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, March 29, 2016

Unofficial Admission Statistics for #UVA20

As usual, I am sharing some unofficial statistics this application season. These numbers weren't targets (meaning, we don't read to "hit" a certain test statistic), they are the result of the committee's process. Please keep in mind that the Office of Institutional Assessment is the source of all official statistics about UVA. They will determine the final statistics for the class, which can be found in the data digest part of their website.

Here are some unofficial numbers about this year's process. These numbers are up to date as of 3/28/2016. If you are a reporter reading this, please be sure to get in touch with the Media Relations team in the Office of University Communications for all of your reporterly needs. :)

If you want to look at numbers from past years, head to the Office of Institutional Assessment site (link above) or click on the "statistics" tag at the end of this post, which will take you to older posts of this nature. Remember that my numbers are unofficial and old posts were not updated when the census was taken.

Total number of applications: 32,426
Total number of VA apps: 9,653
Total number of OOS apps:22,773
We use completed application numbers in our statistics. There are schools that include incomplete applications in their stats.

Overall offers: 9,416
Total VA offers: 4,019 (41.6% offer rate)
Total OOS offers: 5,397 (23.7% offer rate)
Enrollment goal: 3,675
Schools admit more students than the enrollment goal with yield in mind.Yield is how many students accept an offer of admission. We do not try to figure out an individual student's likelihood of enrolling (or look at demonstrated interest), but overall yield influences the offer rate. Check out yield from past years, broken down by residency.

Middle 50% SAT score (offers only): 1970-2250
Middle 50% ACT composite (offers only): 30-34
We use scores from each section in our review, but the reports I'm using generate totals.

92.8% of admitted students were in the top 10% of their high school class
This number only reflects those who attend schools that report rank.

Defers and the Waiting List
Overall offer rate for the defer group: 21.4%
Students offered spots on the waiting list: 15%
Remember that the waiting list forms as students opt into it via SIS and many will decline. The waiting list will have ten different segments (in-state and OOS for each of the five academic areas that take first-year students).

Please understand that I do not have additional statistics. It's Days on the Lawn season and spring break at many high schools, so we are inundated with visitors. We have also moved into the transfer review process (reading season doesn't end with the first year release!).

Friday, March 25, 2016

Let's Talk about #UVA20 Decisions: The Offer

Admitted students can use this entry to talk. I imagine you might also want to join the UVa Class of 2020 Facebook group to chat with your future classmates. That group is just for students. Parents, you can check out the UVA Parents Page and the UVA Parents Facebook page.

I'll have posts about admission statistics and Days on the Lawn (our admitted student open houses) in the coming days. Just for reference, below your letter are buttons to accept or decline your offer. If you accept, you will see a button to let you pay your tuition deposit online*. I believe orientation registration will open after April 1st, but you'll get more information about that in the future.

You have until May 1st to decide whether you'll be joining us in Charlottesville. If you decide to go elsewhere at some point in the coming weeks, I hope you'll decline the offer immediately via your self-service page.

Our relationship does not end here. We are here to talk if you need more information about UVA to make your decision. Don't hesitate to call or reach out to us online if we can help.

Congratulations! We are so lucky to have you considering UVA!

Image by Sanjay Suchak

*We have an e-check system for deposits. You'll type in the numbers on the bottom of a check. The system will take certain kinds of credit cards, but it's primarily an e-check system. Be sure to turn off your pop-up blocker when you go to pay the deposit!

Let's Talk about #UVA20 Decisions: The Waiting List

Students offered a spot on the waiting list can use this entry to talk.

This is probably the toughest decision to get from a school. At UVA, the waiting list tends to be large because there are so many different segments to the population here (VA and OOS groups for each of the four schools and the one program that take first year students). At this point, we don't know where there will be openings in the class.

We won't know how large the waiting list is until you all accept or decline your waiting list offers.  Right now, you've been offered a spot on the list. You aren't actually on it until you reply using the response buttons in SIS (you have until May 1st to do this).

Still, the numbers can change dramatically from year-to-year. We took 60 students off the waiting list in 2008 and 288 students the next year. We offered admission to 402 wait-listed students last year, but 42 the year before.

For now, you need to look at your other options and think about which one feels right to you. Some of you will want to hold on and see what happens with the waiting list and others will want to fully invest themselves in another school. Either way, you need to submit a deposit somewhere by May 1st to ensure yourself a spot in a freshman class. If you are offered a spot in our class and you decide to accept it, you'll have to write to that other school and withdraw your name from the class (you may lose your deposit at that school). Just remember that you can't "double deposit".

Feel free chat here. You should have already seen the link to the waiting list FAQ page in your decision letter, which answers the most common questions (is the list ranked, what do I do now, what's the time line, etc.).

We hope you find a peaceful place to think about your options

Let's Talk about #UVA20 Decisions: The Deny

Denied students can use this entry to talk.

I know this is hard to handle and some of you might not have gotten a disappointing admission decision yet. I hope you all can look at your options and get excited about your other schools. If your immediate reaction is "I'll transfer", don't let that plan keep you from getting involved in campus life at the school you choose. I think many students come to think of their next choice as "home" and can't imagine leaving it after a little while. Give yourself time to explore your options.

Some students inquire about being moved to the waiting list group. We do not have an appeal process.

Please be polite and respectful of others when posting.

BTW, if you signed yourself up to read the blog by email and don't want the messages anymore, there's an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page. 

Regular Decisions for #UVA20 Posting TONIGHT!

When Dean Roberts stops talking about applications and starts talking about basketball, that's a really good sign that decisions are final and he is ready to release them. I think our big game against Iowa State in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament has inspired him.


This is a long post with lots of important info, so keep reading!


The release is always exciting, but some of you aren't going to get the decision for which you hoped. I hope you'll focus on the college options you have instead of the ones you don't. Celebrate your success, but also be gracious around those who might not have gotten good news.
I will post blog entries where you can talk about the different decisions at the end of the day. I'll be back to work through any questions that are asked in the comments over the weekend.  I trust you to be respectful of others in the comments.

Please don't post personal information in the comments (contact info, statistics, etc.). School-specific statistics like GPA and rank are subjective these days and don't represent the applicant accurately. Our review is far more elaborate that a simple GPA and test score review.

Keep an Eye on Social Media

You may want to follow the UVA Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook accounts. There might be some nice messages! The Class of 2020 Facebook group is full of students who want to connect as well!

A lot of people on Grounds will be watching #UVA and #UVA20 so they can welcome our newest Wahoos to the UVA community.

Now, let's go over what is going to happen tonight.

What Time is the Release?

I don't have an exact time for you. Our IT folks handle the release, so I can't pinpoint a precise moment when they will appear in your SIS account. Back in the pre-SIS days, I just typed "-1" in the code a few times and it was done, but they have to run a few processes to make it all happen, so it's not instantaneous.

Where Will Decisions Appear?

The "View Decision" link at the bottom of your SIS page will go to a decision letter instead of that "April 1st" message that's there right now. If you can't find your login info for the SIS, use the links on the login page to generate a new password. Please do not open multiple windows or constantly hit refresh. Students have slowed SIS down to a crawl in the past by doing it. Use one window. Set a time tonight when you'll check and do something offline until then.

Decisions do not come by email and they are not reflected in MyUVA. 

What about Scholars Programs?

Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars will be notified by email on Saturday. A follow-up letter will be mailed.

How Many People were Admitted/Denied?

I'll have a post full of unofficial statistics on Monday. For now, know that the applicant pool was a little larger this year, which resulted in us being slightly more selective. I wouldn't characterize the changes as dramatic. We've never felt pressure to drum up the numbers, so I'm happy about this.

THANK YOU for hanging with me through a tough application season. Your comments and tweets have been bright spots throughout the process. Your energy, enthusiasm, and humor has been so uplifting!

Regardless of what SIS shows you tonight, you are going to attend a great school. You're going to learn from amazing professors, administrators, and peers. You're going to meet people with whom you will stay friends for the rest of your lives. You're going to pull all-nighters studying. You're going to pull all-nighters not studying. You're going to have great successes and you're going to fail miserably at some things. What's going to make or break those experiences is your response and your openness to learning from them, not where you are when they happen.

Remember that your decision is not a statement about your value. Most of our applicants are qualified. They are perfectly capable of doing the work at UVA. Our first-year class just isn't large enough to accommodate everyone.

Best wishes to those who won't be back to the blog after this (if you're reading this by email, you can unsubscribe yourself at the bottom of the email). To the rest, I hope you'll continue to comment and stay in touch!

It's a big night for you and for UVA. I'll be thinking about you all. Good luck and go hoos!

UVA is yours now!

You don't need to call us to verify this. It's true. We are releasing decisions tonight. The receptionists can't tell you an exact time or your decision.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Overlap Season Begins

It started a week ago, but I just actually had a moment to stop and think about what is going on. We're trying to wrap up the Regular Decision review, we're reading transfer applications (their deadline was March 1st), and the juniors have started to descend upon the UVA Grounds in huge numbers. It's overlap season.

Overlap Season. So tired. (outtake from CavDog filming this last summer)

I thought I'd share a little bit of advice for each of the groups with which we are working right now...

1. Regular Decision Applicants

We are seeing the news from our colleagues at other schools on Twitter, so we know you are starting to hear from the colleges on your list. Rest assured that we are working as quickly as possible to get decisions finalized and ready to release. If you read the blog, you know that while April 1 has always been the official notification date, we always post decisions as soon as they are done instead of waiting for that day. We're getting there! Hang in there a little while longer.

2. Transfer Students

If you are reading this blog and you are a transfer student, be sure to visit the UVA Transfer Admission Blog. My colleague who writes that blog is the expert on transfer admission in our office. Even though I've been at UVA for over a decade, I still find myself running down to her office to ask questions about courses or transfer credit. She is the best. Use her as a resource!

3. Juniors

We are probably seeing over 1,000 visitors right now due to high school spring breaks. We are getting a lot of questions about GPA and course selection. I've addressed GPA fairly regularly on the blog, but please remember that it is not standardized. We are more concerned with courses and grades than with a number. Your GPA is an attempt to summarize that information, but remember that two students could have identical GPAs and very different coursework behind them.

When it comes to course selection, remember that high school is the time to create a solid foundation for the more advanced work you'll do in college. Pay attention to your cores subjects (English, Math, History, Foreign Language, and Science). Electives are wonderful, but you should not be doubling and tripling up in an elective area because you think it will "look good" while dropping a core subject.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Notes from the first #UVA20 Days on the Lawn

We interrupt this Regular Decision review process to bring you the first Days on the Lawn for #UVA20! This DOTL was for students admitted during the Early Action process. The day is winding down and families are heading out, so I thought I would share a few photos from the day.

 DOTL check-in is at Old Cabell Hall. Most people take one of the shuttle buses from the Emmet & Ivy Garage, which we take over for these days. We have some entertainment in the theater before the official welcome.

After the welcome session, some students head off to sit in on classes and others will go to sessions given by the different schools and colleges at UVA. We also have a resource fair, tours of the grounds, tours of the residence halls, and chances to relax and socialize. 

I think it's safe to say that our press conference photo booth was a hit. Since May 1st has been dubbed "College Signing Day," we thought we'd set up a faux press conference so students could take pictures to post on the big day. 

Jack even decided to crash (and steal a pom) at one point. Sorry for the photo bomb, Future Hoo.

Only a fraction of the 900+ organizations at UVA can fit in the resource fair, but we had a great variety represented.

How does the Cavalier Marching Band do it? They are always on the road, but they manage to play at DOTL and have a table at the fair. I can't wait to see them on Friday night. (Go Hoos!)

This was Jack's first DOTL and I think he had a fantastic day. Of course, he thought everyone was here to see him and posed for pictures like his brother did before him. He's still learning the ropes, so thanks to those who put up with his puppy energy! 

Jack, exhausted, around 4 PM.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Days on the Lawn Update for #UVA20

I wrote a general post about Days on the Lawn earlier in the season, but wanted to add a few notes. As a reminder, here are the DOTL dates for this year:

2016 Days on the Lawn
Monday, March 21
Monday, March 28
Monday, April 4
Friday, April 8
Monday, April 11
Friday, April 15
Monday, April 18


The two dates set aside completely for admitted Early Action students have been popular. We are no longer taking reservations for the 21st and there may be a little more space available on the 28th. The April dates are open to all admitted students since they obviously come after the April 1st Regular Decision notification date. We have blocked spots for the RD group on those dates and will open them up soon after decisions are released.

There is a waiting list for each date, so if you register for a day and your plans change, please change your reservation right away so someone can come off the waiting list.

Who can join me?

This is addressed on the registration site, but each admitted student can bring two guests. We ask that you not bring the entire family down for DOTL. Space is limited and we want to make sure as many seats as possible are available for admitted students and a parent or two.

 What if I can't come to a DOTL?

You can do a lot of the same things on another day, but you'll just have to do a little planning. Our "Plan a Visit" page has links to an open class list, the Monroe Society (overnight visit hosts), and other resources for visitors. If you scroll down on the tour page, you'll see that there are department tours offered in addition to the general tour.

 Feel free to use the comments to ask questions!

Jack's First Visit to UVA, around 10 weeks.