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!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Do Activities Need to Align with Intended Major?

After a few weeks on the road during travel season, certain themes emerge in the conversations we have with students. I'm used to people fixating on their activity lists, but things are a little different this year. People seem to think that activities lists need to be carefully crafted to align with a particular major. There are two issues with that.

First of all, the only students to arrive at UVA with a major are students studying Kinesiology. Last year, there were only 58 of them in a class of 3,788 students. The other 3,730 students were undeclared. If you have another major in mind, you have plenty of time to solidify that interest. If you don't have a major in mind yet, you are normal at UVA!

Second, extracurricular activities are, by definition, are not aligned with your curriculum. I definitely support exploring your current academic interests through activities...it's just not necessary. Participate in activities that you find rewarding in some way. If an activity is no longer rewarding, you have my permission to step back from it. 

Jack contemplates joining the Beach Volleyball Club


Want to read about how we look at your activity list overall? Check out this past from last fall.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

You Can Now Use the Coalition Application to Apply to UVA

I got word late yesterday that the Coalition Application is now live for UVA. After 10 years of being Common App exclusive, we have added the Coalition App as a second option for applicants. As is the norm, there will be no benefit for one application or the other during our review process. Use the app you feel most comfortable with.

Please remember that the schools can't provide technical support for the applications. Both Common App and Coalition App have links on every page for submitting a help ticket. What's more, it's helpful when you alert their teams of parts of the applications that aren't user-friendly, so don't hesitate to reach out to them if you have trouble.


If you plan on submitting one of the option art or architecture supplements with your application (remember to read the instructions for those!), you may find the Common App to be the easier system to use. The Common App seamlessly works with SlideRoom, the website where those supplements are submitted.