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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sending Resumes to UVa

This is another post that will be old news to some Early Action applicants, but it's important for the Regular Decision students who are putting the finishing touches on their applications right now.


With an applicant pool that is fairly large, the Common App is a wonderful thing. The formatting allows us to zero in on a student's information quickly. I think most people understand that this is why many schools like to use the Common App. It's Common.

The Common App lets colleges make some decisions about the questions/features they use. One of them is a resume upload function. The resume upload feature is turned OFF for UVa. I know that some really, really want us to see a resume or another activity chart, but please respect our process and use the Common App.

When you use the Common App's activity section to enter your information, a chart is created on my side of the application. I know exactly where to find all the pertinent information on that chart. Here's an early draft of what the activity section looks like. There have been a few changes, but you can get the idea...

An early draft of the activity page on the Common App


We really like how activities are organized in the Common App. We know where to look for the facts and we don't spend time sifting through extra information to get to the good stuff. Resumes tend to restate a lot of information that is presented elsewhere in the application.

Students have taken to emailing resumes because we don't offer the upload function. I got one the other day that was four pages long and the first two pages listed details about the same activity. It was as if the student whose activity sheet is above listed statistics about every game in which he had played. The detail provided (three years on varsity, elected caption) helps me understand the involvement far better than knowing a batting average does.

Keep it simple. Remember that schools ask for the things they need and they usually tell you the format they prefer. Use the activity section of the Common App. Do not email us a resume. 
 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Top Five Concerns of Regular Decision Applicants

Early Action applicants, you already read a version of this back in October. This is just for Regular Decision applicants. 

You have just a few days to go before applications are due, so it's time to go over some of the common questions that come up as the deadline looms.




1. The Regular Decision deadline for UVa is midnight on January 1st. 

That doesn't mean those of you who thought it was midnight on the 31st now have permission to procrastinate. Avoid submitting at the last minute since there are thousands of students applying to schools with January 1st deadlines who will also be submitting tomorrow. Give yourself a nice buffer just in case something goes wrong and you need some help from the Common App folks.


2.  Double check the type of application you are submitting.

Double check that you indicated that you are a first-year applicant submitting an Regular Decision application for the Fall 2015 term. Every now and then, someone decides they are a transfer student because they have AP/IB/DE/college credit. If you are graduating from high school this year, you are applying as a first year student.


3. Contact Common App if you have trouble submitting. 

There is a help button on every single screen within the Common App's website. The admission officers at your schools aren't able to help with Common App issues. What's more, if there's a problem, the Common App team needs to know about it in case it is systemic.


4. Your UVa status page won't be current yet.

We have two processes happening simultaneously right now: the Early Action review and Regular Decision application processing. Our staff is scanning documents as quickly as possible, but it will take a couple weeks for everything that arrives around deadline to be checked in. If we are missing something from you after all the documents have been processed, we will be in touch! Just focus on getting your application submitted. Don't panic about your status page just yet. Please don't call or email admission officers to check on documents. We will be immersed in file review and can't sift through mail bins or stacks of documents that are being scanned.


5. Your application won't be "downloaded" on deadline day.

Every year, we get frantic emails from students who submit before the deadline, but don't see their application as downloaded by their schools. Applications tend to be downloaded once per day and the download date is almost never the same as the date you submitted. No need to worry about that!



Here are a few blog posts that address some other things that might be on your mind. I'll be updating the posts from last year with some new thoughts in the coming weeks.
-All of the 2014-2015 first-year essay questions together
-Holistic admission explained
-Essay word length
-Essay formatting
-How we use demonstrated interest
-Sending Resumes to UVa
-About extracurricular activities
-Common concerns about status pages

 You do not need to rush your SAT scores to us at this time. As long as you get your request in to ETS before the deadline, we should be good.

Good luck, seniors! Feel free to ask questions in the comments!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Class of 2019 Facebook Group! (for students only)

I try to create as many avenues for applicants to chat and ask questions as possible.  This is why I'm available here (I answer questions in the comments on posts) and on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and email.

Sometimes, you'll want to chat with each other and ask questions in a student-only space.  You can do that in the Class of 2019 Facebook group.  In the spirit of student self-governance, which is a big deal here at UVa, this is a space just for students


https://www.facebook.com/groups/354142351389941/

Click the image to go to the group on Facebook!


Obviously, the group will be for students who hope they'll be members of the Class of 2019 at this point.  This is normal.  The membership of the group will evolve when decisions are released and students start committing to colleges.

There are two current students who run the Class of 2019 group. When your class elects officers, they will hand the group over to your chosen leaders. We've been doing this for about five years and it works beautifully. For now, they are happy to answer questions, but they are also happy to sit back and let you chat.  Nothing in these groups will be saved or connected to your applications.

I have absolutely no interest in tracking you or looking at your profiles.  My interest is in making sure you know about a group that will become your class's "go to" space to chat, where content won't include advertisements, and your information won't be mined (my worry with groups that are tied to a company).

I am not in the Class of 2019 Facebook group, so if you have application questions and want to ask them on Facebook, you can use Office of Admission page.

Parents, if you are looking to check in with parents of UVa students, check out the UVa Parents page.


How do you feel about admission folks being on Facebook?  Do you like the avenues we've set up for you?  What do you think we should do in the future?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How to Withdraw an Application to UVa

It's the time of year that some schools with Early Decision processes are releasing their decisions. As you should know by now, Early Decision is the binding kind of early application (as opposed to Early Action, which we use here at UVa). If you were admitted to a school through Early Decision, you need to withdraw your UVa application.

Our front desk gets inundated with calls about this and individual deans get lots of emails as well. The calls and emails are often from third parties.


We don't want act on your file based on a phone call from someone whose identity we can't confirm. We need to hear from you.

If you need to withdraw your application, email uvaapplicationinfo@virginia.edu from the email account you used on your Common App and include your name, date of birth, and high school with your request. 



Monday, December 08, 2014

Missing Credentials for Early Action Applications

CavDog wants something.

I've been telling you all to relax about your status pages until we get all the mailed credentials checked in. Well, it looks like we are pretty much caught up. We have now sent emails to anyone missing a required document. Please check the email you used with the Common App for an email from us!

If you get an email about a missing credential, don't panic. The item could have taken a wrong turn along en route to us. You aren't in trouble. These things happen. Please contact the appropriate folks to get that missing item sent to us as soon as possible. If you are missing testing, you 'll unfortunately have to pay the fee to rush your scores. Teachers and counselors can send their items through the Common App website or email.

Mid-year reports are a "to do" item for everyone, regardless of when an application was submitted. EA decisions come out before most schools send mid-year reports, but if you get an offer or are deferred to the Regular Decision round, we expect your counselor to send those mid-years along. We want you to be aware of this now as opposed to having that pop up late in the game. Some students are apt to stop checking their status once the to do list disappears.


Saturday, December 06, 2014

The Lighting of the Lawn 2014

We're in the thick of the Early Action review and at the same time, our students are moving into their exam period. For a little over a decade, we've taken a break from the papers and exams to come together for the Lighting of the Lawn.

The Lighting of the Lawn started in 2001 as a way to bring our community together after a difficult semester. Each Lighting of the Lawn since has consisted of performances by a capella groups, the reading of a poem that recaps major events of the year, the singing of The Good Old Song with the Cavalier Marching Band, and then the main event - the lighting of the buildings along the Lawn.

The Rotunda is in the middle of a massive, two-year restoration process. Many assumed the lighting would be on the opposite end of the Lawn, but the committee surprised us all!

That committee is an incredible group of students that works with many offices to make this happen. The committee also raises money for a charity at each year's event. Camp Holiday Trails was the designated charity for this year's LOTL.

Without further ado...the 2014 Lighting of the Lawn.

 
We'll be raising our hands, shining up to the sky
'Cause we got the fire, fire, fire




In case you're interested, here is video of the 2013 LOTL from the UVA Drama Light Shop and another that gives a look at what it's like inside the crowd.