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

There are years of posts here. The search box works well, but please consider the age of the posts when you find them. The college admission process changes every year!

References to emailing updates to your application are from the years when we didn't have the current applicant portal. Please follow the instructions in your portal to submit all updates.

Welcome to the blog and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Notes for Early Decision and Early Action Applicants to #UVA

I thought I'd make a post about some of the things that come up on deadline day and update as we get calls from students/parents/counselors today. 

First, some of the common concerns that I know are on your minds...

1. The deadline is for the student. 

This is covered in the deadline chart on the application instructions page of our website (please read them!). Students applying to UVA for Early Decision or Early Action consideration have until 11:59 PM to submit the Common App. School counselors and teachers have a different deadline.

2. Applicant portal credentials come by email within a few days of submission.

Within a few days of the Common App reaching us, the student will get an email from with login info for the applicant portal. The portal is where you can monitor your application, submit updates, and see your application decision on notification day. Consider adding that email address to your email address book. This is also covered in the application instructions! 

Early Decision and Early Action applicants aren't required to submit anything via the portal. 

3. Matching up credentials takes time.

The first time you log into your applicant portal, your application may be incomplete. It takes time for credentials to be filed in a new application file. Remember that supporting credentials like transcript and recommendations aren't due today (again, see the application instructions).

4. We do not accept resumes, research papers, or portfolios that aren't art supplements.

We mention this in several places on our website. Please do not use the "additional information" section of the Common App to submit these items. They are not part of our review. 

5. You aren't applying to a major unless you want to study kinesiology.

This is covered on our website and on the Common App where you select your school of entry. Almost everyone is undeclared when they arrive at UVA. 

6. Common App provides Common App support.

The Common App has a help desk to work with people having technical problems with their website. The colleges that take the Common App don't control the technical parts of the Common App. 

Now, I'll add things I hear from callers or questions via social media today below. 

-Someone is telling students they must log into the UVA applicant portal before deadline. That's impossible, as they don't have login credentials until after they submit the application.

-Someone is telling students that Virginia public colleges share applicant lists with each other and that if you apply under Early Decision to one, the rest will deny your application. This is false. We do not share applicant information like this. Your application to another school does not impact the review of your file to UVA. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Things You Don't Have to Do for #UVA Admission

In the forest of posts on social media about what you should/must do, I thought I'd write one about what you don't have to worry about for the UVA admission process. 


We don't offer interviews of any kind as part of the admission process at UVA. The application provides the information we need to make a decision. As someone who stressed out about a few college interviews and spent a bit of money to get to them as an applicant myself, I like that we don't use them. 


We have turned off the resume upload feature in the Common App. UVA does not accept resumes. This is in the application instructions and on the contact page if you want to show someone our directions on this. 

When information is presented in the systematic format of the Common App, we can quickly identify the important information. If everyone submitted their awards/activities in their own document, we'd probably miss some things. Don't make more work for yourself! Use the Common App to share this information. 

Portfolios that aren't Art Supplements

We have guidelines on our website for submitting art supplements, but some students want to submit other things, such as writing portfolios, news clippings, certificates, or photos of a student engaged in an activity. Due to our application volume, we are not able to review portfolios that don't adhere to the guidelines. Please don't send anything that doesn't fit the guidelines. 

Research Abstracts

You should definitely tell us if you are engaged in research by putting it on the Common App activity list, but do not send us an abstract. A line or two telling us the subject of the research is sufficient. We will not be reading research papers or abstracts. 

Emails showing interest

As application numbers increase, so do the emails from students who want to express their interest in UVA. We are happy to answer questions, but emails showing interest aren't necessary, we don't use demonstrated interest in our review. 

By the way, submit updates through the student portal instead of by email. Please follow the application instructions on this! We want our staff to be dedicated to application review, not tending to a constant stream of emails. Following directions helps the process move quickly. Not following directions slows us down...and I know you all want us to work efficiently so we can get decisions made!

We ask for the things we know we need to make our decisions. The application includes a lot of information: transcripts, recommendations, pieces of writing, and an activity list. If someone is telling you that UVA needs things that aren't listed in our application instructions, they are mistaken.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The "Spike" in the Activity Section for UVA Admission

What does "spike" mean to you? If you've been spending time on websites where college admission advice is given out in the last few years, you've probably seen it used in conversations about extracurricular activities. Let's talk about that and what UVA admission officers are looking for when we review the activity section of your Common App.

The Definition

The spike being talked about on those sites refers to the notion that students should tailor their activities (and in some cases, the entire application) to fit their intended major. Most recently, I've seen people talk of showing a "business spike" or "psychology spike." 

The General Concept Isn't New

There were people talking about crafting and packaging yourself to fit a specific theme back when I was applying to college! We thought you had to be either well-rounded or pointy. We'd also hear people talk about students being specialists and generalists. I think that the internet has made "spike" spread very quickly to the point that it's become generally accepted.

My Take on the Spike Messages I'm Seeing

When it comes to activities, we don't craft the class to cover certain interests because we don't have to. When you have an incoming class of ~3,900 students, you don't have to manufacture variety. No one is going to say "where are the drummers?" or "who will write for the newspaper?" There will be drummers. And writers. And dancers. You get the idea. 

When I look at your activity list, I simply want to see that you're making a contribution in some area of your life. Activities don't have to be related to each other. Activities don't have to be related to your academic interests. Activities should be rewarding, interesting, and fun. You shouldn't be afraid to try something because it doesn't fit into a strategy.

Also, consider the fact that we are looking for curious students who will take advantage of all the wonderful options in the UVA curriculum. It's great to have an idea about what you'd like to study, but you don't have to focus all of your energy on one topic at this point. I hope you're excited about exploring subjects and activities you haven't had access to in high school when you get here.

What Applicants Should Do

Ask a few admission officers about this spike concept. You might have to explain what it is, as this idea didn't come out of admission offices. Then ask what they want to see in the activity section. I hope you'll realize that we are all interested in learning more about you in that part of the application. We don't expect require involvement to be based on your [current] academic interests.

Activities should be rewarding and fun!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Four Tips for Answering the UVA Writing Prompts

I recently attended a high school program where a group of admission officers and college counselors helped students understand the admission process. The two things that seemed to be on the students' minds were building (in come cases, whittling down) college lists and getting preliminary ideas for answering writing prompts. Here are some of the things I shared with the students...

1. Go small.

A lot of students try to "go big" in their applications. I had a student tell me they wanted to write about two of their activities and how their interest in them is rooted in the same personal quality. The idea was interesting, but it would take pages to do it justice. Cover one idea, not many.

2. Answer the prompt.

This might seem like a silly tip, but I've seen advice claiming that our prompts are asking things they aren't. These aren't trick questions. They're simple and broad so they work for lots of people.

3. Pay attention to length, to an extent.

The word counts given in the instructions are to give you an idea of how much we are expecting to read. You are not expected to submit the exact number of words stated. We aren't counting the words. We just don't want you to write a term paper when we're asking for a short paragraph. 

4. Use your writing style.

I often get asked if we want formal or informal responses. The answer is: yes. With 50,000 applications, there will be variety in the style of the responses. Write in the way that is authentic to you.

I hope that helps as you write your responses to our prompts!


Monday, June 13, 2022

2022-2023 #UVA First Year Application Writing Prompts

If you follow me on TikTok, you may have seen my post a few weeks ago about how we decide on our writing prompts. During the application review season, I keep notes on what my colleagues are sharing about the prompts, both the positive comments and the negative. Then, at the end of the season, we have conversations about what should be tweaked and what should be changed. In recent years, we haven't done much in the way of wholesale change and instead made small tweaks to our prompts. That streak ends now. We're making some bigger changes to our part of the Common App, including in the format and writing prompts. 


The first prompt is still tied to the UVA school or college the student selects. We want students to answer the prompt in around 100 words. As always, the boxes on the Common App allow students to go a bit over, so we don't expect students to write exactly 100 words.

College of Arts & Sciences: If you could create a college course that all UVA students would take, what would it be about and why? 

School of Engineering: How will you use an engineering degree to change the world for the better? 

School of Architecture: Describe a significant experience that deepened your interest in studying in the School of Architecture. 

School of Nursing: Describe a health care-related experience or another significant interaction that deepened your interest in studying Nursing. 

Kinesiology Program: Describe an experience that has deepened your interest in studying kinesiology.


Students will then write responses to two prompts out of eleven options in about 50 words each. Again, the Common App boxes allow students to go a little over the stated limit. Some of these are old favorites and some are new.

1. What’s your favorite word and why?
2. We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. What is one of your quirks?
3. About what topic could you speak for an hour?
4. Take us to your happy place.
5. You can wake up tomorrow and a skill you already have will become expert-level. What skill is that?
6. What is the last gift you gave someone that wasn’t bought with money?
7. What website is the internet missing?
8. After a challenging experience, how do you recharge?
9. Tell us about a place you’d like to share with everyone, but also keep to yourself.
10. UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?
11. Tell us about a time when, faced with an opinion or perspective that differed from your own, you responded as an empathetic speaker or generous listener.


I'll share some writing tips in future posts. I'll also share my thoughts during my weekly, Wednesday afternoon live Q&As on my Instagram account and on Tiktok.

Friday, June 03, 2022

Summer Visit Season Begins

We are so excited to see reservations rolling in for our summer information sessions and tours. If you're planning a visit to UVA this summer, here are some notes for you to consider. 

1. Registration for a Tour on the Office of Admission's Visit Page.

We have a set number of spots available for each tour time. Making a reservation ensures that tour sizes are appropriate and allow visitors time to ask their questions. Registration for each month typically opens a month prior. Attending the tour will not have any bearing on our review if you decide to apply to UVA. We don't use interest here! 


2. We'll communicate with visitors by email.

A confirmation email goes to the student after they register for the tour. In addition, we will send a reminder with parking information 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.

There are all sorts of construction and renovation projects happening around the UVA Grounds. Fewer people are inconvenienced by closures and detours during the summer, so the projects seem to multiple as soon as the semester ends. I try to remind myself that these projects are making UVA even better than ever. 


4. Bring a water bottle.

Our tours are about 90 minutes long and summer in Virginia can be hot! Bring a water bottle and take advantage of the bottle fillers we have around Grounds (they are usually next to water fountains). 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

An Update for the 2022 Waiting List

If you watch my weekly live q&a sessions on Instagram, you've heard me talk about the waiting list a few times already, but I have an official update for the waiting list from Greg Roberts, the Dean of Admission.

Thank you for your continued interest in the University of Virginia. We are grateful that you chose to remain on the waiting list, and we realize that waiting is never easy. Thank you for your patience and thank you - again - for your interest. 

You have demonstrated to us that you are more than capable of thriving at UVA and contributing to the education and experience of your classmates. We want you to know that we respect and admire all that you have accomplished, and that we have great faith in your future. 

At the same time, after considering the size of the first-year class and the spaces available, we have unfortunately concluded that we cannot offer you admission to UVA this year. I expect this will be disappointing news to receive, and I am very sorry that I have to deliver it. 

If your heart is truly set on attending UVA, we are here to help. Based on the same strengths that helped you reach our waiting list, we are optimistic that you will earn admission after one or two years elsewhere, provided you let us help you with your planning. If you would like to talk to an Admission Counselor about transfer admission, or how you might begin your college career at the excellent and welcoming UVA Wise campus in southwest Virginia, please contact us. We would welcome the chance to answer questions and assist. 

We appreciate your interest in the University of Virginia and wish you the best as you begin your college career.

I know this is disappointing news for many of you. I hope you can look at your chosen school and move forward with you plans to go there with excitement. Best wishes for a wonderful summer and exciting start to your college career!

Friday, April 29, 2022

Meet Betsy, a Media Studies student from New Jersey!


Hi Everyone! My name is Betsy Macdonnell (she/her) and I’m a fourth year at UVA majoring in Media Studies from Glen Ridge, NJ. For my last semester I am interning with the Office of Undergraduate Admission on their Communications team. I love getting to connect with prospective students, and I look forward to telling you all a bit about myself, and hopefully getting to know some of you as well!

I mentioned above that I am from New Jersey, however, a fun fact about me is that I went to boarding school in Canada for all 4 years of high school. So coming into UVA, I really didn’t know anyone, and because of that, I was really nervous about starting at UVA. However, one thing that I remember was super helpful with my transition was Summer Orientation. During Summer Orientation, all incoming students come to UVA for two days over the summer. During the day, you are in a group with other students and you go to various different informational sessions to get acclimated, and also spend time doing activities with your orientation group. In the evening, there are a bunch of activities such as yoga in the Aquatic and Fitness Center, or an outdoor walk. This is another way to get to meet new people and explore grounds. Students then stay in a dorm overnight, which is a nice way to get a sense of what your dorm life could be like in the fall. I also think that staying in a dorm is a great way to get a sense of what to add to your packing list. The next day, your orientation leaders help you register for your first handful of classes before you head home. As an out of state student, coming for orientation helped me to feel a lot more comfortable at UVA, and eased my nerves about the upcoming transition to college. Similarly, I made some really awesome friends in my orientation group, which allowed me to have a few familiar faces around grounds in the fall.

During my time at UVA, I have been able to explore my passions and interests in a way that has opened me up to so many different opportunities. Coming into college, I had my heart set on journalism as my future career. For this reason, I was really interested in the Media Studies major. However, at UVA, you don’t declare your major until halfway through your second year. So although I took Intro to Media Studies my very first semester at UVA, I was also encouraged to take classes in a variety of disciplines. So during my first two years at UVA, I took so many interesting classes such as Sociology of the Family, Spiritual but not Religious and Abnormal Psychology. While I ultimately decided to major in Media Studies, by exploring my options I realized that my passion wasn’t journalism, but rather storytelling more broadly.

Throughout my time at UVA, I have been able to explore this passion for storytelling through a variety of different clubs and organizations. My two main involvements on grounds are the University Guide Service and IfYou’ Through the University Guide Service, I am able to give admissions tours to prospective students, as well as historical tours of grounds to any tourists who come to UVA. Through the University Guide Service, I’ve been able to engage with UVA’s rich and complex history, while also finding a community of other like minded individuals. IfYou’ is a mental health organization that was started at UVA in the fall of 2016 to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Through this organization, we collect and post weekly letters from UVA students, faculty and alumni about their own experiences with their mental health. These letters serve as a reminder that you are never alone in your struggles. I found IfYou’ during my first year when I was struggling with my mental health, and these letters gave me comfort in knowing that it was okay if I didn’t feel 100% all the time. If you’re reading this, know that there is a place for you at UVA, even if you struggle with your mental health.

To end my blog post, I want to write a little about why I chose to come to UVA. I applied to UVA on a whim, never having visited, simply because a family friend told me she went here and thought I would like it. I didn’t know a lot about colleges in the U.S. since both my parents are from Canada and I was attending high school in Canada as well. So when this family friend suggested I apply to UVA, I figured I might as well. Flash forward to spring of my senior year, I was accepted to UVA Regular Decision after being deferred during Early Action. I had still never visited UVA, but it was on my short list of schools, so my Dad and I came down for Days on the Lawn. I remember instantly being blown away by how beautiful grounds was. I could picture myself sitting out on the Lawn and reading a book during a warm day. I could see myself taking classes in the beautiful red brick buildings. Beyond that, I remember feeling that UVA was a place where students really cared about the things that they were doing. Every student I talked to was so passionate about their organizations and their classes, and I realized that this was a place where I could be passionate and excited and a little bit nerdy. I realized it was a place where I could explore my passions, and I would find people who would want to support me as I did that. Overall, I just remember having this really strong gut feeling that UVA was where I should be.

Looking back on these past four years, it hasn’t been perfect by any means. Like any college experience, there have been high highs and low lows and a bunch of moments all in between. However, I can say with the strongest conviction that 18 year old me was right. This has been a place where I have been able to explore my interests and grow into myself. At UVA I have made friends who feel like family, and have ultimately become a better version of myself. UVA is just where I was supposed to be.



Friday, April 01, 2022

Days on the Lawn 2022

When the 2020 Days on the Lawn were cancelled, we had no idea it would be two years before we could host our admitted student open houses again. To say we are excited to start the 2022 DOTL season next week would be quite an understatement! We're ecstatic! 

Here are a few notes for those of you who are traveling to Charlottesville next month for Days on the Lawn:

1. The Schedule

There are all sorts of talks and sessions on the DOTL schedule, but the pace of your day is totally up to you. Some students have a "divide and conquer" approach, sending a parent to one session while they go to a different one. Others take a more leisurely approach. This is a day to get the information you need to make a decision about attending UVA and if that includes meandering around the gardens or hanging out on a patio for a while, that's just fine.

2. Parking

We sent detailed information about parking and registration by email. Please read that information carefully and share it with the person coming with you. Visiting on a Days on the Lawn day is not the same as on other days. If you're driving, you'll be parking and checking in at John Paul Jones Arena and taking a shuttle to Central Grounds. If walking, you'll be checking in at the Rotunda. Keep in mind that you'll be arriving when many locals are commuting, so please leave some extra time for traffic. 

3. Dress Comfortably

You will probably be doing a lot of walking on your DOTL day, so wear comfortable shoes. It will most likely be cold in the mornings and warm up over the course of the day, so be prepared by dressing layers. 

4. Don't Miss the Student Social

There is a students-only social in Garden 9 (it's marked on the map we'll give you at check-in) at 1 PM each DOTL day. There will be snacks, games, and some current students there to chat. I usually try to stop by with Jack for a bit, too. Just a heads up that Jack believes he is an excellent corn hole partner.

5. About Dorms

You can walk around the housing area, but we aren't able to have dorm tours this year. Luckily, there are video tours showing the different types of residence halls on the UVA Housing youtube channel. Housing will have a tent set up to field your questions at DOTL. 

There are also some tours on the WUVA youtube channel (that's a great channel to get a sense of student life here, by the way).

The number of current students, staff, and faculty who have signed up to take part in DOTL is probably over 100 right now and everyone else at UVA realizes what day it is pretty quickly. If you need help or have questions, the student volunteers will be in a special t-shirt (orange for most, blue for the team leaders) and admission staff members will have nametags on. 

If you need anything from our team, you can email in advance of your DOTL day. During DOTL, you'll probably see an admission officer at most sessions, but we will always have people at Peabody to help visitors. 

Safe travels! We can't wait to see you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Meet Tucker, a Commerce Student from Mississippi!

I'm very excited to share the first 2022 entry in a series of guest blog posts by UVA students. Tucker, a regular around Peabody Hall, is kicking things off. Keep an eye on @uva_students on Instagram for more content from Tucker and our other intern, Betsy, who you'll meet next week.

Hey everyone! My name is Tucker, and I am a third-year student at the University of Virginia studying Commerce and French. As a Student Intern at the Office of Admission, I work with the Communications team to engage with students through social media. In this blog post I’ll be introducing myself, talking about the UVA community, and also sharing more about why I made the decision to attend the University of Virginia. 

I am originally from Jackson, Mississippi, so coming to UVA was intimidating for several reasons: I would be hundreds of miles from home, I didn’t know anyone attending UVA, and I would be in the minority of students not from Virginia. However, after my first month on grounds, all of those concerns had melted away, and I was left with a deep appreciation for this university and the people who also call it home. 

Getting Involved

One important factor that made acclimating to life at UVA seamless was the strong communities that exist outside the classroom. Every club, organization, sports team, and activity has a vibrant social component. This emphasis on community made me feel welcome as a first year, and now, as an upperclassmen, I love sharing that welcoming energy with underclassmen as well as visitors to UVA. Some of my involvements beyond my job at the Office of Admission include the University Guide Service (which is responsible for giving historical and admissions tours of the university), Greek Life (both a pre-professional, co-ed business fraternity as well as a social fraternity), the Equity and Environment Fund (an endowment that funds projects that explore the intersection of sustainability and equity), and Days on the Lawn (our admitted student programming). In addition to these extracurriculars, I also work for the UVA Office for Sustainability, which has been a great opportunity to learn more about sustainability, to educate my peers, and to help reduce UVA’s impact on the environment. 

Community and Traditions

Beyond these individual involvements and the communities associated with them, I have felt a profound sense of community at the university level as well. UVA has so many unique, fun traditions. My personal favorite is Lighting of the Lawn, which happens right before the end of the fall semester. Everyone comes to the Lawn (which is the historic center of grounds) on a December evening and watches as the Rotunda and the Academical Village is illuminated in a light show that’s synced to music. This tradition arose in the aftermath of 9/11 as an act of solidarity. Today, it cointies to bring people from across the university together. Another quintessential UVA tradition is streaking the Lawn. This happens during the cover of night randomly throughout the semester. Have something to celebrate? Streak the Lawn. UVA win a national championship? Streak the Lawn. There’s no right or wrong way to do it - it’s just an (admittedly quirky), long-standing fixture of the UVA experience for those who chose to participate. Finally, another tradition I’ll highlight is trick-or-treating on the Lawn, which is where members of the Charlottesville/Albemarle county communities come to the Lawn as students and faculty hand out candy. It is a wholesome, fun event that helps connect the UVA community with its surroundings. 

The last variety of community I will touch on is the one that exists in the classroom. As a student in the School of Commerce, I have had the opportunity to get very close with members of my “block,” which is essentially a cohort of students with whom I take the core classes required for a degree in commerce. However even in other majors without a cohort system, there are so many avenues to develop friendships with peers. The academic departments try not only to help students by supporting their future professional pursuits, but also to provide opportunities to form connections with other students. Whether it’s having people to study all night with the day before a midterm or people to remind you about an assignment due the next day, the academic community at UVA fosters a sense of collaboration in a way I have found to be incredibly supportive. 

Why UVA?

Now that you know a little bit more about my experience joining the UVA community, I will share why I chose UVA in the first place. I was looking for a university where I would be challenged academically and surrounded by ambitious, intelligent individuals, but I didn’t want any of that at the expense of a fun, social, and vibrant college experience. During my senior year of high school I was visiting some friends in Richmond and wanted to check out colleges nearby, so I visited UVA. I knew nothing about the university and hadn’t even considered it. But, after touring and chatting with a few students, it quickly became apparent to me that UVA was exactly what I was looking for in a school: students here have a healthy balance between their social and academic lives. Of course there were logistical factors, such as geography and finances, that I had to consider, but, of the places that I could feasibly attend, UVA was where I felt most at home. 

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about my journey at UVA. Please feel free to reach out to the Office of Admission should you have any questions. I also encourage all admitted students to sign up for Days on the Lawn, which is happening throughout April! 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

#UVA Scholars Programs Notifications, Round 2

We have completed the second round of review for the Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars programs and notifications are in portals. The students we've added in this second round should also have an email from the director of their program in their inboxes. We'll mail a hardcopy tomorrow.

About 5% of students in the College and School of Engineering are invited to join these programs. Echols and Rodman have a third round that takes place after the first semester (you can self-nominate for that round). You can read more about these programs on their websites.

Congratulations to our second group of scholars for the Class of 2026!

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Notes for the 2022 Waiting List


If you were offered a spot on the waiting list at UVA, you should have followed the link to the Waiting List FAQs that was in your decision letter. Many of the questions we're getting are covered there, so please be sure to share that link with your parents and counselor so they understand the process. I'm going to go over the parts that come up the most and add some more information. Feel free to ask questions in the comments.

How many people are on the waiting list? 

The waiting list forms as people fill out the waiting list reply on the portal. The number on the list continues to change because students may remove themselves from it at any time.

The waiting list tends to be large because there are 10 different segments of it (VA and OOS groups for the four schools and the one program that take first-year students). Most schools include waiting list data in section C2 of the Common Data Set

From UVA's 2020-2021 Common Data Set:
Do you have a policy of placing students on a waiting list? Yes
Number of qualified applicants offered a place on the waiting list: 6,465
Number accepting a place on the waiting list: 3,780
Number of wait-listed students admitted: 165
Is your waiting list ranked? No

What's this thing about UVA Wise?

Virginia residents on the waiting list who applied for the College of Arts & Sciences are given the option of enrolling at UVA Wise for one year before guaranteed transfer to UVA. You won't be removed from our waiting list process and you aren't bound to Wise if you express interest in that option. Here's the link about the Wise option that was in your portal.

I accepted. Why is the form still there? 

You can always come back and pull yourself off the list. That is why the form remains after you opt in. There is no going back once you decline, so there are a couple confirmation screens to get through if you want to opt-out.


 How many people will come off the waiting list?

Even though I've been doing this for years, I can't predict this. It's hard to cite trends with certainty, especially with the pandemic affecting college decisions in the last few years. We're all waiting to see how this works out right now.

How many people got offers to come off the waiting list in the past?

The Waiting List FAQ page has a decade of information, but here are the numbers for every year since I started working here. This should show you how unpredictable this part can be. I don't have a breakdown of where the offers were for these years.

2021 - 83
2020 - 915
2019 - 9
2018 - 13
2017- 117
2016 - 360
2015- 402
2014- 42
2013 - 185
2012 - 284
2011 - 117
2010 - 240
2009 - 288
2008 - 60
2007 - 159
2006 - 145
2005 - 83

How do I improve my chances of getting an offer?

There is a lot of conflicting information out there about this. Uploading a letter with updates is fine, but I think you should want until the middle of April to upload it via the portal so you can put everything in one communication. Please do not email one or more admission officers about your decision. Use your portal.

By the way, showing up in Peabody Hall wouldn't affect our process. I can't tell you how many students have driven here ask the questions covered in the FAQs. It was not the best use of their time (or gas money!).

When/How do you make wait-list offers?

This is covered on the waiting list page. We start making waiting list offers as soon as we know we have space in the class, usually in early May. We move quickly because no one wants to drag this out. In the past, we've wrapped the process up in June. When the time comes, we always email the entire waiting list to let them know the class is full.

If you are going to get an offer, we'll call you at the number you put on your application. The call is a heads up that your status is about to change in the portal. Of course, it's fine if you tell us "no thanks" and that's the end of it. We hope that people who are no longer interested in UVA use the portal to remove their name from the list, but some people forget. When the portal updates, a new letter shows up along with the ability to pay a deposit. We work a traditional business day, Monday through Friday. Our office hours are 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. We call from phone numbers like 434-982-xxxx.

Because we want to give students a few days to think about the offer (and because the Financial Aid folks need time to post a package if the newly-admitted student applied for aid), this process takes a while. I can't give constant updates on the blog. I will always post when the Dean says the class is full and we are done making offers.

What about aid?

If you applied for aid by March 1st and got all of your documentation in, Student Financial Services will put a financial aid package together. Once that's posted, you'll have a couple days to accept the offer and pay your deposit.

Will my housing and class options be limited if I come off the waiting list?

In a word: no. Students coming off the waiting list aren't treated differently in the housing process. During the Orientation season, seats in certain popular classes are held for each orientation session. That means people who sign up for the first orientation can't scoop up all the seats in classes. What's more, the registration system opens up for course changes in August. Lots of students don't finalize their courses until that period. Many will continue to tweak their schedule during the "drop/add" period (some schools are calling it a shopping period now) at the beginging of the semester, when you can visit classes and make changes without penalty.

What now?

For now, you need to look at your other options and think about which one feels right to you. Some of you will want to hold on and see what happens with the UVA waiting list and others will want to fully invest themselves in another school. Either way, you need to submit a deposit somewhere by May 1st to ensure yourself a spot in a freshman class. If you are offered a spot in our class and you decide to accept it, you'll have to write to that other school and withdraw your name from the class (you may lose your deposit at that school). Just remember that you can't "double deposit".

By the way, calling a student and telling them that they are getting an offer of admission is probably the most exciting thing admission officers experience! We can't wait to make them and everyone has a story or two about favorite calls. I promise you that when it's time, we'll be working very quickly so we can deliver happy news!

Thursday, March 17, 2022

2022 #UVA Regular Decision Admission Statistics

 Here are some unofficial numbers about this year's process. These numbers are up to date as of today, March 17, 2022. If you are a reporter, please contact the Office of University Communications for current, official information.

A few notes:

1. I can not fulfill requests for more statistics. You can see official admission data, including admission data by residency and school of entry from last year, on the website

2. Admitted students will get a hard copy of their letter in their offer packet. Unfortunately, I can't predict when USPS will put that in your mailbox.

3. Students offered the waiting list should read the Waiting List FAQs. That link will be in the decision letter as well.

4. The EcholsRodman, and College Science Scholars program invitations will be visible in portals next week. I will post an update when I have one. Some invitations are going to students to applied in the early rounds. Echols and Rodman also allow self-nomination after your first semester. Miller Arts Scholars apply after the first semester.

Total Applications

Total applications: 50,962 (48,011 last year)
Total number of VA apps: 14,305
Total number of OOS apps: 36,657

Total Offers of Admission 

Overall offers: 9,522  
Total VA offers: 3,946 (28% offer rate) 
Total OOS offers: 5,576 (15% offer rate) 
It's misleading to average these offer rates together because residency is a major factor in our review. If you are going to share these numbers, cite BOTH offer rates.

Total Regular Decision Applications

Total RD applications: 16,306 (16,060 last year)
Total number of VA RD apps: 3,924
Total number of OOS RD apps: 12,382

Total Regular Decision Offers of Admission 

Overall RD offers: 2,123 (2,628 last year)
Total VA RD offers: 650 (17% offer rate) 
Total OOS RD offers: 1,473 (12% offer rate)
We do not try to figure out an individual student's likelihood of enrolling (demonstrated interest), but overall yield influences the offer rate. Out-of-state residents tend to have a lower yield rate than Virginia residents. You can see yield rates on the statistics website.

Defers and Waiting List 

VA Deferred students offered admission: 72 (162 last year)
OOS Deferred students offered admission: 83 (150)
Waiting list offers: 16% (18% last year)
The waiting list forms as students opt into it via the applicant portal
 and we have seen up to HALF decline putting themselves on the list. The waiting list can be thought of as having ten different segments (in-state and OOS for each of the five academic areas that take first-year students).

Good luck tomorrow night! If your path leads to UVA, we are thrilled to have you with us! We will be in touch by email to let you know about virtual and in-person admitted student events. If this is the end of your time with UVA, best wishes for the rest of your college search. There are exciting times ahead for all of you. I have loved interacting with you here, on Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, and reddit. Thank you for considering UVA!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

#UVA Regular Decision Update!

If you're a regular reader of the blog, participate in my live q&a sessions on Instagram, or see me reply to questions on TikTok/Twitter/reddit/etc, you know that we release admission decisions early whenever possible. We are ready.

Regular Decision notification will be
Friday, March 18, 2022

This is official. Please do not call our office to confirm it. The decisions will get posted all at once to portals after office hours. There's a technical team runs several processes to get the portals updated and I can't predict the exact time that they'll finish their work.

As always, I'll have a post with admission statistics to share between now and Friday. I'll be back next week to talk about the waiting list. For now, those who are offered the waiting list should click the link in their letter to read through the information on the waiting list page. 

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

UVA Scholars Programs Notifications

The Office of Admission reviews all applicants to the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering for a potential invitation to three scholars programs: Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars. 

The first round of invitations has been posted to applicant portals. A second round of invitations will be posted at the conclusion of the Regular Decision process. Echols and Rodman have a third round that takes place after the first semester (you can self-nominate for that round). 

About 5% of students in the College and School of Engineering are invited to join these programs. You can read more about them on their websites.

Congratulations to our first group of scholars for the Class of 2026!

Friday, February 04, 2022

2022 Early Action Admission Statistics for #UVA

 Here are some unofficial numbers about the Early Action process. These numbers were up to date on Thursday afternoon. If you are a reporter, please contact the Office of University Communications for current, official information and all of your needs.

The Office of Institutional Research and Analytics is the source of all official statistics about UVA. They take a census to determine the final statistics for the class. You can see official admission data in the data digest part of their website. 

Early Action Applications

Total number of Early Action applications: 31,143 (28,897 last year)
Total number of VA apps: 8,518
Total number of OOS apps: 22,626
We use completed applications in our statistics.

Early Action Offers

Overall offers: 6,243
Total VA offers:
 2,573 (30% offer rate)
Total OOS offers:  3,669 (16% offer rate)
Enrollment Goal: ~3,750
It's misleading to average these offer rates together because residency is a major factor in our review. If you are going to share these numbers, cite BOTH offer rates. 

Early Action Defers

Overall defers: 6,925 (22%)
Total VA defers: 2,295
Total OOS defers: 4,630
Read more about deferral here (this link is in all defer letters). Please read #2 below.

I can also share that our total application number is around 50,000

A couple notes:

1. I do not have additional statistics. I know people want to see how many students were admitted without testing. I was not given that number. 
2. If you are deferred, you must submit the defer form in your portal if you'd like to be considered in RD. This form takes the place of a "letter of continued interest" or LOCI. Please follow the directions on the defer student page about what you may add to your file.

3. Admitted students will get a paper copy of the offer letter by mail.

4. The first round of invitations into Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars, will be posted in the portal next week. I will post an update when that happens. A second round will be posted after the Regular Decision process is completed. Echols and Rodman also allow self-nomination after your first semester. Miller Arts Scholars only apply after the first semester.