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

Three notes:
1. There's over a decade of posts here, so the search box can help find an answer to common questions.

2. The comment box doesn't show up when viewing the blog optimized for mobile. Click the "view full site" link at the bottom of the page and the site will reload with comment boxes.

3. Pick a name, real or otherwise, if posting a comment.

Welcome to the blog and thanks for reading!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Meet Vinny T, a #UVA Engineering Student from Fairfax

We have another installment of our student guest blogger series! I'm so excited to have a student from my Fairfax territory taking over the blog. Vinny has offered to answer your questions in the comments today. If you'd prefer to reach out on social media, Vinny is @VinnyThota on Twitter and @therealvineeth on Instagram.
As a reminder, if you are viewing this on a mobile device, you'll want to click the "View Web Version" link at the bottom to get the Disqus comment box to appear.



Hey All! I’m Vinny Thota, a Third year Systems Engineering major in the E-School from Fairfax County, Virginia. Although I reside in Charlottesville, I will always be a Centreville kid! A few of my interests include playing and watching sports, especially basketball, giving back to the community with non-profit work, and hanging out with my friends at various areas of Grounds. If someone were to describe me, I am a bright, smiling, full of boundless energy and desire individual who loves to work hard.

As a UVa student, I can undoubtedly declare that I am living the best life for a college student. From the beautiful architecture of every historic building, especially the Rotunda, to the amazing, genuine people you meet at every corner of Charlottesville, University of Virginia truly is the happiest place on Earth.


Academics are on another atmosphere in Charlottesville. The classes are truly beneficial and demanding, but I can say it will push you to limits you wouldn’t fathom. Every student at UVa puts their studies first, which is awesome, but students are also involved in many activities. For example, I am a brother at Alpha Sigma Phi and also a brother at Trigon Engineering Society. I also work for the intramural recreation department as a supervisor while also participating on the women’s basketball practice squad.


Lastly, I am proud to say I’m Indian. I truly love every single experience that I have encountered. All the friends, classmates, and peers I have met or interacted with have always accepted me and taken me for who I am. That is something I will cherish for the rest of life. UVa is the tightest close-knit community I have been a part of. From losing to a 16 seed to conquering the unthinkable and winning the National Championship is just an epitome of UVa in general. UVa will never say no and UVa will always come back stronger, and that is truly why I attend the University of Virginia.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Our first #UVA Student Guest Blogger: Abby S

I'm very excited to share the first in a series of guest blog posts by UVA students. Since you won't be able to meet current students at our Days on the Lawn open houses or on tours this year, we thought we'd use social media to provide opportunities for you to connect.    
Abby offered to kick things off! She is going to monitor the comment section, so feel free to post your questions below. If you are reading this on mobile version of this site you might have to hit the "View Web Version" link at the bottom of the page to see the Disqus comment box. 



   My name is Abby, and I’m a current third-year at UVa majoring in Media Studies with a concentration in Media Policy and Ethics and minoring in Religious Studies con. Buddhism. Outside of school I intern with UVa Athletics Strategic Marketing, and I’m involved with the University Guide Service and the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society. I’m popping on the blog today to talk a little bit about my experiences with UVa, why I chose to come here, and why that was the best decision I’ve ever made. 

   The main thing that drew me to UVa were the academics. I truly had no idea what I wanted to study coming to college, and I needed time and help to figure all that out. At UVa, you don’t have to declare your major for two years in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the curriculum promotes exploring multiple fields. That interdisciplinary promotion allowed me to find my passion and pursue all my interests. I’ve been able to take classes in every department you can think of: materials science, finance, German language, and my major department as well. In my first year I even got to take a University Seminar called “How College Works,” where we went in depth into the administrative processes required of a University. Some of my favorite classes are of course in my own major. What I love about the Media Studies courses is that my professors are truly dedicated to what they do. Last semester, I took Media Policy and Law with Professor Christopher Ali. He was a great lecturer and I learned a ton, but he also gave us great opportunities to interact with real media professionals. One day, he brought in two FCC Commissioners and did a Q&A instead of lecture, and I was lucky enough to be able to go to lunch with my professor and the commissioners after class. It was an incomparable experience and I loved it. I also took History of the Internet with Professor Kevin Driscoll, which may be the best class I’ve ever taken. He helped us access the older parts of the web and actually use them so that we could understand what the Internet used to be like. The incredible hands-on learning opportunities I’ve gotten at UVa are far beyond what I could have hoped, and one of the reasons I knew this was the place for me. 

   UVa has great classes, but that’s not the only thing here. I also love that UVa has given me internship and career opportunities that I never could have dreamed of. I have held four internships in my time here, two with Congressional campaigns and two with the University itself. UVa has so many great opportunities for student jobs and internships that really can’t be matched. In addition to my jobs, UVa has allowed me to make great social connections and given me a place I can truly be comfortable. I’ve gone on trips with my friends from here to the Outer Banks, New York, Nashville, and many other places. These are the people who are always there for me, and can help me with anything and everything I’m going through. This semester I joined the University Guide Service as a third-year, making me one of the older new members in the bunch. Still, everyone was always so excited and happy to be talking to me, and checking up on how I am. Even now in quarantine we met over Zoom just to say hi and see how everyone was adjusting to all this crazy news. I’ve also been able to get wonderful opportunities from my organizations and involvements. In the Jefferson Society, new members must pass a presentation in order to become full members. The members there helped me prepare and research and become a much better public speaker. I was able to learn a lot and use that knowledge in both my presentation and in my classes. My friends at UVa have become the greatest friends I’ve ever had, and they challenge me to be a better person and learner every day. 

 UVa is a truly wonderful and unique place. I know you may be worried about not being able to attend Days on the Lawn, but I couldn’t attend either. I was waitlisted from the University and did not find out I was accepted until I got a call during my AP Statistics course on May 2nd. My dad pulled me out of school the next day to drive me down to Charlottesville to see Grounds. It was relatively quiet, as it was finals, but people were still chatting on the Lawn, playing frisbee, walking dogs, literally any picturesque outdoor activity you can think of was happening. This may have been the first time I saw someone using a real life picnic basket. Walking around UVa was wonderful, but what really caused me to commit here were the people. Every single person I talked to was so happy to share UVa with me. Whether it was directions or checking out at the bookstore, everyone was so excited to see a new person enter this wonderful community. UVa is so much more than a college, it’s truly a place you can call home, and that’s why I chose to come here and I hope you do too. 

If you have any questions, please PLEASE feel free to reach out to me! I wish you the best of luck in your college search and I hope to see you at the first home game next year.
Signing off, 
Abby S.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Notes for the #UVA24 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 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 fill out the waiting list reply on the portal. We offer spots to many, but only a portion 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 last year:

From the 2019 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: 5,486
Number accepting a place on the waiting list: 2,969
Number of wait-listed students admitted: 8
Is your waiting list ranked? No
The waiting list will be big on 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.


What's this thing about UVA Wise?

Virginia residents on the waiting list are given the option of enrolling at UVA Wise for one year before guaranteed transfer to UVA. There are some academic requirements for the time at Wise, of course. If you are a Virginia resident, you will see a question about the UVA Wise option on your waiting list reply form. Answering yes will get you some more information from our colleagues at Wise. You won't be removed from our waiting list process and you aren't bound to Wise if you select the "yes" option.


I accepted. Why is the form still there? 

You can always come back and pull yourself off the list. That is why the form remains after you opt in. There is no going back once you decline, so there are confirmation screens if you want to opt-out.


How many people will come off the waiting list?

Even though I've been doing this for years, I can't predict this one. If we don't have 3,748 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 the deposit deadline date. 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.


2019 - 8
2018 - 13
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. Uploading a letter in the portal 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. Following directions is important.

By the way, though this is not an option at the moment, showing up in Peabody Hall wouldn't affect our process. I can't tell you how many students have driven here ask the questions covered in the FAQs. It was not the best use of their 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. In the past, we've wrapped the process up in June. Every year is a little different, but this year will probably be very 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 application. The call is a heads up that your status is about to change in the portal. 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 portal to remove their name from the list, but some people forget. When the portal updates, a new letter shows up along with the ability to 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 will always post 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.


Will my housing and class options be limited if I come off the waiting list?

In a word: no. Housing doesn't even open their system until June and students coming off the waiting list aren't treated differently in their process. During the Orientation season, seats in certain popular classes are held for each orientation session. That means people who sign up for the first orientation can't scoop up all the seats in classes. What's more, the registration system opens up for course changes in August. Lots of students don't finalize their courses until that period.


What now?

Look at your 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!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Let's Talk about UVA Admissions Decisions: Admitted!

Admitted students can use this entry to talk.

I imagine you might also want to join the UVA Class of 2024 Facebook group to chat with your future classmates. There will inevitably be a GroupMe that spins off from that group, but those are not administered in any way by UVA. Please be careful about joining groups that say they are for the incoming class.

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 a very dedicated team of parents).

RD applicants who are invited to join the Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars programs will see that status in the portal. A letter about that is also in the mail. 

I've been told that the Office of Student Financial Services will start to post aid packages next week. Orientation registration will open around May 1st and you'll get more information about that in the future. Housing usually opens their system around that date. There's plenty of time for all that, though. For now, pat yourself on the back and consider reaching out to your counselor and the teacher who wrote your recommendation to let them know the good news, too!
 

Congratulations! We are so lucky to have you joining us!
Image by Jen Fariello Photography

Let's Talk about UVA Admission 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 via your portal.

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

Let's Talk about UVA Admission Decisions: The Deny

Denied students can use this entry to talk.

I know this is hard to handle and some of you might not have gotten a disappointing admission decision yet. I hope you all can look at your options and get excited about your other schools. If your immediate reaction is "I'll transfer", don't let that plan keep you from getting involved in campus life at the school you choose. I think many students come to think of their next choice as "home" and can't imagine leaving it after a little while. Give yourself time to explore your options.

Some students inquire about being moved to the waiting list. We do not have an appeal process. This decision will not change.

Please be polite and respectful of others when posting.



BTW, if you signed yourself up to read the blog by email and don't want the messages anymore, there's an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page. 

Unofficial #UVA 2020 Regular Decision Statistics

Here are some unofficial numbers about this year's process. These numbers are up to date as of today, March 18, 2020. If you are a reporter, please contact the Office of University Communications for current, official information and all of your reporterly needs. :)

Total Applications

Total applications: 41,017 (40,839 last year)
Total number of VA apps: 12,180
Total number of OOS apps: 28,837
It's misleading to average these offer rates together because residency is a major factor in our review. If you are going to share these numbers, cite BOTH offer rates.

Total Offers of Admission

Overall offers: 8,420
Total VA offers:  3,972 (33% offer rate)
Total OOS offers:  4,448 (15% offer rate)
It's misleading to average these offer rates together because residency is a major factor in our review. If you are going to share these numbers, cite BOTH offer rates.

Defers and Waiting List

Deferred students offered admission: 8% (12% last year)
Waiting list offers: 17% (13% last year)
The waiting list forms as students opt into it via the portal and we have seen up to HALF decline putting themselves on the list. The waiting list can be thought of as having ten different segments (in-state and OOS for each of the five academic areas that take first-year students).


A couple notes:

1. There are more statistics on our website. You can see official admission data, including admission data by residency and school of entry from last year, on the website. The current year's data often goes up in the fall semester. Please understand that I won't be able to reply to requests for more statistics.

2. Admitted students will get a paper copy of the offer letter by mail.

3. The Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars program invitations will be visible to Regular Decision applicants in their portals. Hard copies of the invitation letters are going in the mail today. Echols and Rodman also allow self-nomination after your first semester. Miller Arts Scholars only apply after the first semester.





#UVA Regular Decision Results Posted Tonight for #UVA24

If you're a regular reader of the blog, participate in my live q&a sessions on Instagram, or see me reply to questions on Twitter/reddit/etc, you've inevitably noticed that we release admission decisions early whenever possible.We are ready.


Regular Decision notification will be tonight,
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

This is official. Please do not call our office to confirm it. The decision will get posted on your portal after office hours so there are fewer people on the system. I do not control the exact time of the release. There's a technical team that has to go through several processes to get the portals updated.

If you want to chat with some other students, here's a link to a students-only Facebook group for the Class of 2024. I'm not in that group (it's for students only), but I'll be watching the comments here and checking in on Instagram, Twitter, and reddit to answer questions. I will post an entry for each decision this evening. If you are offered a spot on the waiting list, you will have a link to FAQs in your letter on the portal. Please click through and read through those.

This is a difficult time for all of us, but I hope that having these decisions posted takes one uncertainty off the long list of them. The official visit events we planned for the next six weeks have been cancelled, but we are working on ways to connect with admitted students and give them opportunities to ask questions.


Wednesday, March 11, 2020

All #UVA Admission Events Cancelled

At UVA, we've been getting messages about COVID-19 since January (we didn't even know that term back then). The University assembled a team of public health experts to provide direction to us as the situation developed. Today, they announced that university-sponsored events like the ones we host are suspended. 

Until further notice, we will not have any tours, information sessions, or open houses. Our staff is available to answer questions. As always, I'll be happy to chat with you in the comments of the blog and on Twitter and Instagram. 

The email below is going out to admitted students who registered for our open house events later today. Students who registered for tours and information sessions will get a similar email. 

In response to the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, the University has made the decision to cancel University sponsored events indefinitely, including: Days on the Lawn, Admitted Student Tours, Spring Blast, Spring Fling, and EscAPADe. Unfortunately, this means we no longer are able to host you on Grounds for your scheduled admitted student visit.  

This decision was made by University leadership after consulting with leading medical experts. It is our hope that these efforts and this decision will best protect the health of our students, staff, faculty, and visitors and assist in slowing the spread of the virus. Our admission deans are available to talk by phone or email if you have questions, and we will be providing updates on social media and on our institutional coronavirus webpage. 

We are terribly sorry for the inconvenience as we know you went to great efforts to plan and arrange travel to Charlottesville. We are honored that you are considering the University as a college destination and we are confident you would contribute greatly to our classrooms and community. 

Please know discussions have started about alternative ways we can introduce you to our dynamic student experience despite not being able to accommodate visitors. In the meantime, below are links to some resources that we hope will help you get to know our community, our students, and the University Grounds.
Most importantly, stay healthy and take care of yourselves and your families. Stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks. 

Best wishes,
The Office of Undergraduate Admission

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Geographic Quotas and Targets and the #UVA Admission Process

Our office has a tradition of deans coming out of their offices to greet our tours when they return to Peabody Hall. Our front desk emails us to let us know that the tours are starting to end and everyone who is available gathers in the lobby to answer questions. When students from my territory are on break, I tend to be a little more enthusiastic when families come through the doors. I grew up in an area that's sometimes referred to as a "pressure cooker" and I remember how reassuring it was to meet a friendly admission officer on college visits. I want to be that friendly face for students and parents.

We often find ourselves fielding questions that are about quotas, but phrased in a roundabout way. We are more than happy to talk about this topic. We know that rumors about quotas are pervasive in densely populated areas. I remember being convinced that my admission chances were related to how many students from my high school or county applied to the colleges on my list. For some of the schools on my list, that was probably correct. Some schools do have limits on how many students they'll take from a school or region. UVA is not one of those schools. 

UVA made an agreement* with the Commonwealth of Virginia to maintain a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio between Virginia residents and non-residents. Beyond that, there are no restrictions on how many students we can take from any school, town, county, or region. You aren't competing with your classmates or neighbors for an allocation of spots.


As always, I'm happy to answer questions in the comments.

Quotas, again?

*Contrary to popular belief, this isn't law (the Restructuring Act failed in 2005). Every now and then, a state representative will introduce a bill to mandate a change to our ratio, but the bills always fail in committee. Here are the bills from 2017, 2014, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007 on Richmond Sunlight, a great website for following the state legislature.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The #UVA Scholars Programs (Don't Call Them Honors Colleges!)

We are working on getting a first round of invitations to our scholars programs out by the end of the month. Those invitations will initially come by email and a hard copy of the invitation letter will follow. Another round of students will be invited to join those programs at the end of our reading season. I thought I'd cover three of the biggest questions/concerns about the scholars programs here and link to each so those interested can explore the opportunities they provide.

1. UVa does not have separate honors colleges.

A lot of state universities have honors colleges. These colleges often have separate curricula, faculty, and resources. We don't have have this at UVA. We have four scholars programs: Echols, Rodman, College Science Scholars, and the Miller Arts Scholars


2. The application to UVA is the application to Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars.

We keep the first three scholars programs in mind when reviewing every application. There is no special application or way to designate interest in those programs. All applicants are automatically considered for them. The best way to show that you're scholars material is to have a stellar academic record and show intellectual curiosity and a willingness to go above and beyond presented subject matter in school.


3. You can join all four programs after you arrive, too.

All four scholars programs accept students once they complete some work at UVA. There is information about how they add students on their websites. Keep in mind that no first year will be an arts scholar. Miller Arts Scholars requires certain UVA coursework for applicants


I'm happy to answer your questions about these programs in the comments.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Let's Talk about #UVA24 Early Action: Admitted!

Admitted students can use this entry to talk.

I imagine you might also want to join the UVA Class of 2024 Facebook group to chat with your future classmates. There will inevitably be a GroupMe that spins off from that group, too. Please be careful about joining groups that say they are for the incoming class. Remember, that Facebook group is for students.

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)

This was in your letter, but you can submit an enrollment deposit between now and May 1st. We'll be sending an invitation to our open houses for undecided students soon. Orientation registration will open around April 1st and you'll get more information about that in the future.


Congratulations! We are so lucky you are considering joining us!
Image by Jen Fariello Photography

Let's Talk about #UVA24 Early Action: The Defer Decision

Deferred students can use this post to talk.

Your application hasn't finished it's journey yet.

We know the wait is tough, but we think reviewing your application during Regular Decision could help your case. You must submit the deferral form in your portal if you want to be considered in Regular Decision and and submit your midyear grades by February 15th.

Hang in there! Review the defer FAQ page for answers the most common questions and follow the directions there about submitting new information.


Jack hopes you can find a peaceful place to wait.

Let's Talk about #UVA24 Early Action: The Deny Decision

Denied students can use this entry to talk.

I know this is hard to handle and some of you might not have gotten a disappointing admission decision yet. I hope you all can look at your options and get excited about your other schools. If your immediate reaction is "I'll transfer", don't let that plan keep you from getting involved in campus life at the school you choose. I think many students come to think of their next choice as "home" and can't imagine leaving it after a little while. Give yourself time to explore your options.

Some students inquire about being moved to the defer group. We do not have an appeal process. This decision will not change.

Please be polite and respectful of others when posting.



BTW, if you signed yourself up to read the blog by email and don't want the messages anymore, there's an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page.

Unofficial #UVA Early Action Statistics

Here are some unofficial numbers about the Early Action process. These numbers were up to date on Friday morning. If you are a reporter, please contact the Office of University Communications for current, official information and all of your reporterly needs. :)

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. You can see official admission data in the data digest part of their website. 


Early Action Applications

Total number of Early Action applications: 25,160
Total number of VA apps: 7,250
Total number of OOS apps: 17,910
We use completed applications in our statistics.

Early Action Offers

Overall offers: 5,219
Total VA offers:  2,502 (35% offer rate)
Total OOS offers:  2,717 (15% offer rate)
Enrollment Goal: ~3,750
It's misleading to average these offer rates together because residency is a major factor in our review. If you are going to share these numbers, cite BOTH offer rates. 

Early Action Defers

Overall defers: 6,447
Total VA defers: 1,795
Total OOS defers: 4,652
Read more about deferral here (this link is in all defer letters).

I can also share that our total application number is at 40,971 right now. Remember, we use completed applications in our stats, so the total may go down by the end of the Regular Decision process.

A couple notes:

1. I do not have additional statistics. I have a queue full of Regular Decision applications in front of me and I need to give them the same time and attention I gave early files.

2. If you are deferred, you must submit the defer form in your portal if you'd like to be considered in RD and follow the directions on the defer student page about what you may add to your file.

3. Admitted students will get a paper copy of the offer letter by mail.

4. The Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars program invitations will come by email at the end of February. Echols and Rodman also allow self-nomination after your first semester. Miller Arts Scholars only apply after the first semester.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

#UVA Early Action Decisions Coming this Friday for #UVA24!

If you're a regular reader of the blog, participate in my live q&a sessions on Instagram, or see me reply to questions on Twitter/reddit/etc, you've inevitably noticed that we release admission decisions early whenever possible.

Our calendar had to shift to accommodate the new Early Decision process this year. The stated time for Early Action decisions to be released is mid-February (April 1 for Regular Decision, btw). I'm so happy to share that we are finishing the Early Action ahead of schedule and will post results to student portals in a couple days.

Early Action notification will be the evening of 
Friday, January 31, 2020!

This is official. Please do not call our office to confirm it. The decisions will go up after hours so most applicants are checking from home instead of school and there are fewer people on the system after the business day is over. I do not control the time of the release. There's a technical team that has to go through several processes to get the portals updated.

If you want to chat with some other students, here's a link to a students-only Facebook group for the Class of 2024. I'm not in that group (it's for students only), but I'll be watching the comments here and checking in on Instagram, Twitter, and reddit to answer questions.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

#UVA Art Supplement Deadline Extended!

We just found out that SlideRoom wasn't working on January 1st, so we are extending the deadline to submit art supplements for Regular Decision applicants to this Friday. Please email Matthew Mangione in our office if you have further issues with the system.


Monday, December 30, 2019

School Selection and Majors in the #UVA Admission Process

The ApplyingToCollege subforum on reddit is the most active forum for college applicants that I've seen in years. I try to stop by every day or so to check for questions related to UVA so I can provide some good information. When I see a certain issue come up multiple times, I know that I need to address it across my social media channels.

One of the things I see mentioned over and over again is a choice of major mentioned with questions about UVA admission. Right now, I'm seeing lots of students saying they applied to specific majors in the College of Arts and Sciences or School of Engineering.

At UVA, the only first-year applicants that are applying directly to a major are the students interested in Kinesiology. Otherwise, students apply to a school or college within UVA and have 1-2 years to declare a major. If this is a surprise to you, please be sure to read the applications instructions since you may have missed important information about applying to UVA.

Many students in those schools don't wind up declaring the major they thought they would anyway. There's no need to rush to declare. UVA students use the first few semesters to take a variety courses which will help them explore their options. After all, the subjects you have access to in college are a bit more numerous than the ones you had in high school.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Let's Talk about #UVA24 Early Decision: Admitted!

Admitted students can use this entry to talk.

I imagine you might also want to join the UVA Class of 2024 Facebook group to chat with your future classmates. There will inevitably be a GroupMe that spins off from that group, too. Please be careful about joining groups that say they are for the incoming class. Remember, that Facebook group is for students. 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)

This was in your letter, but your enrollment deposit should be paid online by January 1st. The Office of Student Financial Services will have aid packages posted next week. Orientation registration will open around April 1st and you'll get more information about that in the future.

Congratulations! We are so lucky to have you joining us!
Image by Jen Fariello Photography

Let's Talk about #UVA24 Early Decision: The Defer

Deferred students can use this post to talk.

Your application hasn't finished it's journey yet.

We know the wait is tough, but we think reviewing your application during Regular Decision could help your case. You must submit the deferral form in your portal if you want to be considered in Regular Decision. Please make sure we get your midyear grades by February 15th.

Hang in there! Review the defer FAQ page for answers the most common questions.

Jack hopes you can find a peaceful place to wait.

Let's Talk about #UVA24 Early Decision: The Deny

Denied students can use this entry to talk.

I know this is hard to handle and some of you might not have gotten a disappointing admission decision yet. I hope you all can look at your options and get excited about your other schools. If your immediate reaction is "I'll transfer", don't let that plan keep you from getting involved in campus life at the school you choose. I think many students come to think of their next choice as "home" and can't imagine leaving it after a little while. Give yourself time to explore your options.

Some students inquire about being moved to the defer group. We do not have an appeal process. This decision will not change.

Please be polite and respectful of others when posting.



BTW, if you signed yourself up to read the blog by email and don't want the messages anymore, there's an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page. 

Five Notes about the #UVA24 Early Decision Release

Jack's ready!

I've been fielding a lot of questions via DMs in Instagram and reddit, but I really need to read applications right now. I'm going to answer the most frequent questions here.

1. I don't control the release time. Our operations team has to run several processes to make the decisions show up. Please don't open multiple tabs or constantly hit refresh your portal. Set a time tonight when you'll check and do something else until then. We'll send a mass email when the decisions are posted, but news usually spreads quickly on social media when people notice the update happened. 

You don't need to call us to verify that decisions are going up tonight.The receptionists can't tell you an exact time or your decision.

2. I've seen the chatter on reddit that multiple schools are releasing decisions this weekend. This is always an exciting time, but some of you aren't going to get decisions you wanted. I hope you'll focus on the college options you have instead of the ones you don't at the end of the day. I hope those of you who get offers will celebrate your success, but also be gracious around those who might not have gotten good news.

3. I will post blog entries where you can talk about the different decisions. I'll be back to work through any questions that are asked in the comments tomorrow.  I trust you to be respectful of others in the comments. A lot of people on Grounds will be watching #UVA24 on social media so they can welcome our newest Wahoos to the UVA community. We love seeing your reactions when we check that hashtag!

4. Please don't post personal information in the comments (contact info, statistics, etc.). As I discuss often around here, school-specific statistics like GPA and rank are meaningless without context. There have been times when enough information about an applicant has been shared that their classmates could identify them.

5. EcholsRodman, and College Science Scholars will be notified after Regular Decision.



And here's my biannual (now triannual, I guess) thank you/pep talk...

THANK YOU to all of you who have read and commented on the blog and chatted via social media so far this season.

Regardless of what SIS shows you tonight, you are going to attend a great school. You're going to learn from amazing, inspirational professors, administrators, and peers. You're going to meet people with whom you will stay friends for the rest of your lives. You're going to pull all-nighters studying. You're going to pull all-nighters not studying. You're going to have great successes and you're going to fail miserably at some things. What's going to make or break those experiences is your response and what you learn from them, not your location when they happen.

Remember that your decision is not a statement about your value. Most of our applicants are qualified. They are perfectly capable of doing the work at UVA. Our first-year class just isn't large enough to accommodate everyone.


Best wishes to those who won't be back to the blog after this (if you're reading this by email, you can unsubscribe yourself at the bottom of the email). To the rest, I hope you'll continue to comment and stay in touch.

It's a big night and I'll be thinking about you all. Good luck!

Unofficial #UVA24 Early Decision Statistics

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. You can see official admission data in the data digest part of their website. 


Here are some unofficial numbers about the Early Decision process. These numbers were up to date on Friday morning. If you are a reporter, please contact the Office of University Communications for current, official information and all of your reporterly needs. :)

Early Decision Applications

Total number of Early Decision applications: 2,159
Total number of VA apps: 1,165
Total number of OOS apps: 994
We use completed applications in our statistics.

Early Decision Offers

Overall offers: 748
Total VA offers: 466 (40% offer rate)
Total OOS offers: 282 (28% offer rate)
Enrollment Goal: ~3,750
This means 20% of the class will have come from the Early Decision round.

It's misleading to average these offer rates together because residency is a major factor in our review. If you are going to share these numbers, cite BOTH offer rates. 

Early Decision Defers

Overall defers: 570
Total VA defers: 334
Total OOS defers: 236
Deferred students are no long bound by Early Decision agreements. Read more about deferral here (this link is in all defer letters).


A couple notes:

1. I do not have additional statistics. We are already immersed in the Early Action review process and I have to read files!

2. Enrollment deposits are due by January 1st.

3. Admitted students will get a paper copy of the offer letter by mail.

4. The Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars program invitations will be extended at the end of  the Regular Decision process. Echols and Rodman also allow self-nomination after your first semester.

The #UVA Class of 2024 Facebook Group

I've had a hands-off approach to Facebook over the years, except when I see companies trying to be part of groups that should be left to students. It seems it's happening again. Thanks to some students on reddit last year, I found out that an adult (initials DP) created Facebook groups and GroupMe chats for applicants to colleges all over the country. Regardless of why an adult is doing this, I don't like it and want to share a new group with you.


Here's a link to a students-only Facebook group for the Class of 2024:


https://www.facebook.com/groups/241585222847067/
Click the logo to go to the Class of 2024 Facebook group!

 

Who Is in the Facebook Group?

Obviously, the group will be for future members of the Class of 2024 at this point. Membership will evolve in the next few months as students make their college choices. After regular decision results come out, the students in these groups often create questionnaires to facilitate roommate matches. I'm told that the questionnaires the students create are more detailed than any being used by a housing office or roommate matching service. Student self-governance works again!

Who Is Moderating the Facebook Group?

There are a few current UVA students who keep an eye on the group. They are not paid to promote a business or product. They are students who know the ins and outs of UVA and have offered to field questions without an agenda. You'll notice that we don't really sell UVA. We present UVA to you and let you decide if the University has the things you need to be happy and challenged. Their answers to your questions will be honest and straightforward. I am not in the group.

What Happens to the Group in the Future?

When your class elects officers, the admins will hand the group over to your chosen leaders. This has been happening for over a decade and it works pretty well. For now, the admins are fine with answering questions, but they usually sit back and let you chat. Nothing in these groups will be saved or connected to your applications.

Is Facebook Activity Used for Admission Purposes?

Nope. I have absolutely no interest in tracking you or looking at your profiles. 

Can Parents Join?

No. Every so often, I hear about a parent requesting to join the student group. Please let the students have their space to talk. There's a group called UVA Parent Network that may be of interested to parents.

Why Does UVA Create the Group?

We didn't always create a Facebook group for the classes. I used to talk about how it was the students' domain (it was back when you had to have a .edu email address to get an account!) and groups should grow organically. I changed my mind in 2008 when a company started creating groups with school names on them. Content in the group we created won't include advertisements from third parties and your information won't be mined.

What About GroupMe?

I fully support students using whatever channels they feel are most helpful. I am letting the admins of the class group decide whether they also want to set up a new GroupMe and keep an eye on it. They're UVA students, so I want to be respectful of their time.

Please just keep an eye on the admin/mod of groups you join and don't share too much information in groups that may include companies looking for data.

Remember that anyone can slap the word "official" on a group. That doesn't mean the admin is affiliated with UVA. A good hint that they aren't part of our community: they call you freshmen and they talk about campus. Those words aren't in our lingo. 

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Early Decision Notification Coming this Friday for #UVA24!

If you're a regular reader of the blog, participate in my live q&a sessions on Instagram, or see me reply to questions on Twitter/reddit/etc, you've inevitably noticed that we release admission decisions early whenever possible.

The stated times for decisions releases are mid-December for Early Decision, mid-February for Early Action, and April 1 for Regular Decision. I'm so happy to share that we are finishing the Early Decision ahead of schedule and will post results to student portals in a couple days.

Early Decision notification will be the evening of 
Friday, December 6, 2019! 

This is official. Please do not call our office to confirm it. The decisions will go up after hours so most applicants are checking from home instead of school and there are fewer people on the system after the business day is over.





Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Submitting Resumes, Research, and Writing Supplements to #UVA

As application numbers increase, so do the emails from students who want to submit additional information. We instruct applicants to submit updates through the student portal, but we realize that there are other voices out there telling them to get in touch with admission officers. Please follow the application instructions. We want our staff to be dedicated to application review, not tending to a constant stream of emails. Following directions helps the process move quickly. Not following directions slows us down...and I know you all want us to work efficiently so we can get decisions made!

Remember that the application is enough. The application includes a lot of information: 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.

Here are some of the things people may tell you to submit and why they aren't necessary:

1. Resumes 

The Common App allows each college to turn the resume function of the app on or off. It is OFF for UVA. 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.





 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.