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

There are fifteen 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 over time!

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Welcome to the blog and thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Show me the money!

When I have a little extra time at the end of my information sessions, I try to talk a little bit about scholarships. I've heard about so many interesting ones, but despite financial aid search engines all over the web, many students seem unaware of all the money that's out there.

A colleague of mine put together a comprehensive list of all the scholarships we have at UVA and I thought I'd profile some of them. We're working on getting them all on our website (we're launching a new Office of Admission website this summer), but until then, I thought this might be a good place to post that information.

The Jefferson Scholarship
A full tuition scholarship sponsored by the Alumni Association.

Criteria: Excellence in leadership, scholarship and citizenship

Selection Process:
Candidates are nominated by participating schools (see website for more info) and interviewed locally by alumni panels. Finalists attend a selection weekend in Charlottesville in early spring and notified of awards around May 1st.

Special Notes:

-The Office of Admission may nominate "at large" candidates who do not go to nominating schools.
-International students are eligible and have been awarded this scholarship.

The University Achievement Award
About 50 full tuition scholarships awarded to exceptional students from Virginia who will add to the diversity of the student population.

Criteria: Virginia residency, academic merit, leadership, need and citizenship. A student must also satisfy at least two of the following conditions: (1) have a history of overcoming disadvantage; (2) be a first generation college student; (3) be a member of an underrepresented minority or ethnic group; (4) be a member of a low income family; (5) reside in a rural or inner-city location; (6) have been raised in a single parent household.

Selection Process: A committee reviews all applicants from Virginia for possible awards. Award notifications are sent in early April.

Faculty/Staff Undergraduate Scholarship
Need-based scholarship for children of full-time faculty or staff. The average award is $3,000. Open to first year and transfer students.

Criteria: Parent must be employed by the University full-time for at least one year; student must be in good academic standing.

Selection Process: Student must complete all Financial Aid paperwork by March 1st and submit a separate application for the scholarship (link opens a PDF).

The Holland Scholarship
Administered by the Holland Alumni Board and Ron Brown Foundation. Provides a $10,000 (Virginian) or $20,000 (out of state student) scholarship annually to outstanding African American students.

Criteria: Demonstrated love of learning, academic achievement, involvement and leadership.

Selection Process: All African American applicants are reviewed by a committee. Finalists attend a selection weekend in Charlottesville. Award notifications are sent in late March/early April.

The Ridley Scholarship
Awards for African American students administered by The Black Alumni Association. Renewable for four years.

Criteria: African Americans demonstrating financial need, academic performance, leadership, and community service. Must maintain full-time enrollment, 2.0 GPA and be involved in university organizations.

Selection process: All African American applicants are sent application information between December and March. Applicants must submit their responses by March 30th. A selection committee reviews applicants and makes award notifications in mid-April.

Special Notes: The Ridley Board administers a number of other scholarships as part of The Ridley Scholarship. The pages linked below include information about specific funds, some with stories about the students for whom the funds are named.
The Gregory Raven Batipps Memorial Fund
The Ravenell Ricky Keller III Scholarship
The Meikel Andrade Memorial Scholarship
Annetta Thomapson Fund
Richmond/Ridley Endowed Scholarship
The Guinee Family Endowed Scholarship Fund

Virginia Engineering Scholarship
Scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for outstanding minority applicants to the engineering school. Administered by the Director of Minority Programs* in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Criteria: Strong performance in the sciences, leadership potential, involvement, and research interests.

Selection Process: All minority applicants to the engineering school are reviewed. Award notifications are sent in early May.

*This might be from old documentation. SEAS now has a Center for Diversity in Engineering that may oversee this award.

Berkley and Susan Fontaine Minor Foundation Scholarship
Scholarship awarding $4,000 annually to two outstanding students from West Virginia.

Criteria: West Virginia residency, superior academic achievement, involvement and leadership

Selection Process: All applicants from West Virginia are reviewed by the Office of Admission for possible award. Finalists are recommended to the Minor Foundation. The Foundation notifies award winners in April.

H. Kruger Kaprielian Scholarship
Need-based scholarship awarded to a student of Armenian descent.

Criteria: US citizen or permanent resident with Armenian ancestry.

Selection Process:
Candidates must submit a letter to the Office of Financial Services to be considered.

Charles F. Wonson Scholarship
A need-based award given to a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton, VA.

Criteria: Attendance at Robert E. Lee High School, good academic standing.

Selection Process: Admitted applicants from Robert E. Lee High School are automatically awarded this scholarship in their financial aid packages.

Glover Scholarship
Award given every four years to one student, worth approximately $6660. Next award year: 2007.

Criteria: Attendance at Lynchburg, VA area high schools, good academic standing.

Selection Process: A local alumni committee oversees selection process. Area high schools are sent application information.

V. Thomas Foreland, Jr. Scholarship
A merit and/or need based scholarship of approximately $3,000 awarded to two students from Chesapeake, VA who attended Oscar F. Smith High School, Norfolk Academy, or Nansemond-Suffolk Academy.

Criteria: Attendance at one of the above schools, good academic standing.

Selection Process: Office of Financial Aid reviews all applicants from the geographic area for possible award. Notification sent in April.

George E. Hamovit Memorial Scholarship
Need based award of $1,500 to $3,000, renewable each year, given to a student from Petersburg, VA who attended Petersburg High School.

Criteria: Petersburg, VA residency, strong academic standing, demonstrated need.

Selection Process: Office of Financial Aid reviews all applicants from Petersburg for possible award.

Zirkle Scholarship
A $2,000 award for students of Rockingham County/Harrisburg/Staunton, VA, renewable each year. Three students are typically selected for the award.

Criteria: Residency in areas listed above, good academic standing, financial need.

Selection Process: Office of Financial Aid and the Alumni Association consider all applicants from eligible area. Top candidates given to the local alumni chapter for review.

Mississippi Scholarship
A need-based award of approximately $7,500 given to an African American student from Mississippi. Next award will be made in 2009.

Criteria: Mississippi residency, good academic standing

Selection Process: All African American applicants from Mississippi are considered. Award notifications made in early April.

Mellon Scholarship
A one-time $2,000 award given to a non-traditional student attempting to complete a degree. Often given to transfer students.

Criteria: Non-traditional student in good academic standing

Selection Process: All non-traditional students are automatically reviewed by the transfer admission dean. Nominations sent to the Alumni Association and notification is made in May.

Bailey Tiffany Scholarship
A grant for residents of Accomack or Northampton County, VA. Award typically covers tuition and fees.

Criteria: Residency in Accomack or Northampton County, VA.

Selection Process: Automatically awarded as part of the Financial Aid package.

Margaret E. Phillips Scholarship
Awarded to students striving to become Ministers in the Protestant Episcopal Church in America. Amount varies.

Criteria: Interest in religious studies with intention to become and Episcopal minister.

Selection Process:
Candidates must submit a letter to the Office of Financial Services to be considered.

Special Note: Rarely applied for.

Warwick High School Class of 1952 Scholarship
A $100 award to students from Warwick High School (VA).

Criteria: Attendance at Warwick High School, good academic standing

Selection Process: All students offered admission from Warwick High School are invited to apply. Award is deposited directly into the winner's account in the University Bursar's office.

Los Angeles Alumni Club Scholarship
Award for LA area residents administered by the Alumni Association chapter.

Criteria: Residency in the Los Angeles area, good academic standing

Selection Process: A local alumni panel reviews all applicants from LA for the award.

Special Notes: Need considered, but not strictly a need-based award.

Other places to look for UVA scholarships:
UVA Alumni Association's comprehensive list of AA funded scholarships
Center for Undergraduate Excellence scholarship page
Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards ($3.000 for current students interested in research)
Computer Science Wiki (engineering school)
SEAS Career Development scholarship page
Curry School of Education's scholarship page (many, many awards for ed students!)
UVA Financial Services scholarship page

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mapping the Blogsphere

I'm thoroughly entertained by the referral and exit pages I see on the tracker for this blog. I always wonder about the route readers took to get here or where they'll go when they move on.

A team of scientists have thought about this on a much larger scale: what can we learn from blogs about human behavior? There's a fascinating article in The Chronicle about work being done at a few universities. Some are literally trying to map the blogsphere.

Make sure to follow the link on the right hand side of that's pretty interesting!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"E-Recruiting" Practices

I've never really worked with enrollment consultants before (unless you count the fact that my very first boss in student affairs is now employed by an ed. consulting firm), but I found a report compiled by one such group, called The E-Recruiting Practices Report, extremely interesting.

They polled 231 colleges about recruitment practices, focusing on the use of "cutting edge" tools like IM, blogs, chat rooms, online applications, etc. UVA wasn't included in the survey and from what I can tell, we would have stacked up pretty well because we've tried to communicate in ways our students do.

It'd be great if the same group would follow up with a broad sample of students to see how this is being received. I find myself wondering if students like our methods. We send email, but only once a month during application season in hopes that students won't feel bombarded. I have my IM address on my business cards and encourage students to contact me that was (some seem to prefer IM to the phone). We have chat sessions with current students, professors and admission officers as well. While this blog isn't specifically for students, I hope those who read find it interesting.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

MySpace/Facebook Revisited

The New York Times did a feature about online information coming back to haunt students during their job searches on Sunday.
Many companies that recruit on college campuses have been using search engines like Google and Yahoo to conduct background checks on seniors looking for their first job. But now, college career counselors and other experts say, some recruiters are looking up applicants on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Xanga and Friendster, where college students often post risqué or teasing photographs and provocative comments about drinking, recreational drug use and sexual exploits in what some mistakenly believe is relative privacy.
Despite anecdotal evidence that companies are checking up on student applicants, some college career center directors don't think the practice is widespread. While students have always thought Facebook was "private" because it requires a .edu email address to join, some companies are using student interns or employees who have .edu email addresses provided by their Alumni affiliation with a school to access that site.

I've commented before that we aren't looking students up during the admission process (and still get the question routinely), but that shouldn't make students feel secure in posting evidence of bad behavior online. I think every student needs to err on the side of caution and edit the information they are including in their online profiles.

Monday, June 12, 2006

New addictions affecting our students

"Smart Pills"
Back when I first created my MySpace and Facebook accounts, I did some browsing and found some pretty surprising info among the "Groups". Students were openly praising drugs like Adderall for helping them study.

Back when I was in school, our only chemical study aids seemed to be Jolt and No Doze (no link...maybe they're out of business?). No Doze was seen as dangerous enough to warrant a "very special episode" of Saved By the Bell about Jesse getting addicted to caffeine pills (a classic episode that lives on, here and here, in YouTube land). In my Residence Life years, we heard rumbles about Ritalin abuse, but my RA staff didn't feel it was widespread on our campus. Those who were using prescription drugs weren't talking about it.

Somehow, attitudes have shifted and students are open about using pharmaceuticals. The Washington Post finally gave the issue the front cover (though of the Style section) yesterday. The students quoted in the article are pretty candid. One UVA graduate said they showed up here in the last two years. A student at University of Delaware said he was shocked by a survey he did for a class project.

"With rising competition for admissions and classes becoming harder and harder by the day, a hypothesis was made that at least half of students at the university have at one point used/experienced such 'smart drugs,' " Salantrie writes in his report. He found his hunch easy to confirm.

"What was a surprise, though, was the alarming rate of senior business majors who have used" the drugs, he writes. Almost 90 percent reported at least occasional use of "smart pills" at crunch times such as final exams, including Adderall, Ritalin, Strattera and others. Of those, three-quarters did not have a legitimate prescription, obtaining the pills from friends.
The pressure to succeed and gain admission to a top grad school is mentioned over and over again, as is ignorance about the prevalence of these drugs.

I hope three things:

First, obviously, that people come to their senses and stay away from this stuff.

Second, that high schoolers aren't getting in on this. The side effects are bad enough for adults (liver failure!?!), I can't imagine how bad they'd be on bodies that are still developing.

Third, that students who don't pop pills will be seen as having the real smarts and those who use "Smart Pills" will be seen as having artificial smarts. I see a difference between an A that results from planning ahead and studying hard verses one gotten because of a drug-assisted cram session.

Onine Gambling
Another sort of addiction is taking hold of students: online gambling. The Sunday New York Times published and article about this disturbing trend.

What I found most surprising is that some colleges are allowing tournaments to take place on campus.
Some schools have allowed sites to establish a physical on-campus presence by sponsoring live cash tournaments; the sites partner with fraternities and sports teams, even give away a semester's tuition, all as inducements to convert the casual dorm-lounge poker player to a steady online customer. An unregulated network of offshore businesses has been given unfettered access to students, and the students have been given every possible accommodation to bet and lose to their hearts' content. Never before have the means to lose so much been so available to so many at such a young age.
The gist of the article is that students are losing thousands to these online sites and spending most of their waking hours (even ones in class, thanks to wireless internet) gambling.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Search Terms

Every once in a while, I check the referral pages for this site. More often than not, Google has led people to this page and I always find it interesting to see the search terms that caused Notes from Peabody to pop up in the returns.

I'm not posting the duplicates and the terms below (especially the essay questions) have often showed up multiple times.

teacher admission blog
uva admissions
college admission stats
uva 2006 admission scores
law school, admission, waitlist
uva admission sat scores
UVA transfer SATs
community colleges, UVA, accepting top third
UVA Admission Blog (smart cookie there!)
UVA admission gpa
waitlist UVA
uva class start
"every generation needs a new revolution"
how to view a facebook UVa
get a facebook uva
music admission blogs
When does the Case Western Reserve Law School waitlist start to move? (huh?)
sat score needed to get into uva out of state
out of state admission stats UVA
uva athletics admissions problems
behind door admission UVA
admission to UVA sample transcript
VCCS lawsuit
uva honor video
cornhole charlottesville
accepted UVA african american sat gpa
FOOD OF THE PEOPLE IN DELEWARE USA IN PRECIS (a French child's school project?)
UVa early decision contract
vccs transfer architecture uva
college admissions process at UVA
uva admissions good bad risky essay
average GPA needed to get into UVA (we don't really have an average because schools compute GPA so differently these days)
uva accepted 2010 class
cryptology major (by the way, the new Computer Science major in the Arts & Sciences school is another way to head towards cryptology work)
UVA 2007 Essay questions
college fair northern virginia october 10th uva
uva national merit
how to get into UVA (simple...I like it)
policy lsats average take highest uva (I link to Matt's blog, but why would someone do a search when they know the address?)
polyprep average SAT scores (PolyPrep's in Brooklyn!)

"We might say that we were looking for global schemas, symmetries, universal and unchanging laws - and what we have discovered is the mutable, the ephemeral, the complex." (that's a lot ot Google, but clearly, someone is looking for help on one of our application essays)

"History is now strictly organized, powerfully disciplined but it possesses only a modest educational value and even less conscious social purpose." J.H. Plumb (essay question)

"Belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light" (essay question)

uva essay topic santayana plumb (yet another person researching one of our application essay questions)

"What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised or unsettled or challenged you, and in what way?" (yet another essay question)

Update (10.17.2006)
taking no- doze while on adderall (wow...I'm speechless)

Here we go again.

Looks like it's the ACT's turn to have some problems. Apparently, a slew of students have had their scores thrown out because their testing center didn't start the exam on time. The reason for the late start time at a few of the schools, according to The Chicago Tribune: breakfast. The schools, in what I think is a nice gesture, are giving their students breakfast before the exam.

I remember plenty of times when standardized tests were started late. I distinctly remember hearing students in other classrooms taking breaks or leaving when my classroom was still in test-taking mode.

A lot of people in the east (where the ACT hasn't always been popular) have been talking about the ACT as a great alternative after some of the problems the SAT has had in the last few years. Looks like neither exam is exempt from issues.