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

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A #UVA22 Early Action Update (really a non-update)

It's the time of year when Early Action students get a little punchy. They're obsessively checking SIS and wondering if it will give a sneak preview of decisions and every mention of UVA has them looking like Jack waiting for a treat.

Can I have it? Can I have it? Can I have it?

First of all, UVA's SIS is a system that was created by PeopleSoft called Campus Solutions. Lots of schools around the country use the same system. When you implement a SIS, it takes a few years and a lot of resources (human and financial). Customizing parts of the system requires even more resources. There are always going to be features that aren't used by a certain school (but might be perfect for another). I know the boxes that pop up during the application season are confusing, but we can't get around them.

I post this screenshot every year.

Decisions will be posted by the end of the month. I always post an update here first, then on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Word spreads quickly. We also queue up a mass email to go out, but those can take a little time to land in in-boxes. You'll know when notification is coming, I promise!

All the decisions go up at once and that "View Decision" link that currently goes to a "decisions aren't ready yet" message will go to a decision letter. Those admitted will see buttons for accepting and declining their offer.

Now, I want to address the timing of our process again. Years ago, our early pool was pretty small, just a few thousand applicants. In those days, our review was done before students went on winter break. These days, half of the applicant pool is applying early. As I mentioned in my last post, it just isn't possible for us to read 21,000+ files in six weeks unless we a) dramatically change our review or b) significantly increase the size of our staff.

I like the holistic review that we use here. It means that decisions aren't just about GPAs (and remember that GPA methodologies differ) and standardized test scores. Recommendations, essays, and activities also factor in (though academics come first!). In addition, we don't "auto" admit the top of the pool and deny the bottom. We read every application. I'm sure there are admission folks out there who might find that antiquated or quaint, but it works for us.

This will all wrap up soon and then we'll shift to posts about Regular Decision and Days on the Lawn. Hang in there, everyone.