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!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Time to Focus

This is the time of year when college-bound minds start to wander.  You've been back at school for a little bit and the routine of the new term is in place. All those applications have been in for a while, but you can't help but worry about them.  Will that minuscule typo you discovered at the end of your list of activities ruin your chances?  Was it wrong of you to go over the suggested length on the personal statement by 27 words?  Should you have used a special font? What about double spacing?  Should you quadruple check that your counselor sent your transcript even though she said it was sent in the last two times you asked?  If your neighbor's hair stylist's cousin was waitlisted in 2009, should you take her advice?

All the while, your teachers are piling on the work. You find yourself thinking that maybe you can relax just a little bit and they'll understand.  You start to daydream about the spring...prom, a new sports season, all seems just around the corner and it's far more fun to think about those things than to keep you head in the books.


You have work to get through in the next few months and it's going to prepare you for the next step, which isn't going to be easier.  Besides that, worrying about an application that is already submitted isn't going to affect the outcome and it's apt to take you away from those pressing academic tasks.

It's time to focus.

 There's also a little virus called senioritis that starts to make the rounds at this time of year. Resist it!

You have to focus.

It's going to take us several more weeks to get through this process. So, tune out all that background noise.

 No matter how exciting the distractions are, keep your focus.

Hang in there! 

(adorable distraction provided by CavDog's "cousin")

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Let's Talk about Perfection

I wrote this a few years ago, but I think this is a good time to share it again.

There was a point yesterday afternoon when my fingers hovered over the keyboard and I found myself thinking "I don't know this student at all." I had just finished reading an application and was trying to write an enthusiastic opening to my notes, but nothing was coming. It didn't really make sense. The curriculum was excellent, the grades were great, the test scores were solid, the counselor's recommendation was positive, the essays were meticulously edited, and the student was involved in activities that were important to them, as most students are. Many people would say the application was flawless.

I had the perfect application in front of me, but I had trouble getting excited about it. It was an application that epitomized an idea I had a few years ago:





Most of us feel pressure to be perfect.

Does the student who achieves perfection (whatever that is) get accepted to lots of schools? Yes. But if admission officers only admitted the perfect students, we probably wouldn't fill our classes. Yes, you need a fantastic profile to be admitted, but there are lots of imperfect students getting offers from great schools.

My advice: Try to be the most perfect version of you. Work to your greatest potential. Strive for excellence, but make sure you're also doing things that are fulfilling and meaningful to you.

Perfection is impressive, but so is personality

Did that perfect applicant get an offer from UVa? Yes. I'm sure that applicant got offers from many schools. So did lots of other students.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

CavDog is thinking of all of his Valentines around Grounds today. Kisses and wags to all of you!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Notification Update (not really an update)

Regular Decision notifications will definitely be available April 1st. If we are able to release decisions earlier, I will make an announcement on the blog.

I can't make any promises, but every notification date I've "experienced" at UVa has been before April 1st.

Hang in there.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy!

This is a busy week in the Office of Admission. Mid-year reports are pouring in for review. Those applicants who weren't checking their application statuses in the SIS were emailed, prompting the arrival of missing credentials.

Students who were admitted during the early action process have started to visit us and we are already seeing juniors (and a few sophomores) in the office. It's nice to have visitors again!

I have a few post planned for the next two weeks, but please understand if my response to questions or comments isn't as fast as usual!

CavDog's been busy, too!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

What Should You Do Now?

As you can probably tell from my lack of updates, we are immersed in the regular decision application review. Many of you responded to our call for missing credentials, but there are a couple hundred applicants still missing something from their files. We're going to email those folks again in the next week to give them one last chance to get those missing items in.

Early Action Offers
At this point, you two things to consider.

1. You need to make sure your counselor sends your mid-year report (remember, offers are extended with the expectation that you'll maintain your academic profile through the end of senior year). Those are due February 15th.

2. You should consider whether a visit will help you make a final decision about coming to UVa. We've emailed all of you about the visit options and plenty of you have signed up for our admitted student visit days. That's great!  If the days we offer don't fit with your schedule, you can plan your own visit using a few tools on our website. More on planning a visit in the future. 

Early Action Defers
There was a link to the FAQs for deferred students in your decision letter, but I'm still getting many, many questions about sending extra items. At this point, we have rolled your application into the regular decision pool.  The only difference between an early action application and a regular decision application is senior grades.  We need your mid-year report to review your early action application during this regular decision round. Please make sure your counselors get the mid-year grades to us by February 15th.  Many have already arrived.

Demonstrated interest is NOT considered in the regular decision review. Your time should be spent on things at school. You don't need to be spending time and money on sending us extra "stuff" right now.  If there's an important update to share, email it along (to the general account, please) or have your counselor mention it on the mid-year report.

All Applicants
When you send us documents, send them to the general Office of Admission address that is on the bottom of our website. Because of our reading load, the deans and counselors often read from home for a few days each week. When you send a general item with one of our names on it, it goes into our mailbox where it will sit until the next time we are in the office.

As a paperless school, we prefer electronic submission of items (Common App has a secure system for teachers and counselors).  

Where is everybody? 
(Home reading files!)