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!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Are You Visiting #UVA this Summer?

I have some brief notes for those who have signed up to attend an information session and tour this summer or who will be registering soon.

1. Registration helps us pick our venue.

The Office of Admission doesn't have an auditorium for large groups, so we reserve spaces around the University to accommodate our information sessions. Making a reservation ensures that we have a large enough space for our guests.

Attending the information session and tour will not have any bearing on our review if you decide to apply to UVA.


2. We'll communicate with visitors by email.

A confirmation email goes to the student after they register for the information session and tour. In addition, we will send a reminder with parking information in it a few days before your scheduled visit. Please watch for these emails and share them with anyone visiting with you. Parking can be tricky in the summertime because of new student orientation and summer camps on Grounds. Don't just plug UVA into Waze and expect to park when you get close to the University. Use the instructions we send you.


3. Summer is construction season.

As soon as graduation is over, the work crews get busy with all sorts of projects around the UVA Grounds. Fewer people are inconvenienced by closures and detours during the summer. I try to remind myself that these projects are making UVA even better than ever.

4. Bring a water bottle.

Our tours are about 90s minutes long and it is HOT out there right now. Bring a water bottle and take advantage of the bottle fillers we have around Grounds (they are usually next to water fountains). We have water coolers in our office, so you can get a refill when your tour guide brings you to Peabody Hall at the end of your tour.

It's nice and cool in Peabody Hall!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Hoo Stories: The Inside Scoop on Life at UVA

http://hoostories.blogspot.com/

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you've seen me mention the UVA student blog, Hoo Stories. Every summer, a new group of student interns takes over this blog to share inside information about student life at UVA.

This summer's writers have hit the ground running with posts about traditions, lingo, places to visit around Charlottesville, and more. One of the most helpful posts for first years was their summary of the new curriculum options in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The UVA Summer Instagram account is a fantastic companion to the blog. Make sure to follow them to get to know the students behind the blog and see what life is like on the UVA Grounds during the summer!

Monday, July 03, 2017

It's Not Just About Leadership

Many high school students are pressured to show leadership on their activity sheets if they plan on applying to college. If you happen to be the founder or a club or were elected president or captain of something, that's a wonderful honor that should be shared on your Common App. However, please know that those who don't hold leadership positions aren't at a disadvantage in this process.

There are so many qualities of which we take note when we read an application. Leadership is certainly one of them, but we also acknowledge students who show love of learning or who exhibit academic industry. There are some who have experienced academic setbacks, whose stories of improvement impress us. Maybe a student has experienced some personal adversity or they have an interesting life story that brings an unique perspective to the table. There are students who exhibit character or an ability to build coalitions in the classroom or otherwise that are great assets to the classroom. We all benefit from diversity of thoughts, talents, and backgrounds. Every application tells a story and that story doesn't have to be about leadership.

Keep in mind that just because you can check a leadership box doesn't mean other parts of your application don't have to be strong. No one gets admitted to college just because of a personal quality. Academics will always be our first stop when we're reading an application, but we also want to see that a student will contribute something to our community and evidence of that is often found in recommendation letters, essays, and activities.

As always, I'm happy to answer questions in the comments.

Jack assesses love of animals in his favorite applicants.