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Friday, June 23, 2017

How Much Time is Spent Reading a File at #UVA?

I have filled out the Common App quite a few times in recent days because we are testing the 2017-2018 version of the application (essay prompts will be posted on the blog next week!). I found myself wondering how long it takes the average student to get through the Common App and our school-specific questions. How funny that we get the same question from students and parents all the time.

The quick answer we give when asked how much time is spent on each application is "it depends." There are quick reads and slow reads, so it wouldn't be accurate to throw out a number. A quick read might be one where I'm familiar with the options at the high school and the student's academic story is clear in their transcript and recommendations. It might take longer to understand the transcript from a school I don't know as well or one where the high school profile isn't clear about the school's practices. Of course, there are some applications that aren't filled out carefully, where hastily written essays and partially filled out components lead us to a conclusion pretty quickly.

What most applicants seem to be asking is "how quickly do I have to 'wow' you?" Please know that we'll take whatever time is needed to give each file a thorough, thoughtful review. If understanding the file requires a call to the school for clarification or a slow analysis of the transcript, so be it.

Does this surprise you? Do you have questions about how the mechanics of reading a file?

Take your time! The results are apt to be better.