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, April 22, 2014

Next Steps for Enrolling Students

Several times when a Days on the Lawn day was winding down, I had people tell me that they had just submitted an enrollment deposit. It's always rewarding to see the excited look on a student's face after they've made that final decision and officially come to the end of the college search.

Once the deposit is paid, you will naturally wonder "what's next?" So let's talk about that...

First of all, this is when your record in SIS moves from the admission part of the system to the student records side. You'll now move from working with the Office of Admission to working with the Office of Orientation and New Student Programs within the Office of the Dean of Students.

The Orientation folks have an entire website all about next steps and registering for Summer Orientation. In May, they'll also send you a welcome book with even more information (you can flip through last year's version online, but know that some things may change in the 2014 edition). 

Be sure to read those FAQs on the Orientation website. The Orientation staff has been doing this for a long time and they know what's on your mind.

If you just can't get enough of admission and want to work with us after you enroll, consider getting involved with some student organizations that reach out to prospective students.

Virginia Ambassadors - You have probably interacted with the Virginia Ambassadors several times without even knowing it. They chat with visitors in Peabody Hall, hold student-led information sessions, answer questions from prospective students online (through a blog, Facebook, chats, and email), visit their high schools during breaks, and were those wonderful students in orange shirts at Days on the Lawn.

University Guide Service -  The UGuides are the tour guides for the University. They don't just give admission tours, though. They also give historical tours to tourists.

Monroe Society - The Monroe Society acts as hosts for prospective students who want to stay on Grounds overnight.

Common Grounds - The students of Common Grounds meet with students informally over coffee or lunch to talk about the UVa experience.

UVa Clubs Student Ambassadors - This student group works with the UVaClubs to share the student experience with constituents in their home communities.

In addition, our Outreach office collaborates with many of the multicultural organizations on Grounds to connect prospective students with current students.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Days on the Lawn Observations

We're in the midst of our 5th Days on the Lawn event (two more to go!) and I thought I'd share some of the topics that are coming up a lot as we chat with visitors.

First of all, while we have all sorts of events and sessions scheduled, you decide what you want to do. Some families have a "divide and conquer" strategy and try to get to as many different sessions as possible and others wander at a more leisurely pace. This is a day to "kick the tires" and if that includes having an hour-long coffee break at the Greenberry's in Alderman Library, that is just fine.

Registration is on the Lawn before the welcome talk, but all of the tables move to Peabody Hall around 9:30 AM. If you arrive a little late, just see us in Peabody and we'll get you all the information you need for the day.

The admission officers are wearing gold name badges. Ask us anything! The student volunteers are wearing orange t-shirts or gray sweatshirts. Ask them anything, too. Beyond that, I think you'll find that most UVa students are friendly and happy to help you if you aren't quite sure where you are going on Grounds.

The financial aid folks are meeting with people in Newcomb Hall, but they are usually very, very popular. Consider contacting their office before you visit if you need to talk about your aid package.

By the way, the Office of Admission can't give you more money. We've had a few people come in to tell us about what other schools have given them in hopes of us somehow adjusting their aid package. Our office can't change your financial aid.

Similarly, we can't give someone entrance into the Echols, Rodman, or College Science Scholars programs because other schools accepted a student into an honors college. Our review process takes months (as I'm sure you remember!) and it is specific to us. The results of another school's process doesn't change ours. Our programs have processes for bringing some students on board once they are already here. See their websites for information.

An unusually large number of students have asked to switch schools. While we were able to accommodate switches before decisions were released, at this point, we can't guarantee a switch. The Dean of Admission, Greg Roberts, is handling those requests.

This is a minor point, but if you want to take a picture with CavDog, try to come see us before the welcome talk starts. Each of the deans has responsibilities during DOTL events, so we can't always linger on the Lawn after the welcome talk. Later in the day, CavDog is usually in Peabody and is happy to meet guests.

Remember to check the DOTL parking information! The Office of Admission has rented out the entire garage at Emmet and Ivy Roads, so it is free to park there on DOTL days. If you have visited us before, you probably parked at the Central Grounds Garage (under the bookstore). We are not using that garage on DOTL days. That garage has regular paid parking for other visitors to Grounds.

Shuttle buses are ferrying DOTL guests from the Emmet and Ivy Garage to the Lawn for the welcome session. If you don't want to take the shuttle, it will take about 10 minutes to walk to the Lawn.

Feel free to post questions about DOTL in the comments!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Big Developments!

There is so much great news coming out around Grounds today!

1. Student self-governance has been a hallmark of UVa's culture for a really long time. The Cavalier Daily declared that we're giving it up. Thank goodness. I mean, who wants students actively engaged in the development of the University? We should really just be satisfied with where we are and never change. Who needs innovation and progress?

2. Along the lines of staying exactly where you are, the library has decided that there's no need to actually walk into one of the 13 libraries on Grounds. Their new system will foster your lounging skills by allowing you to order a book online and get it delivered by drone. Forget about the fact that drones are illegal in Charlottesville.

3. This last piece of news is specific to this blog. CavDog debuted on the blog in 2008, when he was still a very young pup. He was super cute as a little dog, but let's be honest: he's pushing seven and he's got some gray hair. It's getting harder and harder for students to relate to him. It's time for CavDog to retire.

When looking for a CavDog replacement, I wanted something that was distinctively "UVa." Granted, other schools don't have golden retrievers like CavDog, but plenty have dogs. I got to thinking about some of the things at UVa that are special and unique to our Grounds. One thing came up over and over again.

Serpentine wall UVa daffodils 2010
By Karen Blaha (Flickr: Daffodils and serpentine wall) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 
(], via Wikimedia Commons

The serpentine walls. We love the beautiful serpentine walls that surround the gardens along the Mr. Jefferson's Lawn. 

So, CavDog's replacement on the blog will be...


I can't wait to share all of CavSnake's charming antics with you! He's quite a little gentleman! Don't you think next year's seniors will be put at ease by having CavSnake pictures on the blog during their application process?

In case you didn't look at the calendar, it's April 1st