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

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top Student Questions from the Road


As I made my way around Northern Virginia last week, I took note of the most common questions and topics that came up in my discussions with students. I'm going to list the topics here and hopefully work down the list with blog posts about each one.

If you have a topic that you'd like me to address beyond these, please share it in the comments!

1. Will you accept November test scores for Early Action?
2. If we don't like our SATII score, should we send it? What score range do you like to see?
3. When should students send more recommendations than a college requests?
4. What kind of supplements does UVa accept? Who should send an art supplement?
5. If we know someone who went there, should they write a recommendation?

I address the issue of quotas or geographic restrictions in all of my talks and I'll be addressing the topic again in the next few weeks on the blog. The quota post might become a tradition on the blog since the newspapers tend to publish articles about quotas each fall as deadlines loom.

What admission topics are on your mind?

CavDog getting a drink in Old Town Alexandria

Sunday, September 21, 2014

On the Road in NOVA, Week 1

I'm writing this on the eve of my first week visiting schools in Northern Virginia this season. This is usually one of my favorite trips of the year and though part of me wishes I could stay in Charlottesville this week, I'm looking forward to being back in "my" high schools. I have two more weeks in the area and a few colleagues are doing visits as well, so don't fret if your school isn't on this list.

If you want to come to the visit at your school, I'm sure you know the procedure your College & Career Center has, which usually requires you to go into Family Connections.

Here's where I'll be this week:

Monday, September 22rd
Lake Braddock Secondary
West Springfield High School
Robinson Secondary

Tuesday, September 23th
Falls Church High School
Annandale High School
TJHSST
Stuart High School
Paul VI (Senior Night)

Wednesday, September 24th
Marshall High School
George Mason High School
Langley High School
McLean High School

Thursday, September 25th
Fairfax High School
Paul VI High School
James Madison High School
Oakton High School

Friday, September 26th
Centreville High School
Chantilly High School
Freedom High School (Loudoun)
John Champe High School


Thursday, September 04, 2014

On Helicopter Parenting

When I was a new professional, I'd read about helicopter parenting or hear student affairs or admission officers talk about them and nod my head in agreement. Oh yes, those helicopters were sooo terrible! Things were so bad that more terms were introduced to describe the different styles of overbearing parents. Helicopters hovered, snowplows or bulldozers cleared obstacles before they were encountered, and black hawks attacked quickly, with little provocation. Now that I'm a bit of a veteran of the college admission world, I can say with confidence that most parents are totally appropriate in their involvement in their college students' lives.

As I've been drinking my morning coffee, the Today Show anchors have been teasing a story about those terrible helicopter parents and how they are now at colleges. Now? The term has been used in higher ed circles for 15 years. Helicopter parents aren't new, but they exist in far fewer numbers than some would have you believe.

I'll be back next week with some specific examples of good and not-so-good parental involvement in the college admission process.


For now, enjoy this video of parents dropping their Class of 2018 students off on move-in day here at UVa. I don't see a single helicopter, do you?