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!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Some interesting stats

I was crunching blog statistics yesterday and thought I'd share some interesting ones. I was very surprised by the overall traffic to this site over the last academic year:

45,381 unique visitors
259,612 page views

The peak of traffic came in the last week of March, which was when decisions were posted on your status pages. The blog had 62,592 hits that week.

Most students find the blog through the online application status page or Google. Other sources include message boards and other blogs.

The vast majority of readers are from the United States, but there are readers from many other countries. The rest of the top ten (in order): Singapore, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, India, Hong Kong (my stats program doesn't lump Hong Kong in with China), Canada, United Kingdom, Thailand, and Turkey.

Roughly half of the domestic readers are from Virginia. Other states that round out the top ten (in order): New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Florida, District of Columbia, Massachusetts.

The percentage of readers who are new to the blog has held steady at 30% for the last three months. Back in January, there was a big jump (obviously as student started checking their status pages) and the percentage of new readers hit 60%.

Seeing these numbers and reading your comments makes this so rewarding. Thank you all so much for visiting and contributing to this blog!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

By request

Sitting in the buttercups at Darden Towe Park

I can't accommodate every request these days, as there's not much news on the waitlist front and I'm spending more and more time working with the team that's getting UVa ready for the Common App, a new central information system for student records, and the new paperless application review process. However, there was a request made on those message boards you all love/hate to prowl and I can definitely accommodate that.

At the request of "DB", here are some CavDog pictures:

Eating breakfast at a downtown diner

A dog's first experience with cannoli is very special

Being washed and fluffed at the self-service dog wash
(he's yawning, not crying)

Checking out the Downtown Mall traffic at a favorite cafe

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What happens after your deposit is received

There have been lots of questions on the blog and message boards about orientation, housing, and the time line for getting information after making a deposit.

After the Office of Admission logs your deposit into our computer system, other offices can start to work with you. The very first thing you'll receive is your MyUva book (click for a PDF version) from the Office of Orientation and New Student Programs. The very first thing you'll want to do is activate your computing ID. See that MyUVa link for online information about that. After that, do some reading. Talk to your parents about orientation dates and make plans to come to Charlottesville for that. On the Summer Orientation site (first menu item on the main orientation page), you can find all sorts of info about what happens at orientation, who should come, etc.

The Orientation & New Student Programs site also has info about move-in weekend activities (called Fall Orientation), Family Weekend in October, and other activities for first-year students.

Hope that helps!

Finals are upon us

Traffic is increasing. Restaurants are a little more crowded. Students standing on the Rotunda steps, smiling for pictures is a regular sight. Huge, party tents are being assembled on any flat (or relatively flat) surface around Grounds. It's all a sign of what's just around the corner.

Commencement is on Saturday.

Obviously, this is a very happy time at UVa, but it's also the time of a transition that can be a little rough on admission officers. It's time for admission to hand off "our" students to the other offices of the University. A few months ago, if you had questions, you called us or you posted here on the blog. Now, you'll start calling orientation, housing, dining services, and after orientation, you adviser to get answers to your questions. I imagine that a good number of you who posted questions here in the past are already gone because there's no need to check ol' Dean J's blog anymore.

Here's my plea: keep in touch! My work is infinitely more rewarding when I'm interacting with students. When a current UVa student chimes in on the blog or when someone calls me Dean J (or my dog by his UVa name), I'm ecstatic. So, between now and next fall, when the juniors find the blog, please check in and say hello. It means a lot to me!

Here's another plea: think about the juniors behind you and think about some of the things you can do to share what you've learned about this process. Maybe you'll do something formal like join the Guide Service or visit your high school over breaks to talk to the younger students. Maybe you'll do something more casual like post on the blog/message boards or be that student that offers to answer questions for a visiting family that's wandering around Grounds. I'm sure your own conversations with admission officers pale in comparison with conversations you had with students during your college search. Please try to be a part of this process for the students behind you!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Quick reminder for transfers

Transfers, please remember that information being shared here about the waitlist pertains to first year students. It does not pertain to transfers. The transfer blog will have information about the transfer waitlist.

The two groups are separate and what happens to one does not affect the other.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Weekend Topic: Shopping

In the weekend topics "series", I've already covered outdoor activities, music, weather, food, transportation, cheap entertainment options, and sports. As some of you are heading out to the stores to find that perfect present for mom (you do know what day it is tomorrow, yes?), I thought I'd cover the suggested topic of shopping.

First, some background: I'm a "city kid". Prior to arriving in Charlottesville, I only lived in major metropolitan areas. Coming to Charlottesville, I imagined the shopping options of a small city being limited and thought I'd be driving to Richmond and Northern Virginia fairly often on the weekends. What I learned is that Charlottesville has everything I need, but might not have a range of options, which turns out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise. Before, I'd race all over my city, investigating all the options available before settling on a purchase. Buying even simple things could take weeks. Here, there are still multiple options for things, but still not as many as in a large city, which saves a lot of time and energy when shopping.

So, let's start with an overview of Charlottesville's shopping districts: The Corner (by UVa), the Downtown Mall (covered in a previous weekend topic), and Emmet Street/Route 29.

The Corner
The Corner covers about six blocks along University Avenue, which runs alongside Grounds, and a few side streets. Among the cafes and restaurants are bookstores and boutiques. A few of the cafes, a deli and a pizza place come to mind, stay open late at night, so there's activity on The Corner at all hours.

Emmet Street/Route 29
Emmet Street is a major road that has some University buildings on it (John Paul Jones Arena, Lambeth Field Apartments), but it's mostly known for being the road that has all the big, chain stores that each city seems to have. Students seem to do a lot of shopping at Barracks Road Shopping Center, which is on the UVa bus route and a pretty short walk from Lambeth. Around Barracks Road, Emmet turns into more of a highway than a road. Further up, you'll find lots of "big box" type stores (Best Buy, discount stores like TJ Max, Lowes, Target, etc). The #7 Charlottesville goes up and down Route 29 (the UVa bus doesn't go higher than Barracks Road).

The two closest outlet centers currently are in Northern Virginia (Leesburg) and Williamsburg. I heard recently that a new outlet center along the same lines as those two is being planned for Zions Crossroads, which is about 20-25 minutes east on Route 64.

What have a missed? What questions do you have about shopping?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Waitlist Status

CavDog is sorry this isn't very happy news for some.

We are over enrolled. This doesn't mean we won't go to the waitlist. What I'm fairly certain of is the following:

The College of Arts & Sciences is most likely closed. CLAS applicants probably won't come off the waitlist.

The specialty schools (Engineering, Architecture, and Nursing) might see some waitlist movement. If we go to those waitlists, the number of offers will be very small.

When I have more info, I will post it. I know many of you have been checking daily to see news and I wanted to be close to certain before I posted anything. As the mail rolled in, I knew what would possibly happen, but wasn't completely sure.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

It's been four days...

By the end of the week, we'll probably be able to say that all the mail postmarked on May 1st has arrived and we'll have a final count of deposits. I hope to have an update for all of you by Friday night.

Monday, May 05, 2008

More weekend topics?

One reader suggested that we revisit the weekend topics. I'm game...but I'd like to know what topics you'd like to see.