first paragraph. I'm on call today, so I may not be able to check in to answer questions until this evening.

2. An email is going out to Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars on Saturday.

3. Welcome packets with information about next steps will be leaving our office soon!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Let's Talk about #UVA22: The Offer of Admission

Admitted students can use this entry to talk. I imagine you might also want to join the UVA Class of 2022 Facebook group to chat with your future classmates. That group is just for students (I'm not even in there). Once the first-year class elects it's Class Council, the class officers run the group. Parents, you can check out the UVA Parents website, the UVA Parents Fund Facebook page, and the UVA Parent Network group on Facebook (the last is run by parents, not by UVA)

I'll have post about admission statistics and in the coming days. Just for reference, below your letter are buttons to accept or decline your offer. If you accept, you will see a button to let you pay your tuition deposit online*. Orientation registration will open on April 2nd and you'll get more information about that in the future.

You have until May 1st to decide whether you'll be joining us at UVA. If you decide to go elsewhere at some point in the coming weeks, I hope you'll decline the offer via your self-service page.


Congratulations! We are so lucky to have you considering UVA!

*We have an e-check system for deposits. You'll type in the numbers on the bottom of a check. The system will take certain kinds of credit cards, but it's primarily an e-check system. Be sure to turn off your pop-up blocker when you go to pay the deposit!

Let's Talk about #UVA22 Decisions: The Waiting List

Students offered a spot on the waiting list can use this entry to talk.

This is probably the toughest decision to get from a school. At UVA, the waiting list tends to be large because there are so many different segments to the population here (VA and OOS groups for the four schools and the one program that take first-year students). At this point, we don't know where there will be openings in the class.

We won't know how large the waiting list is until you all accept or decline your waiting list offers.  Right now, you've been offered a spot on the list. You aren't actually on it until you reply using the response buttons in SIS.

You should have already seen the link to the waiting list FAQ page in your decision letter, which answers the most common questions (is the list ranked, what do I do now, what's the time line, etc.) and provides a decade of data about waiting list offers.

For now, you need to look at your other options and think about which one feels right to you. Some of you will want to hold on and see what happens with the waiting list and others will want to fully invest themselves in another school. Either way, you need to submit a deposit somewhere by May 1st to ensure yourself a spot in a freshman class. If you are offered a spot in our class and you decide to accept it, you'll have to write to that other school and withdraw your name from the class (you may lose your deposit at that school). Just remember that you can't "double deposit".

Feel free chat here.



We hope you find a peaceful place to think about your options