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

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Impact of Snow Days (and Snail Mail Submissions)

Did you know that admission officers tend to dislike snow days?

We had a pretty quiet winter in Virginia up until about a week ago. Mother Nature decided to finally let us have a taste of what our friends up north are experiencing and sent us some snow. Schools around the Commonwealth were closed and we know that other regions have been experiencing snow closings away well.

We don't have many snow days at UVa (there was a stretch were we were convinced that UVa just didn't close at all!). CavDog never understands why people complain about going out in the fluffy stuff, but he doesn't have to shovel or commute. He also doesn't know that snow days affect when we release admission decisions.


When schools are closed, that means your counseling staff isn't in the office. When the counseling office is closed, that means mid-year reports aren't being sent to us. So we become stuck. Without mid-year grades, we don't have any new information when we review deferred applications that were moved from Early Action to Regular Decision. Without mid-year grades, we can't finalize a Regular Decision application.

In a couple weeks, when people start asking when we'll be done with the process, I'll probably refer them back to this point.

What's more, many districts still don't allow or have the capacity for the online submission of mid-year reports. We asked for mid-year grades to be sent to us by February 15th and we imagine that some of them are sitting in bins of mail that couldn't be transported due to the snow. Our staff has resorted to calling counselors to ask them to read grades to us over the phone so we could move forward with reading a file.

Please enjoy your snow days and bear with us as we work through all of your applications. As always, we aim to release early, but April 1st is the official notification day.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Sending Updates to UVa

If you follow me on Twitter or have been reading the blog for a while, you probably know that I have repeatedly mentioned that application updates need to be sent to uvaapplicationinfo@virginia.edu or our general mailing address (we prefer email since we are paperless) and not to individual deans and admission counselors. I took a picture that explains why. Here is the mail that was waiting for me one morning:

The envelopes inside the FedEx packages had my name on them, so our staff needed me to open them.

 During the busiest part of the reading season, admission officers read files away from the office. Just like you might go to the library to get away from distractions, it helps us to be away from email, phone calls, and drop-in visitors (some don't seem to believe that we don't use interest and want to say "hello" to the person who manages their territory). In addition, not spending time getting ready and commuting to/from Grounds (and then parking a mile away and walking up to Peabody Hall) gives us more time to focus on applications. Admission officers around the country are doing this...not at every school, but at many.

So when you mail something directly to an admission officer, it may sit in their mailbox for a few days because they are reading outside of Peabody Hall.

The items in my mailbox might have been filed by now if they hadn't been sent directly to me because I wasn't reading in Peabody last Friday.

Please make sure you are sending updates to our general mail and email addresses. They have always been on the bottom of our website and on our contact page.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

It's EA Flip Time!

We are starting to roll the applications of those we deferred during the Early Action round over to Regular Decision. If you are an EA Defer, your decision is disappearing so we can put you into the RD pool. If you were admitted or denied during Early Action, you shouldn't notice any changes.

Mid-year reports have been rolling in for the last week or so and we know this will continue for a while. If you were offered admission during EA or have an active application right now (which covers EA defers and RD applicants), we need your mid-year reports. Applicants, remember that these are sent by your counselor, so keep focusing on your school work.

RD folks, we've emailed you several times if you are missing a mandatory component of your application. If we don't have the testing, transcript, or teacher rec about which we emailed you by Thursday, we're moving on.


By the way, some amazing work is happening at the Rotunda this week. The carrara marble capitals that were made to replace the ones that have been crumbling are being installed! There's a great slideshow on the UVA Today website.

Flip!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Regular Decision Status Page Update

It's about the time that Regular Decision applicants should be taking a look at their status pages in SIS to make sure we have all of their required credentials in our office. We'll be emailing anyone who is missing a document just in case they aren't monitoring SIS.

As a reminder, mid-year reports probably won't get checked off for another couple weeks, so don't worry if that is on your "to-do" list. Your counselors will be sending those in as soon as your school has them ready.

RD students, the next several weeks are going to be tough. The admission office hunkers down to read and there aren't as many updates to report. The EA students experienced this in December and January. Now it's your turn to experience the wait. My advice: keep your head down and get your school work done. It's really tempting to day-dream about where you'll be next fall, but this last semester is really important in preparing you for a great transition to the more advanced work in college.

Waiting...in this case, to go outside to play on the Lawn.