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

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

When Should the College Search Begin?

I once had a fifth grader in one of my information sessions. They weren't being dragged along with an older sibling. They were here with Mom and Dad, both of whom attended UVA. The mom said "it's never too early, right?"

Luckily, the University Guide Service gives historical tours of the UVA Lawn and Rotunda in addition to admission tours. Since we were in session, I was able to send the family to the Rotunda for the tourist tour with an invitation to come back to see me in five or six years.

The fact is we're seeing more parents of young students making reservations for tours and information sessions and I don't think that's a trend we want to encourage. While it's smart to be thinking about how course selection early on will affect a student's options in 11th and 12th grade, I don't think we should be encouraging middle schoolers to do a deep dive into the college search. Things change A LOT in high school. We have students who change their minds about the UVA school that interests them between November and April. There's no way we should be encouraging children to craft a college list.

If you want to expose a younger student to a college campus, ours is wonderful. Between the Rotunda, the Lawn, the Declaration of Independence, and Monticello across town, there's a lot to see here! I just hope you won't introduce the admission process until the are withon a year or two of applying.

Jack loves to greet little siblings, but we don't need them to start the college search just yet!