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!

You are welcome to use the comment section anonymously.

Welcome to the blog and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Submitting the First Semester/Trimester Grades Report

The mid-year report for UVa is super easy. We don't need anything from your counselor. You simply log into the online application to fill out a form. You'll have room to explain any changes in curriculum or to give us updated information about testing and activities.

Here are some screen shots to get you to the report.

When you log into the online application website, you'll see the general admission menu:

Click the image to make it bigger

Click on "Apply Online" to get to the online application's menu. At the top of the menu, you'll see a message confirming that your application has been submitted and a link to the mid-year report form. Click that, fill in your courses and grades, submit it, and you're done!

If you applied with a fee waiver and haven't provided documentation yet, you will not see this link. Your application is not considered complete until the documentation has arrived.

Click the image to make it bigger

Hope that helps! If you are admitted to the University, your need to have your school send a FINAL transcripts as soon as the second semester is over. We'll verify the grades you submitted at that point.

The final transcript is very important. You will not be able to sign up for classes at orientation without it! I'm going to give you this heads up many times over the next few months. Every year, a number of students show up for orientation without ever having submitted a final transcript and they get stuck hanging out at the Office of Admission waiting for their school to fax a transcript while everyone else is registering for classes.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Let's hear some ideas for weekend topics

I promised the return of the weekend topic, but instead of writing about what I think is interesting about live at UVa and in Charlottesville, I'd like to know what's on your mind. In the past, we've talked about transportation, restaurants, outdoor activities, and weather (40 degrees today). The idea is to have topics that aren't admission related and to instead give a better idea about what life is like in Charlottesville.

What topics would you like to see discussed on the weekends?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Should UVa's Office of Admission have a presence on Facebook?

facebook Originally uploaded by annieee
When I first joined Facebook, I thought it was neat. I saw it as a way for people in a college/university community to communicate without all the "sketchiness" of other social networking websites. When the idea of having an official UVa Admission presence on the site came up a few times, I toyed with the idea, but saw Facebook primarily as a student site. I was kind of indifferent about having an official profile for the Office of Admission. If it was deemed important, I'd create it, but I wasn't particularly enthused by the idea.

That opinion was formed back when a .edu email address was required for membership. These days, it seems that Facebook has exploded in the same way that MySpace did. Third party applications dominate the site and people with an anonymous Gmail account can sign up and get a profile. It looks like a very different site and while some features are great, others impede navigation and clutter pages.

Today, The Chronicle's Wired Campus blogger writes about one professor who has written a blog entry predicting that this the year of Facebook's demise (he goes on to talk about positive effects of Facebook). He writes about the things that Facebook users probably find tedious about the current state of the site.

What do you think? Do you think we (UVa Office of Admission) should have a formal presence on Facebook? Do you think Facebook is falling out of favor? If so, what site might fill in that space for students?

Monday, January 21, 2008

The return of the weekend topic

I started writing about non-admission topics on the weekends last year and thought I'd return to doing that. It's nice to get away from the admission talk for a little bit and I think it also helps some students who might want to ask questions about life in Charlottesville.

I'll start things off with a correction. One of my topics last year was the weather. I confidently wrote that we didn't close UVa for snow. Well, looking back, I found a day or two in 2003 when classes were canceled (but the school stayed open). This past week, classes after 4 PM were canceled because of another storm. Now, that didn't really affect a large number of undergrads, but it's worth mentioning. Mea culpa.

Our "storm" this week brought about three inches of snow to Charlottesville. It was nice to get a taste of winter, but it was also nice to see it melt away within a day or two.

Despite it being his first time seeing snow, CavDog was unimpressed by the falling flakes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Online + paper = slowing down our process

There's a practice that seems more common than ever: sending paper copies of documents already submitted online.

I don't know why this is being done, but it defeats one of the nice things about having an online application, which is having less mail to open and less paper to process. Many counselors seem to be enclosing a copy of applications that have been submitted by their students online, many students are sending copies of essays, and many teachers are sending duplicate recommendation letters.

Online applications are supposed to streamline the process. However, if we have to handle two copies of everything, the flow of documents is significantly slower. Trust the online process! Know that if there's a problem, we'll email you.

Which reminds me...please keep checking the email account you gave us on your application. You can update it if it changes, but that is the primary way that we will contact you if there is a problem.

New status message

I decided to update the message on the status message to make it more clear and to use some HTML to make it look a little nicer.
Your application has been received and is being processed. At this time, we are data-entering thousands of credentials which have been mailed to us. If items are not listed as received, please do not call our office as they may have arrived, but not checked into our computer system. We will contact you if we are missing any documents crucial to the review of your application.

First-year applicants should log back in to submit mid-year or first trimester grades online as soon as they are available. Please check the admission blog at periodically for updates about our process.

Thank you for applying online to the University of Virginia!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Book of the Year so far...

The most popular book I've seen used as a topic for essay 3 so far this year is....(drum roll)....

Obviously, it's still early in reading season, so my "Book of the Year" may change, but it seems as though this bit of existentialism is being served up quite routinely in AP English classes this year. There have been some fantastic essays in which students have talked about how this book affected them and how they act. Of course, there have been plenty of essays that read like a book report, summarizing the plot.

I'm personally enthralled by absurdists like Camus, Ionesco, and BĂ©renger ( and other French writers like Sartre and Hugo), so it's been fun for me to read your "take" on this one.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Some surprises in the numbers

When we decided to eliminate early decision at UVa, we were convinced that the move would cause a drop in the number of applications received. We thought this was an acceptable trade off.

Well, the preliminary numbers are in and we have a big surprise. Our applications numbers are up. Now, the increase isn't dramatic, but it's still very exciting. I think a number of schools out there are interested in eliminating early programs and they are watching Harvard, Princeton, UVa, Florida, and Delaware this year to see how our application statistics are affected by the move.

Looking at the Data Digest, we had 18,046 applications last year and 17,798 were completed applications (meaning students followed up with all the required documentation). At the moment, we have over 18,500 applications submitted (the number . It will take a few weeks to know how many become completed applications and then a few months for profile data to be compiled.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Deadline Extension

In a few hours, the application will be back open. Those with accounts created should be receiving the following email:

Late last night we experienced technical difficulties with our server which resulted in some students having problems submitting their on-line application by the January 2 deadline. In light of this event and the power outages in some areas of the country due to heavy snow, we have decided to extend our application deadline one week to January 9th. We hope this will give students additional time to complete their applications. The on-line application should be accessible this afternoon. Students who have any questions or difficulties can call the admission office at 434-982-3200 for assistance.

Thank you very much for your patience.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A gentle reminder about status

Please remember to read the note on your status page once you submit. I'll repost it here:

"Your application has been received and is being processed. At this time, we are data-entering thousands of credentials which have been mailed to us. If items are not listed as received, please do not call our office at this time. First year applicants can expect to see items listed as received at the end of January. We will contact you if we are missing any documents crucial to the review of your application. First-year applicants should also log back in to submit mid-year or first trimester grades online as soon as they are available.

Thank you for applying online to the University of Virginia."

No reading today

We aren't reading applications today. Instead, the entire staff is opening mail. The conference room table is full of deans with date stamps, staplers, staple removers (really, one is sufficient), highlighters, letter openers, and candy. After lunch, our daily mail delivery will arrive and the stacks will get much, much bigger.

As you can imagine, it will take quite some time to process and check in all the documents that are arriving right now. If you submit an application today, you probably won't see a change in your status page for a week or two.