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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ranking season comes again

Once again, it's ranking season. US News & World Report rankings will come out shortly and I feel compelled to once again point out that success isn't only found at a top ranked school. This year's methodology hasn't come out, but I imagine that, once again, US News did not take student satisfaction, student services, study abroad options, graduate school admission, or job placement as criteria. Aside from the average SAT scores, no student information seems to be included in their calculation.

That being said, I guess I have to write about UVa's ranking...tomorrow. I can't believe I had to do this, but the rankings are "embargoed" and aren't supposed to be released, though someone at another school sent them to me before the numbers sent to UVa directly made it to my inbox.

With UVa's hiring of some very prominent researchers, we might see our ranking shift in the coming years because the methodology used by US News puts a high value on faculty resources.

Update:

UVa has crept up one spot on the national list to #23 (tied with Georgetown and ahead of Michigan, which shared the #24 spot last year with UVa). The public school list hasn't changed since last year with Berkeley at the top the list and UVa coming in 2nd.

What does the application process say about the school?

I was away from the office for a few days to welcome the newest member of the Dean J household, Cav Pup (no, that's not his real name, but it will be on this blog). After he had someone's attention during virtually every waking moment for a few days, I decided to let him have his first taste of solitude and run to the recycling center yesterday. It was a quick trip, but as I flung old copies of the newspaper, The Hook and Cville Weekly (our two alternative weeklies) into the newspaper recycling container, I wondered how much of the bin was taken up by college brochures, fliers, and application materials.

Did you know that a 2% rate of return on an admission mailing is considered pretty good? Did you know that a large portion of every admission office's budget goes towards designing, printing, and mailing brochures? Does it all seem a little absurd in light of that 2% return rate?

At UVa, we've decided to cut back. We've never been big on having an elaborate "package" of mailings, but we have mailed out tens of thousands of viewbooks and applications each year. This year, we decided that with over 90% of applications coming in online, it was time to end the printing and mailing of the applications. Those who really want to apply on paper can download the application from our website.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Are UVa students conservative or liberal?

Every once in a while, someone mentions that they were told that UVa is full of conservatives. This originally surprised me, seeing that most colleges and universities in the United States are liberal places, as are the cities that surround them. Charlottesville is no exception, with it's eclectic mix of musicians, artists, writers, politicos, lawyers, and academics (the list could be longer).

Some statistics from our Office of Institutional Research just came my way and they point to UVa being a bit more left than some people believe it to be. 28% of UVa students designate themselves as conservatives, 35% are liberals, and 37% say they're "middle of the road".

Do those numbers surprise anyone?

Monday, August 13, 2007

2008 Undergraduate Application is available!

The 2008 undergraduate application is live!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Application website down

You'll notice that the application website is down today. You probably know what that means. Stay tuned for an announcement...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

One last note for the Class of 2011

There was a nice story about the incoming class on our local news station last night featuring one of our summer student workers and Parke Muth, one of our admission deans. It dealt with the percentage of students who are international, African American, Asian, and Hispanic. The incoming class is the most diverse one we've ever had!