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!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Deadline definition

There's always a little confusion about the specific moment of our deadline. Back in the days of paper applications, the deadline was whatever time your local post office was willing to post mark an envelope. These days, you have a little more time. With online applications came permission to procrastinate just a few more hours.

Our deadline is January 1st. Technically, you could submit an application at 11:59 PM on January 1st and meet the deadline.  I strongly encourage you to hit submit before that final hour. There is obviously a lot of traffic on the Common App servers on that final day and while I'm sure they can handle it, I can imagine the panic you'd feel if your internet connection cut out during those final moments of deadline day.

In addition, if you have questions for the Common App people, I imagine you'll get a faster response to a help ticket submission if you are asking during normal business hours. If you submit a help request at 10 PM, you'll probably be one of many doing the same thing and therefore won't hear back for a little while.

I know this is an extremely stressful time. I imagine there is some freaking out going on. Do yourself a favor and made a personal deadline that's before the official one.

Good luck! As always, you can post questions here and I'll do my best to answer them quickly!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Some last minute application information

The January 1st deadline is around the corner! Inevitably, there will be last minute questions. Here's how to get answers.

First of all, any trouble with the Common Application can only be fixed by the Common Application staff. If you have any problems with your Common App, submit a help ticket.  If you don't know how to do that, see #2 here. If you wait until the last minute, you have to expect a delay in the resolution of your problem. Don't freak out! Don't submit something that's half finished or incorrect in a panic. Wait until you get an answer.

Once you submit your application (all three parts, the Common App, Supplement, and payment must be submitted for anything to be sent to us from the Common App system), it will take a couple days of processing to prompt a login email for UVa's Student Information System (SIS) to be sent to you. If you are about to leave for college, you should be able to follow the directions in the email and log into our system successfully.  You can do it!

When you log in to UVa's SIS for the first time, scroll to the bottom of the main page and become familiar with the different areas of the status page.

Don't be alarmed by your to-do list at this time.

Credentials may be in our system, but not yet linked to your file. It may take a few weeks 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 script and/or a staff member must link that transcript to your newly submitted application.  This takes time.

We will contact you when we are through the bulk of the processing if we are still missing documents. This will happen at the end of January or beginning of February. Don't freak out. Seriously. It will be okay.


That being said, here is how you can get answers to last minute UVa questions (not Common App questions) now that our office is closed for the weekend:
  • Send me a tweet - the fastest method, I'll have my iPhone on me all weekend
  • Post a comment on this entry - the second fastest method, comment alerts are sent to my phone
  • Post on the UVa forum of College Confidential
  • Instant message me through Google Chat (UVaDeanJ)
I won't be logged into all of those at every moment between now and deadline, but I will have my phone on me all weekend (hence Twitter and blog comments being the best ways to reach me). If I don't reply right away, I've either busy or am answering questions for another student.

Good luck with those last minute edits! Try not to submit at the very last minute!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Regular Decision deadline is around the corner!

The Regular Decision deadline, January 1st, is around the corner.  I thought I'd go over a few notes that might help those getting ready to hit submit.


1. There are three parts to your part of the application.  
We don't see anything until you submit all three parts via CommonApp.org.
The three parts are the Common App, the UVa Supplement, and the payment.



2. We can't fix problems you have with CommonApp.org.
Every single page on the Common App website has a "help" link.  
Hit the "help" link if you are having trouble and submit a help request.  




3.  Do not wait until 11:59 PM to submit.
If you have trouble, understand that the Common App team will have many help tickets to answer.



I'll be checking for questions in the comments every day between now and deadline, so fee free to post questions.  I'll also be on Twitter (UVaDeanJ).

 CavDog and I are rooting for you!
Good luck!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Family roles during the application process

Someone shared a video with me the other day that lead me down the Youtube rabbit hole (when you find yourself watching way too many "related" videos).  I landed on this video from a teen show that I don't know, but I think it's pertinent to what is happening right now.






There are days when almost every call that comes into the office is from a parent filling out the Common Application for a student.  To be frank, I'm disappointed.

I am going to assume that the vast majority of applications are filled out by the applicants.  I imagine that we don't hear from them because a) our applicants are web savvy and can figure out the Common App pretty easily and b) students are more than comfortable with hitting the "help" link when they have a problem.  Adults might not feel the same way, so they pick up the phone and call us.  I myself have been guilty of calling a business about an online problem without consulting their FAQs and support pages first.  I imagine younger folks are apt to check the online resources first and pick up the phone only after exhausting those resources.

I'm not saying parents shouldn't be involved during application season.  In fact, I think this process is a great one to tackle as a team.  Adults should be providing guidance and that second set of eyes that might catch a typo or an awkward phrase in an essay. I do not think they should be assuming their child's identity online.  College bound students, even busy ones, can fill out the forms.  It might cut into their Facebook time over the winter break, but they can do it.

If you are headed for UVa, you should be more than capable of completing the Common Application.  I also hope that you only allow your name to appear on work that is yours.


If you have questions before or after the deadline, just post a comment and I'll reply as soon as possible!

 
Application forms can be tedious...but a student bound for UVa can handle it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Early Action Notification (a "no update" update)

We've been promising to have Early Action decisions released by the "end of January" ever since we announced a return to this early process.  Right now, assume that January 31st is the big day.

Please understand that we are working as quickly as possible. We'd love to be done right now, but we'd be shortchanging a lot of applicants if we rushed through this process. 


Hang in there.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Admission Chat TONIGHT!

The UVa Chat rooms will be open from 7 PM to 9 PM tonight. We'll have students and admission officers in the rooms to answer questions about UVa or the admission process. 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!
UVa Chat Rooms

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Art Supplements 201


The Regular Decision arts supplement deadline is Decmeber 1st. Here are the most frequent questions I received and how I answered them:

Who should submit an arts supplement?
Anyone who intends to major, minor, or be significantly involved in the arts at UVa should think about submitting an arts supplement.  Submission is not required for anyone.

I don't think I'm going to be involved in the arts. Can a supplement help my application anyway?
I guess you could submit a supplement, but consider the fact that your supplement will be reviewed alongside those of students who are going to major/minor.  Submission alone doesn't help you.  The review by faculty is what could help you.

Can I submit ________ as part of my supplement?
Each type of arts supplement has specific instructions regarding format, length, and submission.  There are forms for visual art, dance, drama, music, and marching band.  Follow the directions on the form that corresponds to your discipline.

Can I combine a few areas into one supplement?
The supplements go to different departments for distribution and review, so if you want to submit a music and marching band supplement, you need to submit two supplements. One will get sent to the Marching Band Office and the other will go to the Department of Music.

The deadline is really early.  Can I submit late?
The deadline early because faculty need to review the supplements and send their notes to the Office of Admission in time for our review.  We don't encourage late submissions.

What about the Common App Arts Supplement form?
For now, we want you to use our forms.  We don't want recommendations (those are mentioned on the Common App's Arts Supplement form).  Just follow the directions on the UVa forms.

What questions do you have about arts supplements?



Important Links

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Missing document emails going out today!

A little over 400 Early Action applicants will be sent an email today about having an incomplete file.   If you get one of these emails, log into SIS to look at your to-do list to see what specific item is missing.  We aren't mad and you aren't in trouble.  Do not panic.  Calmly, but quickly, get us the missing item.

If getting the missing item to us requires a visit to your counselor, consider the possibility that the item was sent, but lost in transit.  I cringe at the thought of someone flying into the counseling office in a panic, accusing staff of not submitting credentials.

If your application is incomplete and the missing item is something for which you were responsible, get it done today. We aren't going to throw out your application because you didn't have your SAT/ACT scores sent.  Unfortunately, you're going to have to rush missing test scores and that's going to cost a some money.  I had hoped that addressing this earlier would have avoided that. Regular decision applicants, follow that link to see why you need to send your scores soon! 


We want you to complete your application. We aren't going to penalize you because you forgot one part of the process.


If you do not get an email, relax.  Do not send us a document unless we have asked for it.  Sending duplicates slows down the processing of documents we really need to complete other students' files. 


The only kind of duplicates we like (CavDog has 11 siblings)

Admission Chat TONIGHT!

The UVa Chat rooms will be open from 7 PM to 9 PM tonight. We'll have students and admission officers in the rooms to answer questions about UVa or the admission process. 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!
UVa Chat Rooms

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Some notes about what you see in SIS

Let's talk about your status pages.  When you log into UVa's Student Information System (SIS), you should see a check list on the right side of the scree showing items that need to be submitted to make your application complete. Here are some notes about your status pages:

-"Initiated" in a term used by our SIS to show that an item has been added to your to do list. It means the item has not been completed yet.

-Mid-year reports come out whenever your first semester or second trimester is over.  The timing is different from one high school to the next.  SIS can't discern whether your school will have them before or after Early Action decisions are released.   The item is there for everyone.  If you are an Early Action applicant who just has the mid-year report on the check list, don't do anything more.  You're done!

-Below the chart where you list other schools attended, the Common App had one question asking if you are sending transcripts from all of those schools.  Ideally, you'd be able to select yes or no for each school.  Since you can't, that question doesn't really help us.  SIS is going to ask for transcripts from every school you list as having attended.  If you want that transcript taken off your to-do list, you can email uvaapplicationinfo@virginia.edu about it. Put "Checklist Adjustment Request" in your subject line with your name.  Be sure to include your date of birth day high school in your email.  Do not include your Social Security Number.

-Once your application is complete and it moves to the "ready to read" mode, you'll see a box pop up at the bottom of the status screen. "View decision" will appear in the box. It doesn't mean your decision is ready. That's just something that's built into the computer system. If you hit "view decision", you'll just see a note about decisions not being ready at this point. When decisions are ready, we will release them.  I promise!  We are always excited to get to notification day!


-If you ever forget your SIS password or want to change it, you can follow the steps in that first email you got to generate a new password.


Do you have questions about your SIS status page?

Caption this: What is CavDog doing?

Admission officers often read applications at home a few days each week.  It helps to get away from email, the phones, and unannounced visitors and concentrate on giving each file a thorough review.  Usually, CavDog sits next to me while I read.  This year, something changed.

Part of the day is spent doing this:


So, for those of you who are looking to take a break from the waiting (or preparing of Regular Decision applications), let's play "caption this."  Give that photo a caption.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Admission Chat TONIGHT!

The UVa Chat rooms will be open from 7 PM to 9 PM tonight. We'll have students and admission officers in the rooms to answer questions about UVa or the admission process. 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!
UVa Chat Rooms

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Outreach chat TONIGHT!

The UVa Chat rooms will be open from 8 PM to 9:30 PM tonight for a diversity chat hosted by the Outreach Office. We'll have students and admission officers in the rooms to answer questions about UVa or the admission process. This chat is meant for seniors. 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!
UVa Chat Rooms

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Admission Chat TONIGHT!

The UVa Chat rooms will be open from 7 PM to 9 PM tonight. We'll have students and admission officers in the rooms to answer questions about UVa or the admission process. 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!
UVa Chat Rooms

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Preliminary Early Action numbers

I have very early numbers for you.  Please understand that I don't have any other statistics to share right now.  Once we process all the applications that were submitted last night, I'll have more information.

We have 11,415 Early Action applications right now.  About half of those were submitted this week and 2,000 were submitted yesterday. 

The Early Action application period is now closed.  If you started your application with EA in mind, but now are planning to apply under Regular Decision, go to the "Future Plans" part of the application and change your response about how you're applying to reflect the change.






We have a lot of work ahead of us!  I'm going back to reading...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happy deadline night!

Our deadline is tonight at midnight. Technically, you could submit an application at 11:59 PM and meet the deadline.

The Common App has a grace period to account for time zones and in case there are technical problems, but I strongly encourage you to hit submit before that final hour. There is obviously a lot of traffic on the Common App servers during these final hours and while I'm sure they can handle it, I can imagine the panic you'd feel if your internet connection cut out with minutes to go.




Once you submit all three parts of your application (the Common App, Supplement, and payment must be submitted for anything to be sent to us from the Common App system), it will take a couple days of processing to prompt a login email for UVa's Student Information System (SIS) to be sent to you.  The email is coming from uvaapplicationinfo@virginia.edu.  Add that address to your contact list so the email doesn't go into your junk/spam folder. Just follow the directions in the email and log into our system successfully.  You can do it!


When you log in to UVa's SIS for the first time, scroll to the bottom of the main page and become familiar with the different areas of the status page.

Don't be alarmed by your to-do list at this time.

Credentials may be in our system, but not yet linked to your file. It may take a couple weeks to get through all the applications submitted in these last few days, so please be patient! If your transcript arrived a while ago, it was scanned and put in a miscellaneous credentials file. A script and/or a staff member must link that transcript to your newly submitted application.  This can take a little time.

We will contact you when we are through the bulk of the processing if we are still missing documents.  Do not send duplicates of any credentials unless we contact you asking for them.  Don't worry about those status pages right now. 




Good luck, everyone!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I thought I'd take a little break from the admission talk and share a few pictures (and a video!) from this afternoon's trick-or-treat event on the UVa Lawn.  Every year, hundreds of children flock to the Lawn for a few hours of trick-or-treating.  Students and faculty who live on the Lawn provide a constant stream of candy and other students set up activities in the amphitheater. 

I've missed the even for the last two years due to my travel schedule and I was so happy to make it this year.

Roll that beautiful bean footage!


The costume with the most UVa spirit

The scene at one of the faculty residences...I have no idea what's happening here.


CavDog making friends with a banana

There are always lots of dogs, but I never saw pigs on the Lawn before!


While the entire event is a tradition, in recent years, this viking ship has become a tradition of its own.  The students from Agape Christian Fellowship haul this huge, wooden boat to the Lawn and dress in costumes to match.  They always seem to have a great time and children flock to them. 



After they did their routine, one little boy decided to get in on the action...



 CavDog was a little concerned when this student threw himself on the ground.




We had a little trick-or-treating in Peabody Hall, too. 




Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Let's talk about rumors

Every year, people who have never stepped foot in our office or even worked in education come up with little nuggets of information about admission that floor me.  I usually hear the latest rumors while making the rounds during the fall travel season.

There was the rumor that the younger sibling of a non-Virginia resident will pay the in-state tuition rate.  There are a ton about how many AP courses are "required" for admission (the numbers stated is always all over the place).  There are the rumors about advantages given to students who can trace their lineage back to Jefferson or Jefferson's friend or Jefferson's friend's neighbor.

I'm actually thrilled when people repeat the rumors to me.  It means they probably suspect that they are, indeed, rumors.  I worry that for every rumor shared, there are others that aren't shared and there are people spreading that bad information as if it were fact.

So...does anyone want to share a rumor that they've heard about UVa admission?  Feel free to share them in the comments.

Who comes up with this stuff?


*I hope it's obvious that the rumors I posted are NOT true.

Friday, October 21, 2011

300+ phone calls yesterday about sending test scores

I'm a little worried.  With the deadlines coming up, I think you should be putting the finishing touches on your essays and checking over your Common Applications to make you've found a place for all the important information you want us to know.  Based on the number and tone of the calls we got yesterday (and so far this morning), some of you are freaking out about sending test scores.

When it comes to testing, here's what you need to do:
1.  Send your test scores.
2. Move on to other parts of the application.
Is testing important?  Of course.  It's the one component that the entire pool has in common.  In a time when there are many different grading scales, styles of curricula, and ways to calculate a GPA, it's nice to have something that's standardized across the pool. 

However, this is a holistic review process.  We read the entire file to determine our decision.  Remember that we are trying to see you in the best light possible. 

I fear Score Choice has really complicated the process of sending scores.  We look at the best combination of scores.  When I open a file, our system automatically plucks the best scores out of your record for me to consider.  You don't have to over think sending the scores.  Send them and the system will pick out the best ones.

Stay cool, my friends.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Deadlines looming


The Early Action deadline, November 1st, is around the corner.  I thought I'd go over a few notes that might help those getting ready to hit submit.



1. There are three parts to your part of the application.  
We don't see anything until you submit all three parts via CommonApp.org.
The three parts are the Common App, the UVa Supplement, and the payment.



2. We can't fix problems you have with CommonApp.org.
Every single page on the Common App website has a "help" link.  
Hit the "help" link if you are having trouble and submit a help request.  




3.  Do not wait until 11:59 PM to submit.
If you have trouble, understand that the Common App team will have many help tickets to answer.



I'll be checking for questions in the comments every day between now and deadline, so fee free to post questions.  I'll also be on Twitter (UVaDeanJ).

 CavDog and I are rooting for you!
Good luck!

Admission Chat THIS MORNING!

The UVa Chat rooms will be open from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM this morning for an international student chat. We'll have students and admission officers in the rooms to answer questions about UVa or the admission process. 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!
UVa Chat Rooms

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Outreach chat TONIGHT!

The UVa Chat rooms will be open from 8 PM to 9:30 PM tonight for a diversity chat hosted by the Outreach Office. We'll have students and admission officers in the rooms to answer questions about UVa or the admission process. This chat is meant for juniors and seniors. 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!
UVa Chat Rooms

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Admission Chat TONIGHT!

The UVa Chat rooms will be open from 7 PM to 9 PM tonight. We'll have students and admission officers in the rooms to answer questions about UVa or the admission process. 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!
UVa Chat Rooms

Monday, October 10, 2011

UVa Admission and regional quotas

Many rumors grow steam, get debunked, and fade away.  One rumor about the admission process at UVa never goes away: the rumor about regional quotas.

There is one quota that affects the admission process at UVa.  The Commonwealth of Virginia mandates that 2/3 of the students at the University be Virginia residents.  Beyond that, there are no quotas with respect to regions, counties, or high schools.  There are trends in the population here, of course.  Densely populated areas of the state tend to have many high schools and send many students to UVa.

Obviously, most admission offices want to bring in an interesting class that has people from many backgrounds, but we have not been handed target numbers for different regions, counties, or populations beyond that 2/3 : 1/3 ratio.

If you want to see admission statistics by residency, check out this chart on the Office of Institutional Assessment's website.

Friday, September 30, 2011

On the road in Northern Virginia

It's almost NOVA time! I'm on my way to Northern Virginia for three weeks of appointments in October. I've heard that some schools send rookie admission officers to NOVA as an initiation because of the notorious traffic and the advanced questions that get asked there. I personally love my time in northern Virginia, probably because I grew up in an area just like it. I enjoy being asked questions about topics that are far more interesting than SAT scores and deadlines. Hearing the current rumors that are getting passed around is interesting, too.

I'm so excited that I was able to work visits to most of the public schools in Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun into my schedule.  There's a third week of travel that I haven't posted yet, so don't worry if your school isn't listed.  Also, we don't use "demonstrated interest" in our application review, so coming to see me during my visit doesn't have any affect on your application.  Come if you'd like to ask questions and hear my advice for the process. 

The daytime high school visits are for students who attend each of the schools below. If your school is on my schedule and you'd like to come see me, you already know the drill. Your Career Center Specialists have probably made you aware of the sign up procedure you need to follow to get a pass.

So, here is where I'm headed for the first two weeks.  I'll post my last itinerary next week.

Monday, October 3rd
8:30 AM    Yorktown High School
10:00 AM  Washington-Lee High School
11:30 PM   Wakefield High School
1:15 PM     Stuart High School

Tuesday, October 4th
9:00 AM    Falls Church High School
11:45 AM  TJHSST
1:00 PM     Robert E. Lee High School
2:30 PM     George Mason High School

Wednesday, October 5th
9:00 AM    James Madison High School
10:30 AM  Oakton High School
11:45 AM   Fairfax High School
1:30 PM     WT Woodson High School

Thursday, October 6th
8:00 AM     Robinson Secondary School
9:30 AM     Lake Braddock Secondary School
11:00 AM   West Springfield High School

Friday, October 7th
9:00 AM     Marshall High School
10:30 AM   Langley High School
12:30 PM    McLean High School






Tuesday, October 11th
10:00 AM  Annandale High School
6:00 PM     Freedom High School College Fair (Woodbridge)

Wednesday, October 12th
10:30 AM   NOVA Annandale Transfer Fair
2:00 PM     Episcopal High School College Fair
7:00 PM     Ballston Commons Mall College Fair

Thursday, October 13th
10:30 AM  NOVA Alexandria College Fair

Friday, October 14th
7:30 AM    South County Secondary School
9:00 AM    West Potomac High School
11:00 AM  Edison High School
1:00 PM    Mount Vernon High School

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Admission Chat TONIGHT!

The UVa Chat rooms will be open from 7 PM to 9 PM tonight. We'll have students and admission officers in the rooms to answer questions about UVa or the admission process. 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!

UVa Chat Rooms

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On the road in Richmond

I offered my colleagues the opportunity to share their travel plans on the blog and Merav Frazier has already taken me up on the offer!  Aside from being an admission counselor in our office, Merav coached the UVa Color Guard, part of the Cavalier Marching Band for a few years.  If you have questions about the band, she'd be a great resource!

There is another staff member visiting other schools in the area, so please don't worry if your school isn't on this list.   

Here's Merav's schedule in Richmond:


Thursday, September 29th 
8:30am             Saint Gertrude High School
11:00am           Saint Christopher's School
12:15pm          Saint Catherine's School
2:00pm             Powhatan High School

Friday, September 30th 
7:45am             The Steward School
9:00am             Collegiate School
10:30am          Trinity Episcopal School

Wednesday, October 5th  
8:15am           Thomas Dale High School
9:30am           Lloyd C. Bird High School
11:30am         Benedictine College Prep School
1:30pm           Goochland High School

Thursday, October 6th 
7:30am            James River High School
10:00am          Midlothian High School          
11:30am          Cosby High School          
1:00pm           Clover Hill High School

Monday, September 26, 2011

Recommended test dates for Early Action

We talked about recommended test dates in the comments on the Early Action post from earlier this month, but I thought I'd address that again.

The last recommended SAT test date for Early Action applicants is October 1, 2011.  If you list UVa in advance as a school that should receive your scores, we should get them on October 20th (we get everything electronically).  When you registered for the exam, you should have had the option to designate four schools to get your scores.  Here's the score report timeline right from the ETS website:

From CollegeBoard.com
 If you wait until you see your scores to send them, they might not get to us in time.  The ETS people say that it takes FIVE WEEKS to send scores to colleges after you submit your request.  On top of that, there's a fee involved to send scores after the test date.

From CollegeBoard.com
 

If you pay even more money, you can have scores rushed, but the price to do it is $40.50.  I just cringed when I looked that up. The test costs $49 to take in the first place.  Don't wait.  Use the free reports that you get up front and save yourself some money.

For those of you who are already planning for the Regular Decision deadline on January 1st, the last recommended SAT test date for you is December 3, 2011.

What are your questions about the application timeline?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Arts Supplements 101


While serving as "Dean of the Day" on Monday, I got quite a few calls about arts supplements.  The Early Action arts supplement deadline is October 1st, so I imagine most callers were hoping to submit portfolios in the next week or so.  Here are the most frequent questions I received and how I answered them:

Who should submit an arts supplement?
Anyone who intends to major, minor, or be significantly involved in the arts at UVa should think about submitting an arts supplement.  Submission is not required for anyone.

I don't think I'm going to be involved in the arts. Can a supplement help my application anyway?
I guess you could submit a supplement, but consider the fact that your supplement will be reviewed alongside those of students who are going to major/minor.  Submission alone doesn't help you.  The review by faculty is what could help you.

Can I submit ________ as part of my supplement?
Each type of arts supplement has specific instructions regarding format, length, and submission.  There are forms for visual art, dance, drama, music, and marching band.  Follow the directions on the form that corresponds to your discipline.

Can I combine a few areas into one supplement?
The supplements go to different departments for distribution and review, so if you want to submit a music and marching band supplement, you need to submit two supplements. One will get sent to the Marching Band Office and the other will go to the Department of Music.

The October 1st deadline is really early.  Can I submit late?
Yes, October 1st is early because faculty need to review the supplements and send their notes to the Office of Admission in time for our Early Action review.  I don't think late submission will help an Early Action application.

What about the Common App Arts Supplement form?
For now, we want you to use our forms.  We don't want recommendations (those are mentioned on the Common App's Arts Supplement form).  Just follow the directions on the UVa forms.

What questions do you have about arts supplements?


There will inevitably be another stretch of calls closer to the regular decision arts supplement deadline (December 1st), so I might have to write an "Arts Supplements 201" post.


Important Links

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Outreach chat TONIGHT!

The UVa Chat rooms will be open from 8 PM to 9:30 PM tonight for a diversity chat hosted by the Outreach Office. We'll have students and admission officers in the rooms to answer questions about UVa or the admission process. This chat is meant for juniors and seniors. 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!
UVa Chat Rooms

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall admission chats are scheduled!

The UVa Chat room schedule is set for the next few months.  We have students and admission officers in the rooms on designated nights to answer questions about UVa or the admission process.

Fall chats (7-9 PM):

Thursday, September 29th
Wednesday, October 12th
Monday, October 24th
Tuesday, November 8th
Wednesday, November 16th 
Tuesday, November 29th
Thursday, December 1st


Outreach chats (8-9:30 PM):
Tuesday, September 20th
Tuesday, October 18th
Tuesday, November 15th

International Student chat (8:30 - 9:30 AM Eastern)
Thursday, October 20th

I post a reminder on the morning of each chat.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Headed to New England

On Monday, I'll be meeting up with old friends from Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, and UC Berkeley for the first of four evening program in New England. If you're on any of our mailing lists, you probably already know this because we mailed and emailed invitations to these programs last month. However, if you'd like to join us this week, you can RSVP via links on our "UVa Visits You" page.

Our evening programs:

Monday, September 12 - Noble and Greenough School (MA) - I think this session is full!
Tuesday, September 14 - Providence Marriott Downtown (RI)
Wednesday, September 15 - Darien High School (CT)
Thursday, September 16 - Farmington High School (CT)

We'll also be hosting counselor breakfasts each morning for your guidance staffs, who also received invitations by mail and email last month.

Hope to see some of you next week!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Let's talk about Early Action

The 2011-2012 application season will be our first with Early Action.  It'll be our first year with two deadlines since 2006, when we got rid of that other kind of early deadline (I'm not going to mention the exact term so you don't associate it with us). 

I have to admit that I liked having one deadline.  I thought it was the right thing to do in light of complaints about the admission process creeping earlier and earlier recent years.  Everyone was in the same pool.  Everyone was evaluated together.  I didn't read files on Thanksgiving for a few years.  It was nice.

Alas, we got an earful.  You want an early process.  So, we're giving you one.  We offer the basic early action program.  There are no restrictions.  We don't dictate how you apply to your other schools.  Of course, if you get in to another school through a binding early program (see, I'm not mentioning the D word so you don't associate it with UVa), we expect you to withdraw your application to UVa.


I know many of you see Early Action as a way to get out in front of the pack (which isn't all that far behind).  Some of your perceive Early Action to be an easier way to be admitted.  That isn't going to be the case here.  We are going to read files the same way throughout the application season.  We don't have any statistics about Early Action at this point, so you can't use that as a factor when you are deciding whether to apply in the early or regular rounds.

Instead of consulting stats to make this decision for you, you need to think about what kind of application you can present in November and what kind of application you can present in January.

If you think you had an amazing junior year and your application is rock solid without the first semester of senior year on your transcript, consider applying early.  If you had a little stumble early on in your junior year (which sometimes happens when you step up the number of advanced classes* in your schedule, maybe you should apply under Regular Decision, when we'll have some senior grades to consider (my expectation is that you rebounded in a big way). 

Feel free to post your questions about Early Action in the comments!

CavDog staying ahead of the pack



* I use "advanced classes" a lot because there are different options out there.  I'm referring to the top classes at your school, often the AP or IB courses.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Sneak peek...

This is just a teaser for a post that's coming.  We went over to the new Hunter Smith Band Building, which just opened this week.  As far as band facilities go, we're told it's one of the best and most modern ones in the country. 

I'll share some photos soon, but for now, you can watch a few of the deans try to carry the drum sets that the students in the UVa Drumline wear during games and performances.  They're heavy!




Thursday, August 25, 2011

Let's talk about the weather

We've gotten calls from a few anxious parents who want to know if we will still be having information sessions and tours tomorrow and Saturday.  At first, I thought people were assuming that our buildings were damaged by the earthquake on Tuesday (all is well).  I didn't realize that people thought we'd be cancelling the sessions and tours because of Hurricane Irene.

Rest assured, the sessions and tours will happen as scheduled.  We're just about three hours from Virginia Beach, so while we expect rain, we aren't shutting down or evacuating. 


If you ever need to know if UVa is in session or closed, just click on the "What's Happening" bar on Virginia.edu.  A box will drop down that will show you all the information you need. 



You can also follow UVa on Twitter for minute-by-minute updates about what's happening on Grounds.  Even I follow UVa on Twitter so I can be aware of events and activities.




If you are thinking of visiting us this weekend, the sessions and tours will happen.  Just make sure to bring your rain jackets.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Live from Peabody Hall

If you're reading this from almost anywhere in the east, you probably felt the same earthquake that we did this afternoon.  Despite being about 30 minutes from the epicenter in Mineral, the damage at UVa seems minimal so far.  Everyone seems to be going about their day.  Students are going to class, libraries are open, and power is on.

We felt the shaking for about 40 seconds at Peabody Hall and I think we've had an aftershock already.  The only damage I've heard about has come from Larry Sabato, who lives in a pavilion on the UVa Lawn.


I also saw this picture of the destruction posted by Charlottesville based photographer Tom Daly:


Did you feel the earthquake?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer is over

We're really happy to have students coming back to Grounds right now.  The one drawback to the beginning of the semester is the end of our time with our summer student guides.  We had a fantastic group of students working in Peabody Hall over the last few months.  They gave up to three tours each day and never complained about being outside during a heatwave or a rain storm. 

I think CavDog will be missing the students the most!

Pardon the blurriness...there was a lot of wagging and petting going on when I snapped this shot!

They're coming!


Looking north on Emmet Street during the 2010-2011 move in

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The new UVa Bookstore

If you've toured colleges during the summer, you probably know that summer is construction season on many campuses.  When the students leave, the tradespeople and craftsmen go into high gear to get projects done before move-in in August.

I had to run over to the UVa Bookstore yesterday to pick up some software and stopped in my tracks when I walked in the door. The first sign of the summer construction season coming to an end was in front of me. The bookstore extension that was started when the students left last year is almost done.  I snapped a few pictures with my phone...


The bookstore has always had plenty of UVa gear, from embroidered khaki shorts to UVa Snuggies, but there is probably twice as much product now.

 

The kids' section is probably three times as big as it was before.  Too bad most of the nephews and nieces have parents who attended our ACC rivals.


Girls have loved the Clinque counter and Vera Bradley section in the bookstore, but there are now many more cute dorm room decorations on display. There are plenty of things embroidered or painted with Greek org letters, for those who like to display their affiliations.


I couldn't help take a few pictures of the dog section, which used to take up the edge of one shelf.  CavDog already has a collar and lead set, a tennis ball on a UVa lanyard, and a water bowl.  Do you think he needs a stadium jacket for chilly Days on the Lawn mornings?


I didn't take a pictures of the new Cavalier Computers store inside the bookstore, but it's gigantic.  It's so large that I had to ask someone to help me find that piece of software I needed.

The only project that seemed incomplete was the new Java City counter.  It'll be great to see that open and have the lovely woman who staffs it back.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Not exactly the honor of honors

When this arrived in my mail a few weeks ago, I couldn't help but laugh.  If you're a junior or senior in high school, you've probably gotten letters that look a like this.


All I had to do was visit a website and provide personal information (that would probably be sold and result in a lot more "honors" arriving in the mail).  I'm sure there's a fee involved, but I didn't visit the website to see about that.

Now that you know I was accepted into the National Association of Professional Women, are you more likely to heed my advice?  Probably not.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Common App 2011-2012 is live!

Last night, a few hours ahead of schedule, the Common Application for the 2011-2012 academic year launched.  I posted the essays that would be on the UVa Supplement to the Common App back in June and I hope that if you want to do anything early, you'll start to think about how you'll answer those questions.

The launch of the Common App also means the start of the new year for people in the Office of Admission.  We've started travel planning already, but it's time to start solidifying those plans.  In the coming weeks, I'll let you know where I'll be going this fall.  You can also keep an eye on the "UVa Visits You" page on our website to see where else we'll be going.

As always, we'll be on the VACRAO college tour circuit in Virginia.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

CavDog turns four


Summer is often a bit quiet on the blog...last year's readers are now thinking about orientation and moving into the residence halls at the end of August.  The next group of students hasn't really started prowling the web for admission tips just yet.  There isn't much news, but I thought I'd share that CavDog has just turned FOUR years old!

At Days on the Lawn this year, one father commented that he was at CavDog's first Days on the Lawn with one of his older children, back in 2008.  It's kind of fun to think about CavDog having attended the DOTL for every student who current attends UVa. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tuttle Hall comes down

This isn't admission related, but I thought I'd share a few pictures of Tuttle Hall, one of the Alderman Road residence halls, being demolished yesterday.

These are just iPhone pictures.  A photographer friend was there, so perhaps I'll be able to update this with better images soon. 



Tuesday, June 07, 2011

2011-2012 essay questions

The Common Application for 2011-2012 doesn't launch until August 1st.  If you want to work on something application related over the summer, I suggest you think a little bit about how you'll approach your personal statements.   You don't really need to practice filling out your biographical information, but it might be smart to do some free writing on a few essay topics so you aren't scrambling for ideas as the deadlines approach.

Here are the prompts for the two required pieces of writing you'll have to do for your UVa Supplement to the Common Application.  Pay attention to the information about how long these should be.  These aren't term papers.  You should be able to answer the questions in half a page.  Part of being a good writer is being a good editor, so you really shouldn't go too far beyond the recommended length.

2011-2012 UVa Supplement Essay Questions

1.  We are looking for passionate students to join our diverse community of scholars, researchers, and artists.  Answer the question that corresponds to the school or program you selected.  Limit your answer to a half page or roughly 250 words. 
  • College of Arts & Sciences:  What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?
  • Engineering:  If you were given funding for a small engineering project, what would you do?
  • Architecture:  Discuss an experience that led you to apply to the School of Architecture.
  • Nursing:  Discuss experiences that led you to choose the School of Nursing.
  • Kinesiology: Discuss experiences that led you to choose the kinesiology major.
   
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 your favorite place to get lost. (This question was written by U.Va. students who live in one of residential colleges, Brown College at Monroe Hill.)
  • Discuss something you secretly like but pretend not to, or vice versa.

For more essay advice, click on the "essay" tag at the bottom of this entry!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Class of 2015 is complete

We made a last round of offers to students on the waiting list yesterday. The student I called gave me his answer right away, which was fun for me.  With those students, we have filled our incoming class.

Emails are going out today to let everyone on the waiting list know that we are releasing the list.

I know some will ask if they can remain on the list just in case someone from the class cancels, but I encourage you to turn your sights on the school where you've deposited.  Thank you so much for being part of this blog...longer than most students have been.  It's been a pleasure talking with you throughout this process.



Ideally, a year from now, you will be happily engaged in a school you can't imagine leaving.  However, if you still feel you belong at UVa, perhaps you'll enjoy reading the transfer blog, written by one of my colleagues.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Waiting list update #3

Today, we are going to release the waiting list for the School of Engineering.  If you've been following the blog, this isn't much of a surprise, as I wrote that I didn't think we'd be many any offers to engineers back at the beginning of the month.

At this point, we've made some offers to students who applied to the other schools.  We give students a 4-5 days to think about their offers, which is why this process moves slowly.  I often explain this process has having rounds.  Right now, we're waiting for the ball to bounce back to us.

The call volume right now is high and most students/parents seem to have seen this blog already, but want to know what they should do to improve their chances.  The waiting list FAQs that we gave you back at the end of March still apply.  When updated grades are available, send those along.   That's all you should really do now.  Calling or showing up in person is not going to move this process along more quickly. 

I imagine we'll continue to release different portions of the list as the different parts of the class fill up.  We're close to the targets.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Waiting list update #2

We made a few offers to students who were on the waiting list last week and those students have until tomorrow or so to make their decision.  I made a couple calls myself just now and the students with whom I spoke have until Friday to make their minds up.

Making this calls is a lot of fun for all of us.  Making a waiting list admission call is the closest thing we have to every admission officer's dream: seeing a student get their decision (I'm surprised people haven't started video taping the moment when they check their status!).

What I said about the different schools in the last update holds true.  I don't think we'll be making any offers to the School of Engineering, but we'll be making some to students on the waiting lists for the other schools. I still believe the number of waiting list offers will be lower than in years past.

A sad CavDog before a charity fashion show

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Waiting list update

It looks like we are very close to our targets for the Class of 2015.  We will be making a small number of waiting list offers.  I don't have an exact number for you right now, but my sense is that the total number of offers will be lower than in previous years and the offers will most likely be to students on the waiting lists for the College of Arts & Sciences, Architecture, and perhaps Nursing.  I do not anticipate there being any offers made to engineers.

We generally make offers by phone and that's followed by a status update in SIS.  The responses we get are varied, but if you need a little time to think about the offer, that's okay.  Usually, we get a big response on the phone, which is fun for us.

As I wrote before, the numbers are still settling (there were a few cases of people who didn't have any internet access for various reasons).  As always, when I have more information (hard numbers), I will share them here.


If you have decided that you are no longer interested in UVa, you can remove yourself from the waiting list by going back to your decision letter and hitting the "decline" button. 

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

After the deposit is paid

Some of you who deposited have called us to ask what happens next.  Well, I'm sad to say that it's time to pass you off to our friends in the student affairs world.  The Office for Orientation and New Student Programs has a fantastic website for you to use as resource during this time.  It lists out things you need to think about doing now and things that you'll want to get done over the summer, before you arrive on Grounds (Can you believe it!?!  That's going to happen in a few months!).

Get over to the Summer Orientation website and start working on those items.  



 


BTW, make sure to check your email so you know what you need to get done this summer.  It's important, capisce? 

Monday, May 02, 2011

We have a class...sort of

The day after the deposit deadline is a clean up day.  Everyone who was offered admission, but never hit the "accept" or "decline" buttons in their SIS account gets moved to the decline status (with a note that there was no response to our offer).  Those who hit the "accept" button, but never followed through on paying their enrollment deposit have until midnight tonight to submit that payment.  After that, they get moved to the decline batch as well.

Once this clean up happens, we'll know where we are numbers wise and I'll have some news about how we'll proceed with the waiting list.  I now it's been a long wait.  We're almost there.

 
I don't have a caption for this one...feel free to make up your own!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A student's note about diversity

May 1st is around the corner and we've been getting lots of interesting questions at the Office of Admission.  A while back, you gave me topics you'd like to see covered here and one of them was diversity.  Daniel Grimes, a member of the Class of 2012, wrote this note to those of you who are interested in diversity here.


Congratulations on being admitted to the University of Virginia! You all are about to embark on one of the most exciting times in your life. Now on to my main purpose today and that is to discuss the issue of diversity at the UVA. Before I begin, I caution you to not generalize my experiences to the entire student body; I am only one person coming from one vantage point.

Diversity is an all encompassing word that can mean so many things. There is diversity in terms of race, gender, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, etc. This blog is not long enough for me to discuss all of those in detail so I will try to give you an overarching sense of what diversity means at UVA. For those of you who are into statistics and factual evidence, you will be happy to hear that UVA is actually the most diverse school in Virginia. Just read this special report from WDBJ7 that discusses this issue more in depth
 
To get straight to the point, UVA has a lot of different types of people just like any other university in the world. The greatest thing about the University is the fact that there is an outlet for all of these different people. If you are an African American who wants to be in an all black organization, then you are certainly welcome to do so. In the same vein, if you are someone who wants to venture out of the comforts of your race, then there are organizations available to you as well. The University Guide Service, the A Capella community, drama productions, and the student council are just a few organizations that are available for you to do so. 

I always seek to have a wholesome experience with whatever I undertake and so I chose to participate in various organizations. I am a Peer Advisor for the Office of African American Affairs and am also a member of the Academical Village People, an all-male A Capella group at UVA. These different organizations have their separate purposes, but both manage to fill voids in my life. And that is the answer to the diversity question. UVA is what you make it. It is diverse if you want it to be diverse. In fact, that is true with wherever you decide to spend the next four years. There will be resources available at any school to fill the various voids in your life, but it is up to you to be proactive and fill those niches. I am positive that if you continue to be open minded and perform as well as you did to get into UVA then you will have an enriched college experience.