For new readers...

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

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

Welcome to the blog and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

CavDog's serious expression might match yours this NYE if you're trying to put the finishing touches on some applications. Good luck, everyone!

Do you have last minute application questions?

If you have last minute application questions, the first thing you need to know is that we are understanding when things go wrong. Remember that we can't fix problems with the Common App site, so make sure to direct your questions to the right place.

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

As the holidays end, applications are due

CavDog's tired of traveling!

We're still on our "Christmas Tour", but I wanted to check in to remind those of you who haven't submitted your applications that you probably don't want to wait until the very last minute to hit the submit buttons (yes, that's plural...there are THREE components to submit).

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

A follow up note about Facebook groups

Yesterday, I posted about Facebook groups being created en masse by a group of people lacking any affiliation with a college or university. Turns out the group was probably just one person working for College Prowler and/or a not-quite-in-business company called Match U. The reasons given for creating the groups were:
...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.

CavDog is tired of talking about Facebook groups

Friday, December 19, 2008

The 12 Days of Winter Break on Youtube

There's always a surprise to be found on Youtube. I can't even remember what I was looking for, but I found the video below and couldn't turn it off. I was tempted to fast forward to the 3:30 mark for the big finale because I was a little creeped out by the animated Jefferson wearing a santa hat. There's a chuckle here and there. My personal favorite is the "Deans a-leaping."

A note for Facebook users

I've always felt pretty strongly that admission officers should let Facebook groups geared towards applicants and incoming students grow organically. Last night, a well-researched blog post by Brad Ward at Butler University changed my mind.

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

Chat rooms open tonight!

Deans and current students will be logging in to the UVa chat rooms answer your questions tonight from 7-9 PM. There will be multiple rooms, so when you are presented with your options, don't just go to the first room. This is the last chat night before the application deadline.

Hope to see some of you there!

Let's talk about perfection

The pressure to live up to perfection can get anyone down

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:

Sometimes

perfect

is

boring

Does the student who achieves perfection (whatever that is) get accepted to lots of schools? Sure. But at UVa, we'll be admitting over 6,000 students to bring in a class of about 3,170 students. If we only admit perfection, we'll have a pretty small class. Yes, you need a strong profile to be admitted, but we don't have a picture of the perfect student in our heads as we read your files.

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.

Perfection is nice, but so is personality

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Log into the SIS...all the cool kids are doing it

CavDog wouldn't dream of letting a day go by without looking at his application checklist

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 uvaapplicationinfo@virginia.edu 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.

Reminder: check your Common App status

I've gotten a few calls in the past week from students who thought they submitted their applications, but who haven't gotten email confirmations from us about getting into the UVa Student Information System, where status pages are found.

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

The semester is coming to a close

The last of the final exams will be given tomorrow and the most of the students who are still here will head home for the holidays. Many locals look forward to our student-free weeks, when traffic is lighter and sidewalks are so congested, but I have to admit that I miss the hustle and bustle that comes about when 13,000 undergraduates are in town.

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

The Essay Wall returns

Pardon my absence, but we've been knee deep (as opposed to elbow deep) in applications and have been tucked away reading for pretty long stretches. Happily, I was able to put the first essays up on The Essay Wall this afternoon. Old readers probably know this from past years, but I'll explain for the newcomers...

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

Admission office field trip to the School of Architecture

After our visit to Campbell Hall today, I think everyone should try to fit in a tour of the School of Architecture while at UVa. Two striking, thoughtful additions were added to the school this year. Both were designed by faculty members, who were kind enough to act as our guides.



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

Admission chat tonight!

The last round of chats were so successful that we've scheduled some more for tonight. Deans (myself included) and current students will be logging in to answer your questions about UVa and the admission process. There will be multiple rooms, so when you are presented with your options, don't just go to the first room.

Hope to see some of you there!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Rumor Mill

As deans have come back to the office from their recruitment trips, we've gotten reports about the latest round of rumors that are floating around about UVa's admission process. I'm sure there are more out there than the ones we're hearing, so feel free to post some in the comments and I'll give you my thoughts about them.

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

Letters! We get letters!


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.

New Office of Admission website launches today!

I should be getting ready to head into the office, but I keep stopping at the computer to hi refresh on the Office of Admission website. The web communications office is supposed to be launching a new design for the site today. I think they're going to try to use my submission chart on the application instructions page, which should be much more streamlined than before.

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

These kids are good: Black Voices

I sometimes have trouble making it to early morning programs on time, especially when those programs are on the weekends. There's one program, however, for which I can't be late: Fall Fling. There's one very awesome reason: Black Voices.

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

The glamorous life of the road warrior

When admission officers talk about the travel that comes with this job, people are often a little envious. Oh, the great cities we must visit! The wonderful food we must eat! The fancy hotels we must frequent!

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

UVa Chats this Wednesday and Thursday

Tomorrow and Thursday night, the UVa Chat rooms will be open from 7 PM to 9 PM. We'll have students, faculty, and admission officers on hand to answer questions in a few different chat rooms. You'll have to register a username to participate and you can do that now or just before entering the chat.

Hope to see some of you there!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Practice voting today

This is pretty neat...the engineering school had a student video contest and are letting the public vote for the winner of the contest. You can see the finalists' videos and vote for your favorite on the video contest website.

What do you think of them? I have a definite favorite.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!


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!




Note: CavDog only "endured" his mane and the attention that came with it for 15 minutes.

Common App! Common App! Common App!

A student told one of my colleagues that he didn't see "Fall 2009" as a choice for admit term on the application, so he just picked Fall 2008.

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

Onine reading begins tomorrow!


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

Very important application reminders!

This is just a reminder that Common App will not send teacher recommendations to UVa (follow the link for details).

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.

With election day around the corner...

Here's a neat Youtube video in which Professor Larry Sabato, a very popular faculty member, talks about getting involved in politics. This isn't admission related, but I think it's a nice message as we head into the election.



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

36 Hours in Charlottesville

My first trip to Paris lasted 48 hours.

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

SAT scores released = phone ringing off the hook

I'm lucky enough to be the "Dean of the Day" today and just realized that many of you have just received results from the October administration of the SAT. The phones are ringing off the hook as parents and counselors call to get our take on the scores.

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...

CavDog wishes students didn't fixate on their test scores

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Reading begins next week!

It's an exciting time here in Peabody. We already have a good number of applications that have reached "ready to read" status (meaning, all the required components have arrived), so we will start reading applications via the paperless system next week!

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.

The scanners are whirling away!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The turtle of Peabody Hall

The other day, a colleague called me into her office to show me what her daughter had just found outside our office. I was expecting a pretty leaf or a flower, but instead found the little girl holding this:


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".


No turtles were hurt in the making of this blog post.
The turtle was released in a wooded area, away from major roads.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The prevelance of the IB

This morning's Washington Post has an article about how IB programs are received at area colleges and universities. To say it baffles me would be an understatement.

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.

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.

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.

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

These kids are good: Cavalier Marching Band


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.

Greetings from Boston!

Greetings from Boston!

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.

CavDog keeping an eye on Peabody Hall while I'm away

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

One last week on the road

My travel season this year isn't as long as in years past. I'm about the embark on my last week of travel for the year. Tonight, I'll be sitting on a panel at Midlothian High School (just outside of Richmond). After that, I'll be headed to New England, where I lived for about ten years, for some joint evening programs with UNC, Northwestern, and Johns Hopkins.

I'm always excited to meet blog readers at my programs, so please say hello if you come to one of our events!

Massachusetts
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

Rhode Island
Tuesday, October 14 at 7:30 pm
Providence Marriott Downtown
1 Orms Street
Providence, RI 02904

Connecticut
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

Some interesting class size statistics

I've rattled off class size statistics for years. 47% of classes have less than 20 students, 84% have less than 50, 7% have more than 100. The overall student to faculty ratio is 15:1. I've never seen school-specific statistics and these numbers, though.

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

Deadline & Submission Reminder

I made you a deadline and submission chart to bookmark for future reference. Click the image below to expand it, then bookmark the page to keep it handy.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Credential Submission Guide

I thought I'd throw together a "cheat sheet" that shows how various credentials can be submitted to UVa without the prose of our website. Feel free to ask questions...

Required Components
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


Supplemental Components
Art Supplements....................mail (see instructions on website)
Extra recommendations.........fax


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

Recommendation letter clarification

In the past, we have allowed teachers to submit their recommendations online. Just for 2008, we are not permitted to receive recommendation letters online. Though it appears as though UVa will get letters requested through the Common App system, we do not. Common App only allows required recommendations to be sent to us. Because your guidance counselor's school report fulfills our requirement, no online teacher recs will be forwarded to us by Common App.

Looks are deceiving...teacher recs submitted via Common App are not sent to UVa

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

Another week on the road

I'm back on the road this week. This time, I'm staying in state, going to college fairs in northern Virginia and the upper Shenandoah Valley (hoping to have time to get a pie at Shawnee Springs Market!). If your school has a college fair this week, stop by the UVa table and say hello!

Sunday
Stone Bridge High School Fair (4:00-8:00 PM)
Ashburn, VA

Monday
Northern Virginia Community College Fair (12:00-1:30 PM)
Manassas, VA

Osbourn Park High School Fair (7:00-9:00 PM)
Manassas, VA

Tuesday
Lord Fairfax Community College Fair (7:00-9:00 PM)
Fauquier, VA

Wednesday
Lord Fairfax Community College Fair (11:30 AM-1:00 PM)
Middletown, VA

Apple Blossom Mall Fair (6:30-8:30 PM)
Winchester, VA

Thursday
Central High School Fair (9:00-10:30 AM)
Woodstock, VA

JMU Convocation Center Fair (6:30-8:30 PM)
Harrisonburg, VA

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Are we checking Facebook?

I addressed the Facebook/MySpace issue over two years ago on my old blog (here and here)...so long ago that one of the entries mentions that Facebook is only open to people with a .edu account and we all know that restriction went out the window quite some time ago.

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

Common App Q&A

Our office is extremely excited about the move to the Common App. Delivery from Common App Online is automated and your status pages will update more quickly than before as a result. However, we're all adjusting to a new style of application and I realize that there are questions.

Feel free to post questions about the Common App and I'll work through them in the next few posts.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Hitting the road

It's that time again! Time to kiss CavBear good-bye and hit the road for the fall travel season. I'll periodically post my itineraries so you'll know if I'll be in your area.

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:

Denver
Sunday, September 7 at 6:30 pm
Inverness Hotel
200 Inverness Drive West
I-25 and Dry Creek Road
Englewood, CO 80112
www.invernesshotel.com

Phoenix
Monday, September 8 at 6:00 pm
The University Club of Phoenix
39 East Monte Vista Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Sacramento
Tuesday, September 9 at 7:30 pm
Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel
1230 J Street
13th and J Street
Sacramento, California 95814


San Francisco
Wednesday, September 10 at 7:30 pm
San Mateo Marriott
1770 South Amphlett Boulevard
San Mateo, CA 94402


Portland
Thursday, September 11 at 7:30 pm
Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront
1401 SW Naito Parkway
Portland, OR 97201

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A tip for being a happy Hoo

A warm, dry Hoo is a happy Hoo!

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

We made it through move in!

It's that time! Traffic on The Corner has slowed to a crawl, locals are staying away from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, the UVa Computing Store has boxes of laptops piled high, and the bookstore is a zoo. The students are back!

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.

Friday, August 08, 2008

What does UVa have to do with the Olympics?


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

Dude...we're getting a Dell!

Today was an exciting day for the admission office...well, at least for those of us who have been waiting for our new equipment to arrive. Because we've gone paperless, we need a good deal of equipment (mostly monitors so everyone has one of document images and one for typing).

How many boxes do you see?



Friday, August 01, 2008

New look for Virginia.edu

Every two years or so, Virginia.edu gets a bit of a makeover. Today, a new look debuts:


The Office of Admission homepage will also get a revamp, but that won't be ready until the winter.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back from hiatus

I'm back from a short hiatus! I wasn't really on vacation all this time, though did sneak over to the beach for a short time. The new student system project has been getting the bulk of my time for the last few weeks. In that time, the Common Application has successfully launched their new and improved 2009 application and the UVa specific supplement went live at the time time. Now seems like the perfect time to create an application account on the Common App website to take a look around. Close to 4,000 students have already begun their UVa applications on the Common App site!

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!

CavDog enjoyed his first trip to the beach during the blog break

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Vacation time for Dean J

I'll be away from the blog for a little while. For now, you can look at this picture of an alpaca.

Hello!

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

A very special announcement

CavDog celebrated his very first birthday on Tuesday!

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!



The birthday boy...after stealing another dog's ice cream (dog safe, of course)

Notes for visitors

I've been scurrying around Grounds for meetings this week and have noticed how many visitors don't seem to know where to park or where to go for the day's information sessions. I thought I'd put a little note up to remind you of the resources available on our website.

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

2009 Application Essays

With the Common App's "go live" date around the corner, I thought I'd post the 2009 application essays for any of the juniors who want to start thinking about their essay topics. All applicants (first-year and transfer) will write three personal statements. Please pay attention to the word limits. These are not term papers, then are short, personal statements.


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.

The wait list is no more

I got word late yesterday that all wait list decisions have been made. Status pages should reflect your final status and letters have been mailed.

It looks like the Class of 2012 is complete!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Status pages have been updated

Just checking in during a very busy week to let you all know that all status pages should be up to date.

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

Introducing the UVa Life Blog

There are times when I feel badly that I don't have all the answers. When Transfermer arrived on the UVa blogging scene, I was so excited that transfer students would have an expert to field all their questions. Then, the AccessUVa students joined the blogging fray and added a student voice to the mix. Now, I'm happy to share the newest addition to our cast of blogs. It's a student blog that is simply called UVa Life.

Click that link and check it out! I'm sure your comments will be appreciated!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Waitlist letters on the way

Waitlist letters are on the way to you. Those who are local may have them today, others might have to wait a few days for them to be delivered. Inevitably, someone asks when the letter will arrive at their home and I can't predict that...you probably know more about your mail service than I do!

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

Waitlist decisions are down

Those of you who are still checking status pages may see decisions gone from the system. I just removed all waitlist decisions so the staff can do some work on them. Decisions will come back up on Monday or Tuesday. I will post an update when I know which day it will be.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Waitlist update

I just got off the phone with my colleagues in admission (remember, I'm in another office right now). Most of the waitlist will hear one way or the other early next week. We usually hold onto a few applicants in case of more "melt" (the admission "industry" term for when deposited students drop out of the class, usually because they've gotten off a waitlist elsewhere), but that will be a very, very mall number of cases.

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

Some interesting stats

I was crunching blog statistics yesterday and thought I'd share some interesting ones. I was very surprised by the overall traffic to this site over the last academic year:

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

By request

Sitting in the buttercups at Darden Towe Park

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:

Eating breakfast at a downtown diner


A dog's first experience with cannoli is very special


Being washed and fluffed at the self-service dog wash
(he's yawning, not crying)

Checking out the Downtown Mall traffic at a favorite cafe

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What happens after your deposit is received

There have been lots of questions on the blog and message boards about orientation, housing, and the time line for getting information after making a deposit.

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!

Finals are upon us

Traffic is increasing. Restaurants are a little more crowded. Students standing on the Rotunda steps, smiling for pictures is a regular sight. Huge, party tents are being assembled on any flat (or relatively flat) surface around Grounds. It's all a sign of what's just around the corner.

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

Quick reminder for transfers

Transfers, please remember that information being shared here about the waitlist pertains to first year students. It does not pertain to transfers. The transfer blog will have information about the transfer waitlist.

The two groups are separate and what happens to one does not affect the other.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Weekend Topic: Shopping

In the weekend topics "series", I've already covered outdoor activities, music, weather, food, transportation, cheap entertainment options, and sports. As some of you are heading out to the stores to find that perfect present for mom (you do know what day it is tomorrow, yes?), I thought I'd cover the suggested topic of shopping.

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
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).

Outlets
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

Waitlist Status

CavDog is sorry this isn't very happy news for some.

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

It's been four days...

By the end of the week, we'll probably be able to say that all the mail postmarked on May 1st has arrived and we'll have a final count of deposits. I hope to have an update for all of you by Friday night.

Monday, May 05, 2008

More weekend topics?

One reader suggested that we revisit the weekend topics. I'm game...but I'd like to know what topics you'd like to see.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Traditions

Every school has its traditions and this morning, the Office of Admission took part in one.

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

Most transfers should see their status

See the transfer blog for the whole story.

Heads up transfers

If any transfers are reading, keep an eye on the transfer blog today. There might be an exciting announcement for you!

By the way, I am not "Transfermer", the blogger on the transfer admission blog. Transfermer is the expert on these matters. I am not.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Reading tea leaves

One of my favorite Deans used to describe the speculation that happens in admission offices during the month of April as "reading tea leaves". We've made our offers and eagerly wait for responses to see how the first year class will turn out. Every bit of information is scrutinized (some of it seriously, some of it just to pass the time during an anxious month): the number of phone calls received, the size of tours, the daily mail counts (yes, many offices actually count the pieces of mail each day).

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.

Days on The Lawn, vol. 5

Our run of great weather for DOTL is over. We'll be in our rain location, the Newcomb Hall Ballroom, for the start of DOTL this morning. It'll be crowded, but at least we'll all be dry!

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

Days on The Lawn, vol. 3

As usual, DOTL crowds were much smaller on Monday. Typically, people are eager to visit, so they come to the first DOTL they can. It's a bit overwhelming, but it also makes later DOTL events very pleasurable.

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!