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Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Let me also explain that once you submit your application, it will take a couple days for the file to be sent to us by Common App and for processing to prompt a login email to be sent to you. When you log in for the first time, don't be alarmed by your to-do list. Credentials may be in our system, but not yet linked to your file. It may take a week or two to get through all the applications submitted in these last few days, so please be patient! If your transcript arrived a month ago, it was scanned and put in a miscellaneous credentials file. A staff member must manually link that transcript to your newly submitted application.
We will contact you when we are through the bulk of the processing if we are still missing documents.
That being said, here is how you can get answers to last minute questions:
- Post a comment on this entry
- Post on the wall of the UVa Class of 2013 group on Facebook (other students might have answers)
- Post on the UVa forum of College Confidential (current applicants/students may have answers)
- Instant message me through Facebook (please don't send a traditional message)
- Instant message me through AIM (UVaDeanJ)
- Instant message me through Google Chat (UVaDeanJ)
I won't be logged into all of those all the time between now and deadline, but I will try to be on in the evenings. If I don't reply right away, I've either stepped away from my desk (I'm going this from home) or am answering questions for another student.
Good luck with those last minute edits! Try not to submit at the very last minute!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
If something goes wrong with your application, you need to get in touch with the Common App people by submitting a help ticket via the link on top of every page on their website. We can't solve Common App website problems in our office at UVa. Because there are many schools with deadlines in early January, your problem might not get resolved immediately, hence the need to get things wrapped up a day or two before deadline.
Good luck! The blog posts will come more regularly once I get back to Charlottesville on Tuesday.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
...to see how many students actively participate in online communities. We also wanted to identify the concerns of incoming college students.I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions about that statement.
By the way, I have always enjoyed watching students create groups to connect with other appilcants. Just a few weeks ago, I talked to visitors at an open house about the wonderful opportunity that social networking offers students. I don't think incoming classes have ever been as well connected prior to showing up at UVa as they are today. I've seen students find roomates on Facebook, I've seen clubs form on Facebook...I think Facebook is great! I've never tried to control it because I understand and like what Facebook is.
I created a group for prospective Class of 2013 members to provide a group that will never be used as a marketing tool for a company.
Let's get back to the admission stuff.
Friday, December 19, 2008
College Prowler, whose main activity is publishing college guide books, has created well over 300 Class of 2013 groups for colleges and universities around the country. Many are deemed "official", including two of the three they created for UVa. They've also used trademarked logos, but that's another issue.
I emailed the CEO of College Prowler to get his reasoning for doing this (and really it's a ring of unpaid student interns that are doing all the work), but I think most people would conclude that they are going to sell marketing opportunities to companies that want to interact with college-bound students. I would hate for your interest in UVa open you up for spam from companies that aren't related to us.
This morning, I created a "Dean J" Facebook account and started an Official University of Virginia Class of 2013 Facebook group. I'm not interested in checking your profiles (admission officers at UVa don't do that). I want to provide a group for prospective students and applicants that won't be used to market any for-profit enterprise. I might post updates now and then about the admission process, but I won't be heavily monitoring the group.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Hope to see some of you there!
There was a point yesterday afternoon when my fingers hovered over the keyboard and I found myself thinking "I don't know this kid at all." I had just finished reading an application and was trying to write an enthusiastic opening to my notes, but nothing was coming. It didn't really make sense. The curriculum was excellent, the grades were great, the test scores were solid, the applicant was involved, the counselor's recommendation was positive, and the essays were meticulously edited. Many people would say the application was flawless.
I had the perfect application in front of me, but I had trouble getting excited about it. It was an application that epitomized an idea I had a few years ago:
My advice: don't try to be the perfect applicant. Try to be the most perfect version of you. You might wind up giving us a lot to write about when we take our notes.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
A few days after you submit your Common App and we download it into our SIS (Student Information System, the "cradle to grave" computer system that holds all info about people who work and attend UVa), you'll get an email outlining how to the Student Self-Service part of the system.
First, you have to generate a password for the system using your UVa computing ID and SIS ID number (both are sent in the email). You can generate a new password whenever you'd like to by following the same instructions again (no need to email us if you lose your password, just generate a new one). Once your password is displayed, write it down! The system isn't going to email it to you.
I have a report that shows me when a student who has submitted an application last logged into the system and I'm sad to report that less than half of those who have submitted an application have logged into Student Self-Service. This is really important! Student Self-Service is where you'll see your decision (around April 1st), accept your offer of admission, pay all of your bills, pick classes, update your contact info...it's basically your "one stop shop" from the moment you apply until your relationship with UVa ends.
Go find that email. It came from firstname.lastname@example.org and it would have been sent within five days of your application being downloaded. Check your spam/junk folders for it if you don't see it in your inbox. If you still can't find it, you can email us for your info, but please scour your email folders for the information first. Our email accounts are being inundated with student requests right now, so it might be a few days before we are able to respond to your message.
In these cases, I've found that students have submitted one part of the application (payment, for example), but they haven't actually submitted the Common App Basic and UVa Supplement. Be sure to check your main Common App page to verify that all parts of your applications (this goes for all of your apps, not just your UVa app) are submitted! There's a little chart for each school that should show you the dates that you've submitted each component.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Goodness knows we won't see anything like this until the students get back.
These pre-exam mobs are pretty common. I've heard about variations at many different colleges around the country. I doubt any end as impressively as ours, though!
Friday, December 12, 2008
I like to post the most interesting essays on the wall outside my office for my colleagues to read. The good essays definitely make reviewing applications more interesting and more personal (well, as personal as staring at an image of your credentials can get) for us. Over the course of the application season, the essays pile up and spread to the door, the molding, and get stacked on top of each other.
When the wall gets truly impressive, I'll post a picture. For now, you'll have to imagine three lonely pieces of paper waiting for others to join them.
Back I go to my files...
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
You can open the photo album in a new window to see larger photos by clicking on the bottom part of the slide show box.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Hope to see some of you there!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The main rumor I want to address is one about the ratio of in-state to out-of-state (OOS) students. That number is set by the state legislature. Neither UVa nor the Office of Admission have any control over the ratio. The radio has not changed for the coming year. I checked proposed bills for the 2009 legislative season* and none deal with our admission ratio (though it is very, very early and many more bills will be introduced).
What other rumors are floating around out there?
*If you'd like to keep up with that is happening in the state legislature, you might enjoy Richmond Sunlight, a website that makes tracking bills very easy. I use it myself.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The daily mail bin count has been steadily increasing and we just took a day off from reading to help open mail. This ritual usually occurs in January, but we all decided to pitch in a little early.
I'm happy to see the number of applications coming in the mail is way down (97% of students apply online...I hope that number increases this year). We are seeing more "supplemental" mailings and this isn't ideal.
As I've mentioned before, we've gone paperless. If you send knick knacks and literary magazines with post-it notes throughout, you should know that those probably won't be seen by the admission officers reading your file. Obviously, art supplements are reviewed by faculty and should be sent by those who plan on majoring/minoring in the arts and those are very important to us. Please, please keep your supplements reasonable. We ask for what we need to make a decision.
I realize that you aren't as excited about this as I am, but I hope you'll let me know what you think of the new design.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Black Voices opens up Fall Fling each year. My first year at UVa, I was sitting in the front row of the theater in Old Cabell Hall, a gorgeous room in and of itself, as the Fall Fling program began. I assumed it would be the same, standard admission program: remarks from a Dean, remarks from a guest speaker, review of the schedule, and a send off. Fall Fling starts off with the most joyful, unexpected alarm clock: a collegiate gospel choir.
If you have roughly 40 seconds to spare, check out this video:
In all likelihood, your interest has piqued and you'll enjoy this substantially longer performance from a Black Voices concert a few years back. Parts of that second video seem like choral acrobatics and judging from the students' reactions when they finish one of the songs (check out the boy in the top row on the far right pumping his fist), they know they were amazing.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
I love travel season, but not because it's glamorous. After all, state school budgets don't really allow for days spent sight seeing or nights in trendy hotels (though I was once given a room for $100 at the Ritz Carlton in Clayton, MO when I was stranded in St. Louis). I love travel season because I get to interact with students on their turf, get a better understanding of the schools that send us applicants, and get to catch up with counselors and career center specialists with whom I've become friendly over the years.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Hope to see some of you there!
Monday, November 03, 2008
What do you think of them? I have a definite favorite.
Friday, October 31, 2008
We've just returned from the trick-or-treat event on The Lawn. The crowd seemed much larger than in past years, which might be due to the beautiful weather today (it's about 65 degrees out).
Have a happy Halloween and a great weekend, everyone!
I don't know how, but this student somehow found his way into UVa's old online application. Yikes! Folks, we're a Common App school now. So many people have come up to me saying "we know you're a Common App school..." that I assumed everyone knew by now.
The Office of Admission website was stripped of any references to the old application and we have to assume that students are using outdated websites that we don't control to find that site. The old site was set to redirect to commonapp.org, but there is obviously a way around that.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
We already have a good number of complete applications, so we're going to start reading tomorrow. Take your time with your applications, but know that we greatly appreciate being able to do some of our reading before the holiday break, when the vast majority of students hit the submit button. Submitting early won't affect your chances of admission, so don't feel pressured to be done early.
Those of you who submit early are some of the very first people to move through UVa's new student information system. Over three years ago, the University assembled a team to prepare for the transition to this new system. This year's applicants are the first students to go into the system as prospects and they will retain the same record through their career at UVa and into their years as alumni. This is pretty exciting stuff!
Monday, October 27, 2008
We only require one recommendation and the one your counselor writes as part of the secondary school report fulfills our requirement. We encourage you to submit an extra recommendation from a teacher, but that should be faxed to us at (434) 924-7674.
See the handy chart at the top of this post for a list of application documents and submission options.
I'll probably repost this message every now and then to make sure new readers see it.
Voting for UVa students is pretty easy. Obviously, many will vote by absentee ballot. However, Virginia has allowed college students living here to register to vote at school so they can vote in person. From what I've heard, our students vote at Alumni Hall or at University Hall (both buildings are on grounds and are on the bus routes).
I hope those of you who are already of age enjoy voting in your first Presidential election!
Friday, October 24, 2008
When I studied abroad in the south of France, I was determined to pass as many of the French government's DELF/DALF exams as I could. Instead of spending my weekends traveling with friends on a EuroRail pass, I studied. When the group planned a trip to Paris, I had to put the books away and joined them. On the TGV ride up, I made a list of all the things I wanted to see and as soon as we had checked into our modest hotel, I was off. The 48 hours were a whirl wind and included what could only be described as a two-hour sprint through the Louvre (I "splurged" and gave myself five whole minutes with each of my favorite paintings by David and Delacroix).
It's crazy to only spend 48 hours in Paris. Similarly, it's crazy to only spend 36 hours in Charlottesville, but a travel reporter from the New York Times did it. The subsequent article and photo montage will be published in Sunday's paper, but is available online today.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
They've been ringing so much that four hours passed between writing the last sentence and writing this one.
Let's go over the basics:
1. There are no cut offs.
2. If you take the SAT more than once, we will look at the best score in each section.
3. SAT IIs are strongly recommended, not required. If you can work them into your schedule, take them.
4. UVa does not have a definition for the term "a good score".
5. Test scores are one component of our review. The four years of information on your transcript will take much more time to analyze than your test scores.
Post your questions about testing in the comments below...
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
This brings up an age-old question: is there any benefit to submitting your application early?
In a nutshell, there is a benefit...to us. We'd love to process as many applications as possible before the deluge arrives in early January. If you hit submit in the next few weeks, you're helping us out in that respect. However, there is no benefit to the applicant when the application arrives early. Don't feel rushed to submit. Only hit that button when you're ready. If you're sitting an a complete, but un-submitted application, we hope you'll go over it one more time and finally hit that button.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
This turtle was found in a planter outside our building. While UVa has some fountains and a little lake (really a drainage basin that was dressed up to look lake-like), they are quite a ways from Peabody Hall. Either this turtle hitched a ride with someone or it is a shining example of perseverance.
I could try to make a little metaphor out of this for you, saying that you are all little turtles trying to get to Peabody Hall, but that would be as cheesy as you writing an essay telling me that your favorite word is "honor".
Monday, October 20, 2008
I've been told that Virginia ranks third in the list of states with the most IB programs in high schools. Seeing IB courses on applicant transcripts is very common. In fact, there are a good number of schools in Virginia that are offering both the AP and the IB and some that offer AP, IB, and Dual Enrollment (hats off to the faculty and registrars at those schools who manage to provide so many offerings). The University's IB credit policy and related charts that cover AP, IB, and language about the British, French, German and Swiss systems are easily found by doing a search on the student handbook page:
The University’s undergraduate schools usually award advanced standing (course exemption and academic credits) to entering students for qualifying scores on a variety of advanced examinations if such examinations are taken before matriculation at the University or another college. For example, the College of Arts and Sciences awards advanced standing credit for scores of 5, 6, and 7 on most International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examinations. Advanced standing credit is also considered for qualifying scores on the General Certificate of Equivalency (GCE), British A-levels, French Baccalaureate, German Abitur, and Swiss Federal Maturity Certificate.The article claims "the academic departments [at UVa and other schools like William & Mary and George Mason] were refusing to give them the credit AP students received" when this clearly isn't the case. It goes on to describe the policies of these schools as discriminatory.
College of Arts and Sciences students should consult the chart included in the College website for credit awarded to students for International Baccalaureate, A-Level, Baccalaureate, and Abitur examinations. Students in the School of Architecture, School of Engineering and Applied Science, and School of Nursing should consult their undergraduate dean's office to find out what credit is given for these exams. Accepted students should have score reports sent directly to the Office of Admission in the summer following the final year of secondary school study.
Perhaps the article is really about the IB Standard Level? If so, the author should have been much clearer, as those of us in Virginia are very familiar with the structure of the IB system.
Rest assured, IB students. If you score a 5, 6, or 7 on your higher level exams, you'll be getting some credit for your work here at UVa. Students can get anywhere from three to eight credits for scores from either the AP or the IB.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Pardon the break from admission talk, but I just spent more than a few minutes watching videos of the Cavalier Marching Band and thought I'd share them.
Whenever I run errands during the summer, I hope I get stuck at the intersection of Emmet and Ivy so I can roll down the window and listen to the band practicing on the intramural field nearby. At football game halftime, I don't leave my seat so I can watch the marching band (there are plenty others who feel the same way). And while others are streaming out of the stadium after the game, many stick around to see the post-game performance, which is usually very impressive (if you have a Facebook account, check out this post-game video from a recent game...it's fantastic!).
We've had a band in some form for many years, but the marching band in its current form was founded in 2004. You would never know that the program is relatively young from the performances. This band is awesome.
It's so great to be in Boston again. After a weekend with family, it was time to get down to business last night. Attendance at the evening program in Wakefield with UNC, Northwestern, and Hopkins was dramatically bigger than we had expected. I'm going to plead with you to RSVP to college evening programs (not just mine) because those RSVPs help us tell hotel staff how to set up our function rooms. It's really important so the session isn't interrupted as stacks of chairs are rolled in and set up to accommodate unexpected crowds.
Tonight we'll have a program in Dedham before heading down to Rhode Island. Red Sox score updates will be given during the program, if needed.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
I'm always excited to meet blog readers at my programs, so please say hello if you come to one of our events!
Sunday, October 12 at 7:30 pm
Sheraton Colonial Hotel Boston North
One Audubon Road
Wakefield, MA 01880
Monday, October 13 at 7:30 pm
Noble and Greenough School
Lawrence Auditorium, Shattuck Schoolhouse
10 Campus Drive
Dedham, MA 01880
Tuesday, October 14 at 7:30 pm
Providence Marriott Downtown
1 Orms Street
Providence, RI 02904
Wednesday, October 15 at 7:30 pm
Darien High School
80 High School Lane
Darien, CT 06820
Thursday, October 16 at 7:30 pm
Simsbury High School
34 Farms Village Road
Simsbury, CT 06070
Northwestern is coordinating the RSVPs for these events. If you'd like to attend, you can RSVP on their website.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Today, we got some statistics that dealt specifically with the College of Arts & Sciences, which enrolls 74% of UVa students.
The student to faculty ratio is 17:1, but this includes graduate and undergraduate students. Our assessment office was not able to break that down, which makes me think the overall ratio might also include graduate students.
The average class size in the College is 33 students. The median class size is 17.
I don't like to throw statistics around when it comes to admission because I think people sometimes try to over analyze them (our average SAT score really isn't going to tell you much about UVa). I think class size statistics are interesting, though.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Common App & Supplement....online via commonapp.org
SAT/ACT/TOEFL Scores..........testing agency
School Report & Transcript......Common App's counselor portal OR mail
Mid-Year & Final Reports.........Common App's counselor portal OR mail
Supporting Documents for In-State Residents...fax
Financial Guarantee (international students)....mail
Art Supplements....................mail (see instructions on website)
We have a dedicated fax line just for application credentials, 434-924-7674.
UPDATE: I just heard from the International Studies Office that Financial Guarantee Forms and supporting documents must be mailed and can't be faxed.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
We obviously plan to petition the Common App board (comprised of admission officers from about 15 member colleges and universities) to allow supplemental recs to be submitted via the Common App system, but that board does not meet for quite some time, so a change will not be made this year.
Teachers may send recommendations by mail or fax their recommendations to the admission credentials fax line: 434-924-7674. We prefer that letters be faxed, as we are now a paperless office.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Stone Bridge High School Fair (4:00-8:00 PM)
Northern Virginia Community College Fair (12:00-1:30 PM)
Osbourn Park High School Fair (7:00-9:00 PM)
Lord Fairfax Community College Fair (7:00-9:00 PM)
Lord Fairfax Community College Fair (11:30 AM-1:00 PM)
Apple Blossom Mall Fair (6:30-8:30 PM)
Central High School Fair (9:00-10:30 AM)
JMU Convocation Center Fair (6:30-8:30 PM)
Thursday, September 18, 2008
With a new crop of students reading the blog, I think it helps to revisit this topic. Consider the situation in our office: we had 18,500 applications last year and will probably see a bump up in numbers due to our switch to the Common App. We have 15 full-time admission officers and 5-7 part-time staffers who come on board during reading season. Each application is read at least twice. That's a lot of work for a relatively small staff. We truly don't have time to google and search for every student who applies to UVa.
Now, I still think you should have your profiles set to private so only your friends can see them and even then I think you should consider how you'd feel if what you have on your profile was on the front page of the newspaper and edit accordingly.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Feel free to post questions about the Common App and I'll work through them in the next few posts.
Friday, September 05, 2008
On Sunday and Monday, I'll be speaking at UVa evening programs organized by the alumni clubs in Denver and Phoenix. After that, I'll join my colleagues from UNC, Emory, and Northwestern for joint programs in Sacramento, San Francisco (actually San Mateo), and Portland.
Here are the details from the UVa Visits You page:
Sunday, September 7 at 6:30 pm
200 Inverness Drive West
I-25 and Dry Creek Road
Englewood, CO 80112
Monday, September 8 at 6:00 pm
The University Club of Phoenix
39 East Monte Vista Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Tuesday, September 9 at 7:30 pm
Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel
1230 J Street
13th and J Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Wednesday, September 10 at 7:30 pm
San Mateo Marriott
1770 South Amphlett Boulevard
San Mateo, CA 94402
Thursday, September 11 at 7:30 pm
Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront
1401 SW Naito Parkway
Portland, OR 97201
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
When I went off to college, oh so many years ago, my mother forced me to bring a few things I was convinced I wouldn't need. One of those things was an umbrella. At that point in my life, carrying an umbrella was not very cool. For that matter, wearing hats, gloves, boots, or anything that hinted that one was less-than-invincible was not cool.
The reality is that coming to school without these things makes you look a bit silly. You're going to be walking quite a bit. It's going to rain, snow, get windy, and get cold here. You'll need hats, gloves, scarves, boots, good coat, a rain jacket, and an umbrella. I'm mentioning this now because next summer, when you're getting ready for college, you might have some trouble getting all this together if you're from a warmer climate where one doesn't need such accoutrements or simply don't use them under the guise of looking "cool".
I know this isn't admission related, but seeing the poor guy in the picture above inspired me.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Fall is a great time to tour UVa, but those of you planning visits should check our website to avoid weekends like the one coming up, when thousands will be flocking to grounds. The weekend of home football games will be ones when it will be very difficult to get parking anywhere in the general vicinity. We'd love to have you visit us, but fear these weekends might provide for some stressful driving and parking:
August 30 (vs. USC)
September 6 (vs. Richmond)
October 4 (vs. Maryland)
October 11 (vs. East Carolina)
October 18 (vs. North Carolina)
November 1 (vs. Miami)
November 22 (vs. Clemson)
I've lost a good chunk of my readers who don't need this blog anymore, but I hope I'm gaining a few new ones as rising seniors start to search for more information about UVa and the application process. I hope the new readers will be quick to speak up via the comments and ask questions. I hope some of the veteran readers who have stuck around will chime in when they know the answers.
Oh, and for those who were interested, the chicken pictures that were posted on July 9th were taken at Poly Prep in Brooklyn. Congrats to the poster who knew that. I didn't think anyone would have seen them before! I saw the chickens while there for a college fair and snapped the pictures with my camera phone. The guidance director told me that people toss Easter chicks that have gotten too big over their fences because they have a lot of space. They seem to like having them around and it's definitely a charming sight.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
An incoming UVa freshman, Yolando Yixiao Min, carried the Olympic torch last night! I've been scouring pictures on CNN and MS-NBC to see if I can find her, but I haven't been able to yet. I guess I'll have to watch tonight to see if she gets mentioned.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
How many boxes do you see?
Friday, August 01, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Of course, there have been lots of developments right here in Peabody Hall as well...
We're one week away from going live with our new, paperless application review system. At a time when every industry is making efforts to be more environmentally conscious, admission offices can make a huge impact by going paperless. With close to 20,000 first year and transfer applications last year and with students sending more supplemental materials than ever before, the amount of paper being used in our office was huge. I feel good about our move to using less paper. The graduate schools at UVa are moving in the same direction, so paper consumption at UVa will probably decrease dramatically in the near future.
I'll be touching on some of the particulars about the new UVa admission process in the coming weeks.
It's good to be back!
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
For some fun, you can try to answer a trivia question: On which high school's campus were the following pictures were taken? I'll post an answer when I return in about a week.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Pardon the silly break from my usual posts, but I thought I'd share some pictures from CavDog's birthday party since he's been so popular here. When I posted a picture of CavDog in the snow last winter, I had no idea that he would become a fixture on the blog and a minor celebrity among students. It's been a wonderful year!
On the "Plan a Visit" page, you can read about the formal visit options available to prospective students and their families: info sessions, tours, day visits, overnights, and a virtual tour. You'll also find a link to directions.
On the "Tours & Information Sessions" page, you'll see schedules for these events. Open the "Daily Schedules" PDF for specific locations of sessions.
When you arrive at the Central Grounds Parking Garage, you'll be tempted to grab the first open space you see. I suggest that you pass by the entire first floor (which can get congested when a line forms at the cashier's booth) and park on the 2nd or 3rd floors because the garage is built into a hill and you will exit on the 4th floor.
When you leave the parking deck, just go to the location of your information session. Newcomb Hall, where most sessions are held, will be right in front of you. Your tour guides will pick you up from the info session and drop you off at the Office of Admission, where we'll load you down with as many brochures as you'd like. There's no need to go to the Office of Admission before your session and you don't have the "check in" ahead of time.
On Saturdays, the Office of Admission is closed, even though we give information sessions. I'll be the lucky dean coming in this weekend for the session and I know that if I stop in the office, I'll hear people trying to pry open the door. Just look to the left of the door and there's a little kiosk where you can get brochures and fill out an inquiry card (it's just as easy to fill out the inquiry form online, though).
If you want to eat before heading off to the next school, I personally think you should go to The Corner instead of a dining hall. Our dining halls are run by Aramark and chances are that they are similar to Aramark dining halls at other schools. It's not mom's home cooking and it's not horrible; it's just pretty standard. The Corner is a shopping area on the other side of The Rotunda where there are all sorts of shops and cafes. it's definitely worth a visit.
What are your questions about visiting?
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The Common App General Essay
Please write an essay (250 words minimum) on a topic of your choice or on one of the options listed below. This personal essay helps us to become acquainted with you as a person and student, apart from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will also demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself.
- Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
- Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.
- Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
- Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.
- A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.
- Topic of your choice.
UVa Supplement Essays for First-Years
1. Answer the question that corresponds to the school you selected above. Limit your answer to 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?
- Engineering: Discuss experiences that led you to choose an engineering education at U.Va. and the role that scientific curiosity plays in your life.
- Architecture: What led you to apply to the School of Architecture?
- Nursing: Discuss experiences that led you to choose the School of Nursing.
2. Answer one of the following questions in a half page or roughly 250 words
- What is your favorite word and why?
- Describe the world you come from and how that world shaped who you are.
- Discuss something you secretly like but pretend not to, or vice versa.
- "We might say that we were looking for global schemas, symmetries, universal and unchanging laws - and what we have discovered is the mutable, the ephemeral, the complex." Support or challenge Nobel Prize winner Ilya Prigogine's assertion.
UVa Supplement Essays for Transfers
1. How do the possible career or professional plans you indicated on the Common Application relate to your planned course of study?
- If you are applying to the College of Arts and Sciences and are undecided about your major, indicate your general area of interest.
- If you are applying to the Architecture, Commerce, Education, Engineering, or Nursing Schools, tell us why you have chosen this field and what experiences (work, internships, etc.) have prepared you for it.
- If you are applying to the Five-Year Teacher Education Program, indicate your academic major within the College of Arts and Sciences and your intended teaching area (e.g., elementary education, secondary education).
2. Describe your activities during periods of time (other than summer vacations) when you were not enrolled in college. Do you plan to spend the Spring term away from your current college or university? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, please describe, in chronological order, your activities or employment during these periods.
Friday, June 20, 2008
I know it's taken a while and I'm sorry about that. Our staff was working hard to get all the decisions entered into the system and help with the transfer process simultaneously.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Click that link and check it out! I'm sure your comments will be appreciated!
Monday, June 09, 2008
Remember that we were over enrolled with very few spaces open in certain areas. I don't have exact numbers right now, but hope to have something to post tomorrow. To be brutally honest, you should expect a letter releasing you. If my posts have been ignored and you're expecting something else, I think you might be setting yourself up for a disappointment.
I think it's time to revisit some things I wrote back in March:
Regardless of what your letter says, you are going to be just fine. You are going to attend a great school and you are going to grow tremendously while there. You are going to have highs and lows, you're going to have great successes and you're going to fail miserably at something. What's going to make or break those experiences is your response and your attitude, not necessarily the location of the events.
You're going to wind up at another great school and I hope you'll throw yourself into life there. For most of you, UVa will be forgotten fairly easily. However, if months go by and things don't feel right, then I hope the idea of transferring will inspire you to work your hardest and take courses that will help you in the transfer process. Good luck to you all and thank so much for spending your time here. It's been a pleasure interacting with you on this blog.
Oh, one last note about the online status pages:
Because we've been working on two processes simultaneously (the processes for first years and transfers), it is going to take a few more days to get the status pages updated. So you will not see any change today or tomorrow. As always, I'll post an update when I know more.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Monday, June 02, 2008
We'll also be taking down the online application system shortly so that we can clear the way for the new students information system, our online reading system, and the Common App. The site's been buggy at times, but if you have trouble connecting to it in the next few weeks, it might be because the system is completely going away.
Friday, May 30, 2008
45,381 unique visitors
259,612 page views
The peak of traffic came in the last week of March, which was when decisions were posted on your status pages. The blog had 62,592 hits that week.
Most students find the blog through the online application status page or Google. Other sources include message boards and other blogs.
The vast majority of readers are from the United States, but there are readers from many other countries. The rest of the top ten (in order): Singapore, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, India, Hong Kong (my stats program doesn't lump Hong Kong in with China), Canada, United Kingdom, Thailand, and Turkey.
Roughly half of the domestic readers are from Virginia. Other states that round out the top ten (in order): New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Florida, District of Columbia, Massachusetts.
The percentage of readers who are new to the blog has held steady at 30% for the last three months. Back in January, there was a big jump (obviously as student started checking their status pages) and the percentage of new readers hit 60%.
Seeing these numbers and reading your comments makes this so rewarding. Thank you all so much for visiting and contributing to this blog!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I can't accommodate every request these days, as there's not much news on the waitlist front and I'm spending more and more time working with the team that's getting UVa ready for the Common App, a new central information system for student records, and the new paperless application review process. However, there was a request made on those message boards you all love/hate to prowl and I can definitely accommodate that.
At the request of "DB", here are some CavDog pictures:
Thursday, May 15, 2008
After the Office of Admission logs your deposit into our computer system, other offices can start to work with you. The very first thing you'll receive is your MyUva book (click for a PDF version) from the Office of Orientation and New Student Programs. The very first thing you'll want to do is activate your computing ID. See that MyUVa link for online information about that. After that, do some reading. Talk to your parents about orientation dates and make plans to come to Charlottesville for that. On the Summer Orientation site (first menu item on the main orientation page), you can find all sorts of info about what happens at orientation, who should come, etc.
The Orientation & New Student Programs site also has info about move-in weekend activities (called Fall Orientation), Family Weekend in October, and other activities for first-year students.
Hope that helps!
Commencement is on Saturday.
Obviously, this is a very happy time at UVa, but it's also the time of a transition that can be a little rough on admission officers. It's time for admission to hand off "our" students to the other offices of the University. A few months ago, if you had questions, you called us or you posted here on the blog. Now, you'll start calling orientation, housing, dining services, and after orientation, you adviser to get answers to your questions. I imagine that a good number of you who posted questions here in the past are already gone because there's no need to check ol' Dean J's blog anymore.
Here's my plea: keep in touch! My work is infinitely more rewarding when I'm interacting with students. When a current UVa student chimes in on the blog or when someone calls me Dean J (or my dog by his UVa name), I'm ecstatic. So, between now and next fall, when the juniors find the blog, please check in and say hello. It means a lot to me!
Here's another plea: think about the juniors behind you and think about some of the things you can do to share what you've learned about this process. Maybe you'll do something formal like join the Guide Service or visit your high school over breaks to talk to the younger students. Maybe you'll do something more casual like post on the blog/message boards or be that student that offers to answer questions for a visiting family that's wandering around Grounds. I'm sure your own conversations with admission officers pale in comparison with conversations you had with students during your college search. Please try to be a part of this process for the students behind you!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The two groups are separate and what happens to one does not affect the other.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
First, some background: I'm a "city kid". Prior to arriving in Charlottesville, I only lived in major metropolitan areas. Coming to Charlottesville, I imagined the shopping options of a small city being limited and thought I'd be driving to Richmond and Northern Virginia fairly often on the weekends. What I learned is that Charlottesville has everything I need, but might not have a range of options, which turns out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise. Before, I'd race all over my city, investigating all the options available before settling on a purchase. Buying even simple things could take weeks. Here, there are still multiple options for things, but still not as many as in a large city, which saves a lot of time and energy when shopping.
So, let's start with an overview of Charlottesville's shopping districts: The Corner (by UVa), the Downtown Mall (covered in a previous weekend topic), and Emmet Street/Route 29.
The Corner covers about six blocks along University Avenue, which runs alongside Grounds, and a few side streets. Among the cafes and restaurants are bookstores and boutiques. A few of the cafes, a deli and a pizza place come to mind, stay open late at night, so there's activity on The Corner at all hours.
Emmet Street/Route 29
Emmet Street is a major road that has some University buildings on it (John Paul Jones Arena, Lambeth Field Apartments), but it's mostly known for being the road that has all the big, chain stores that each city seems to have. Students seem to do a lot of shopping at Barracks Road Shopping Center, which is on the UVa bus route and a pretty short walk from Lambeth. Around Barracks Road, Emmet turns into more of a highway than a road. Further up, you'll find lots of "big box" type stores (Best Buy, discount stores like TJ Max, Lowes, Target, etc). The #7 Charlottesville goes up and down Route 29 (the UVa bus doesn't go higher than Barracks Road).
The two closest outlet centers currently are in Northern Virginia (Leesburg) and Williamsburg. I heard recently that a new outlet center along the same lines as those two is being planned for Zions Crossroads, which is about 20-25 minutes east on Route 64.
What have a missed? What questions do you have about shopping?
Friday, May 09, 2008
We are over enrolled. This doesn't mean we won't go to the waitlist. What I'm fairly certain of is the following:
The College of Arts & Sciences is most likely closed. CLAS applicants probably won't come off the waitlist.
The specialty schools (Engineering, Architecture, and Nursing) might see some waitlist movement. If we go to those waitlists, the number of offers will be very small.
When I have more info, I will post it. I know many of you have been checking daily to see news and I wanted to be close to certain before I posted anything. As the mail rolled in, I knew what would possibly happen, but wasn't completely sure.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Monday, May 05, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
The Beta Bridge is a prime location for publicizing activities and sending messages. Students show up in the middle of the night to paint the bridge and hope that no one shows up behind them to paint over their message. All the paint added to the bridge makes it appear to be about a foot thicker than it is (until the paint cracks, which happens every now and then).
Very early this morning, we added another layer with a message for our wonderful Dean of Admission, Jack Blackburn.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
This being an odd year for UVa, we're reading the tea leaves quite a bit these days. Today's bit of data: even though most deposits arrive in the few days before and after May 1st, we've processed 1598 deposits as of this morning. There are probably a few that have arrived in the mail that haven't been processed yet, so I'm confident saying that's a solid 1600. The overall sense is that this isn't high or low.
What does this all mean? Not much until May 1st arrives and all the mail is counted.
Hang in there, waitlisted students. We don't know anything about how the waitlist will be used at this time.
Update: The crowd was the biggest we've had for a final DOTL. The last session is usually nice and small. We were really surprised!
I met many nice families and CavDog enjoyed all the pets and praise he received. One funny moment came when a family asked why a dog was at DOTL. At that very instant, a crowd of students appeared and said something along the lines of "Oh my gosh, it's CavDog!!! Are you Dean J?". Perfect timing, all!
I thought the speakers, Larry Sabato and Maryann Li (4th year, Commerce student from Virginia Beach) were some of the best speakers we've had this year. Even though we were packed into the ballroom, I really enjoyed the morning session. CavDog was a little scared of the stage, so he was a little afraid during his portion of the program, but he did most of what we expected him to do!
Hope you all enjoyed your visit!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
CavDog seemed to enjoy the smaller crowd on Monday, too. He wasn't as nervous weaving through the crowd or giving some kisses to people who came by to say hello. Here's a picture that a nice mother sent me:
Those coming to DOTL on Friday can expect some gorgeous weather. We're currently expecting it to hit 80 degrees!