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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.