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!

Monday, August 19, 2013

They're coming back!

The UVa Grounds are started to come alive again. The Corner is bustling, traffic is picking up, and parking spaces aren't as easy to get as they were a week ago. Members of the Cavalier Marching Band are already here and I've been seeing the new RAs around for a few days. The UVa Express, which picked international students up at Dulles airport, arrived about 40 minutes ago.

Why am I telling you this on the admission blog? Because you should try to avoid visiting us this weekend, when most students will be returning to Charlottesville. The UVa police and the residence hall staff keep things moving all weekend long, but be aware that it will take much, much longer to get here than your GPS tells you it will. Once you get to town, you might get mixed in with the lines of cars headed to the first year residence halls. Here's what that looked like a couple years ago when CavDog and I wandered around during move-in:

To anyone from the incoming class who might read this, please travel safely! When you get to your hall, there will be greeters there to help you. They are amazing volunteers who can often get a car unloaded in less than 15 minutes. Once your things are in your room, you can park your car away from the dorm (I think most people use the stadium lot) and get settled.

For more information:
Move-in Information and Tips from the Office of Orientation & New Student Programs
Detailed information about move-in day from the Housing Office

Thursday, August 15, 2013

An Application Tip: The Common App Writing Section

When you add UVa to your "My Colleges" list in the Common Application, you may be tempted to go directly to the writing section to look at the essays. If you realized that we post our application essays in June each year right on the blog, you might notice that something is missing.

Only one essay is showing at first.

You see, one of the essays is tied to the school to which you apply. To get that essay to show up in the writing section, you need to answer the academic questions. Luckily, the Common App is smart enough to alert you to the fact that you aren't done if you try to just fill in one essay and submit it.

Start at the beginning and fill out your academic information.

When you work through the questions and get to the writing section, you'll see that school-specific question on the page.

Good luck!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Essay Advice from UVa Students

I'm going to share some of my advice for essay writing soon, but I thought I'd share this great post by our Summer Interns about essay writing that appeared on the Hoo Stories Blog. Hoo Stories is a blog that's been run by a rotating cast of students since 2009. Every year, a new group of students take the reigns and share some stories from their lives at UVa.

This year's Summer Interns have been fantastic and I've enjoyed reading about the different ways they've gotten involved on Grounds.

If you haven't visited Hoo Stories before, check them out today! I know the students are eager to answer your questions about student life.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The 2013-2014 Common App is Live!

If you're checking an admission blog, then you were probably aware when the new Common Application launched on August 1st. I've been playing around in there for a month or so at this point and I am really impressed with how things are presented in the redesigned site.

I hope my Common App colleagues won't be upset that we used to say the Common App looked like a tax form. The user interface is now clean and sleek. The application is dynamic, so if you answer a question that requires follow up, a new question will appear. On the flip side, if questions don't apply to you, you won't see them. For example, there is a question asking if you believe you are eligible for in-state tuition. Answer yes, and residency questions appear. Answer no, and you move on without seeing residency questions.

The dynamic nature of the new Common App should mean less time spent navigating general, biographical questions, which will hopefully mean applicants have more time for thinking about the written portions of the application, which is where applicants often distinguish themselves.

Have you poked around in the new Common App yet? If so, what are your initial impressions?