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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Let's talk about competition

Sometimes when I meet students on the road or take calls, they want to know who "their" admission officer is. While other schools give them the answer they expect (a name), we have to explain that we don't have territories at UVa. We don't group students by school to read them. This is more time consuming, but we think it means that we compare students to their school's profile, meaning we look at what choices they made in light of the options open to them at their school. We don't have the profiles of a student's classmates in our heads as we review their application. I may read a student from Richmond, then a student from Chicago, then a student from Atlanta, then a student from Virginia get the idea.

Resist the urge to think that certain students are being admitted "over" their classmates. We don't call up all applications from a certain school with the idea that we'll take a certain number. We have multiple rounds of review that aim to check and recheck decisions. This takes a good amount of time and we try our best to assemble the most competitive, interesting class we can.

Do you have questions about this style of reading?