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!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Submit early? Submit late?

There are some rumors floating around about admission being easier on students who submit their applications early, despite the fact that we have no early decision or early action at UVa.

While I think it's smart to submit in advance of the deadline, just in case there's some sort of glitch, you shouldn't feel pressured to submit your application right now if you haven't put the finishing touches on it. There IS an advantage to early submission, but it isn't related to the admit rate, it's related to your status page.

A few days after you submit your application, you'll get an email instructing you to log into our Student Information System (SIS). When you log into your SIS account, you'll see a to-do list for your application (and later, one from the financial aid folks). If you and your school officials submit items early and the chances are that your supporting credentials will be checked in more quickly and you'll see changes in your to-do list. By mid-December, the amount of items arriving in our office on a daily basis skyrockets and we can't check everything in on the day it arrives. So, you might wait weeks to see updates on your to-do list.

Now, there's no reason to worry about your to-do list until the end of January, but if you're the type to stare at your to-do list and worry, see if you can get some things in early.

Please don't call our office freaking out the first time your log into the SIS and see your status page. Give us until the end of January to get everything checked in. You won't be in trouble if school forms aren't checked until a few weeks after deadline. Your part of the application is what must be submitted by the January 1st deadline.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Q&A for Dean J

This message has two purposes. First, to give you a few words of encouragement and second, to provide a place for asking questions about your applications.

This weekend is the last weekend before the excitement of the holidays starts to hit. Next weekend, you'll either be in a turkey coma or frantically shopping to snap up some gifts during the big sales. After that, you'll be decorating, baking, and trying to get end-of-semester projects or assignments done. This weekend is a good time to get some work done on your applications! It's not so late in the game that you'll feel rushed (I hope) and it's not so early that you won't be motivated to get things done. So, log into the Common App and take care of some of those to-do list items.

Now, in the comments, feel free to ask some questions. I'll do my best to reply to them. Please don't use the anonymous button. Select "Name/URL" and enter a name, real or fake. I'll reply in the comments and bold the name of the person who asked the question, so check back periodically for answers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Arts supplements

We used the Common App's neat features to send out a reminder email to students who had started working on their applications. The point first was about the video tutorial Common App made to help students assign recommendation writers to their applications. The second was about arts supplements. It said that those interested in major or minoring in the arts should submit arts supplements by December 1st for faculty review. The reaction of a student on College Confidential was interesting.
I just received an email from UVA saying that their Arts Supplements are due December 1st for students planning on being Music Majors/minors. Does this mean that I can send my supplement in later since I am technically not intending to major in music?
So, the assumption was that the deadline only applied to those who will be majoring or minoring in the arts and that other people who want to submit arts supplements don't have to abide by that deadline.

There is a small team of faculty who review arts supplements. They are looking at them with the idea that these are submitted by students who intend to be seriously involved in their departments. If your talent isn't at the level where you could major or minor in the arts or be significantly involved in arts groups when you get here, you might not want to submit an arts supplement. For example, if your arts supplement would look more like this than this, you probably don't want a professor of dance to review your work. Don't get my wrong...I think both videos are awesome, but we all know whose video will have the professor sending back notes that will add to the application file.

Remember: admission officers at UVa aren't reviewing the arts supplements. The faculty from the arts departments are reviewing the arts supplements.

By the way, the videos I used are just from Youtube. They aren't from UVa applications.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SAT freak out?

This is far better than any Thriller dance. The faculty at a high school in Brooklyn put this SAT video together for their students.

I've written a lot about standardized testing already. To read some of those past posts, just click on the "standardized testing" tag at the bottom of this entry.

Friday, November 13, 2009

There's an app for that, UVa edition

Hooray! While the City of Charlottesville has a website where you can look up a bus stop number and see when the next bus will arrive, it's a little cumbersome to use on a smart phone. Enter Yaogang Lian who, according to the UVa Today Blog, created the HoosBus app.

I have already downloaded the app and it works beautifully!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Let's have a chat


7:00 PM to 9:00 PM Eastern

Admission chat

Go here to join in!

*It can take a few minutes for the chat rooms to open, please be patient!*

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fall Fling 2009

The Outreach Office's annual Fall Fling open house was this past weekend. My favorite part of the event is the very beginning. A few members from the UVa gospel choir, Black Voices usually open the program nice and early at 8 AM with some very loud and very upbeat music. This year, they sang a cappella.

To give you a sense of how large the choir is normally and the power with which they sing, here's someone else's video of a performance from last year.

That'll wake any crowd up!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

International student chat this morning


International Student Chat


9 AM - 12 PM Eastern

We are five hours behind Greenwich Mean Time. :)

Friday, November 06, 2009

International student chat this morning


International Student Chat


11 AM - 1 PM Eastern

We are five hours behind Greenwich Mean Time. :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Application crunch time approaching

This is such a bummer

If you're a senior, it's kind of a lame time of the year. Applications deadlines are dotting the calendar, essays need editing (or writing!), friends are talking about college admission incessantly, and you're still getting adjusted to the toughest course load of your academic career. A lot of what you have to do is being dictated by other people - your parents, teachers, coaches, counselors, the colleges you want to attend, etc. Keep your eye on the prize, though. Doing all this stuff is going to pay off immensely when your college search comes to an end and you're making plans to head off to a great college.

Your season of stress and anxiety is quite a bit longer than the time it takes the woman at the dog wash to clip CavDog's nails, but I thought you'd enjoy seeing him enduring his own difficult moment. Hang in there! On the other side of this is an exciting time!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

International student chats

The Global Student Council here has set up two chat sessions to answer questions about life at UVa for international students. They have picked times that are a bit different from our normal chat times to accommodate those of you who are in other time zones. The dates: Friday, November 6th from 11 AM to 1 PM Eastern and Sunday, November 8th from 9 AM until 12 PM Eastern.

I'll post an update on the morning of each chat, but mark your calendars if you're interested so you don't forget. You can also check out their event listing on Facebook.

All chats take place on the Office of Admission chat page.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Don't forget the supplement!

The Common App people give us some general stats about applications in progress. Right now, there is a big difference between the number of Common App "basic" applications that have been started and the number of Common App UVa Supplements that have been started. There are 10,000 people out there who are working on the basic section, but who haven't touched the supplement yet.

Just a reminder that the supplement is a required part of the application. We don't even get your Common App "basic" until your supplement is complete.