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!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Introducing the #UVA22 Days on the Lawn Student Speakers

I'm thrilled to introduce the students who will be addressing our students at each Days on the Lawn this year. Our welcome address always ends with our student speaker and it's become my favorite part of the morning. I know these students work hard on their speeches and can't wait to share some advice (and maybe a few memories) with our visitors! So you can get to know them in advance, they shared their bios for the blog.

Marlina (Friday, March 30th)
Marlina is an Echols and University Achievement Scholar from Chesapeake, Virginia. She is currently a third-year studying Political Philosophy, Policy and Law in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has served our university community as a Resident Advisor, Chair of Student Council's Community Engagement Committee, Program Director for Madison House Tutoring, and a Sustained Dialogue Moderator. Marlina is also driving the Untold Stories video narratives initiative, a video series featuring unconventional students with unique stories at UVA. Marlina is an active member of University Dance Club, where she continues to pursue her 18-year long passion for the art of dance. Her favorite part about UVA has been the relationships she has formed here. Although the University of Virginia is one of the state's larger public institutions, she has found that once you step foot on Grounds, the university community quickly becomes tight-knit, woven together by a web of friends, mentors, and people who are invested in your success.

Adam (Monday, April 9th)
Adam is a fourth year student, from Cleveland Ohio, studying Economics in the department's Distinguished Majors Program. During his time at UVA, he has focused on expanding the University's social entrepreneurship programming as a student member of the Batten School's Social Entrepreneurship at UVA board. As a Minerva Research Grant recipient, Center for Global Health Scholar, and Entrepreneurship Cup winner, Adam launched his own social enterprise in Rwanda looking at higher education opportunities in the country's refugee camps. Adam is a member of One in Four, an all-male sexual assault prevention group, and an intern for the Virginia Film Festival and the Tom Tom Founder's Festival. Adam's favorite aspect of UVA is the opportunity to fund independent research projects, both at home and abroad, that allow students to explore their passions in real world settings.

Tyler (Friday, April 13th)
Tyler is a fourth-year student from Roanoke, Virginia. He is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences and is part of the Honors Program in the Department of Politics with a minor in History. On Grounds, Tyler is a Co-Chair of the Resident Staff Program, President of the Black Male Initiative, a member of the IMP Society, and a Trustee for the Class of 2018. One of his favorite traditions at UVA is Black Alumni Weekend held which is every other year!

Yaselly (Monday, April 16th)
Yaselly was born to Salvadorian parents and raised in rural Martinsville, Virginia, where the roosters sing at dawn. She was ecstatic to to enter a new adventure at the University of Virginia as a University Achievement Award Scholar. As a mechanical engineering student, she participates in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Intel Stay With it Squad, and the Center for Diversity and Engagement while also conducting research, which lead to her first conference publication this past November. She has also been active throughout her four years at the University in the LatinX community by serving as a member in the Latinx Leadership Council, and as a mentor and executive member for the Peer Mentoring Program for Hispanic and LatinX students. In addition, she has worked under the Office of Dean of Students, participated in Housing and Residence Life as a resident advisor, and has also enjoyed every salsa, bachata, and traditional African dance step she’s learned on the way both on Grounds and abroad.

Maddy (Monday, April 23rd)
Maddy is a fourth-year student from Fresno, California. She's graduating in May with degrees in Art History and Psychology. At UVA, she's involved in Greek life and admissions -- she's a former executive board member of her sorority, is currently on the executive board of Virginia Ambassadors, and is one of the chairs for Days on the Lawn. Her favorite part of UVA is the history and tradition of student self-governance.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Notes for the #UVA22 Waiting List

If you were offered a spot on the waiting list at UVA, you had a link to the Waiting List FAQs in your decision letter. Many of the questions we're getting by phone and email are covered there, so please be sure to share that link with your parents so they understand the process. I'm going to go over the parts that come up the most and add some more information. Feel free to ask questions in the comments.

How many people are on the waiting list? 

The waiting list forms as people hit the "accept" buttons under their letters in SIS. We offer spots to many, but about half of those students will actually put themselves on the waiting list. The Common Data Set, something every school fills out, has a section about waiting list numbers. Some schools omit this section, but here are our numbers from 2016-2017:
From the 2016-2017 Common Data Set:
Do you have a policy of placing students on a waiting list? Yes
Number of qualified applicants offered a place on the waiting list: 4,987
Number accepting a place on the waiting list: 2,871
Number of wait-listed students admitted:360
Is your waiting list ranked? No
The waiting list will be big on May 1st because we need to ensure there are students to fit all ten sections of the first year class. The class is made up of Virginia residents and out-of-state students for each of the five schools/programs that take first years.

I accepted. Why are the buttons still there? 

If you hit the "accept" button, you can always come back and pull yourself off the list. That is why the buttons remain after you opt in. There is no going back once you decline, though. If you decline the spot, the buttons disappear.

How many people will come off the waiting list?

Even though I've been doing this for years, I can't predict this one. May 1st is when all of the admitted students need to have deposits submitted to reserve a place in the class, which should be about 3,725 students. If we don't have that number of admitted students accepting a spot, we move to the waiting list.

It's hard to cite trends with certainty. One year, we might have room for in-state Nursing students and the next year, that group could be full on May 1. We're all waiting to see how this works out right now.  

How many people got offers to come off the waiting list in the past?

Here's over a decade of data, which should show you how unpredictable this part can be. I don't have a breakdown of where the offers were for these years. 

2017- 117
2016 - 360
2015- 402
2014- 42
2013 - 185
2012 - 284
2011 - 117
2010 - 240
2009 - 288
2008 - 60
2007 - 159
2006 - 145
2005 - 83  

How do I improve my chances of getting an offer?

There is a lot of conflicting information out there about this. Emailing a update letter to is appropriate. Bombarding every admission officer with an email each day is not. Please don't email one or more admission officers directly with your updates. We're just going to forward your email to and it will delay your email being filed. Please use the general account.

By the way, showing up in Peabody Hall will have no affect. I can't tell you how many students drive here and then sit on the sofa and ask the questions covered in the FAQs. This is not the best use of your time (or gas money!).

When/How do you make wait-list offers?

We start making waiting list offers as soon as we know we have space in the class. We move quickly because no one wants to drag this out. We aim to have everything wrapped up by the end of June. Last year, we completed the class on June 13th. In 2016, we were done by June 2nd. Every year is a little different. When the time comes, we always email the entire waiting list to let them know the class is full.

If you are going to get an offer, we'll call you at the number you put on your Common Application. The call is a heads up that your status is about to change in SIS. Of course, it's fine if you tell us "no thanks" and that's the end of it. We hope that people who are no longer interested in UVA use the "decline" button to remove their name from the list, but some people forget. When SIS updates, a new letter shows up along with the buttons to accept the offer and pay a deposit.

Because we want to give students a few days to think about the offer (and because the Financial Aid folks need time to post a package if the newly-admitted student applied for aid), this process takes a while. I can't give constant updates on the blog. I can usually check in once or twice in May. I will always tell you when the Dean says the class is full. 

What about aid?

If you applied for aid by March 1st and got all of your documentation in, Student Financial Services will put a financial aid package together. Once that's posted, you'll have a couple days to accept the offer and pay your deposit.

What now?

Look at your other options. Get excited about one of them and pay a deposit to guarantee yourself a spot in a freshman class somewhere.

By the way, calling a student and telling them that they are getting an offer of admission is probably the most exciting thing admission officers experience. We can't wait to make them and everyone has a story or two about favorite calls. I promise you that when it's time, we'll be working very quickly so we can deliver some happy news!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Are You a Junior Visting #UVA During Spring Break?

We experience what we call a rolling spring break here in the Office of Admission. We have students visiting us on their spring break starting in the middle of March and continuing through the middle of April. One week, it's New Jersey and Illinois, the next week, it's Colorado and Florida. Add in a few thousand Virginians and it makes for a very busy time on Grounds!

It's extremely important to make a reservation for information sessions and tours because we have limits on parking and seating at our sessions. We also want everyone to experience the fantastic tours given by the UVA Guide Service in a reasonably sized group. Once a session and tour slot is full, it disappears from our reservation system, so if you don't see any options for a certain day on the calendar, it means we are at capacity and can't fit anyone else into the session.

We reserve a parking garage for our guests, so you need to follow the instructions on the confirmation email we send once you register. If you've visited UVA before, you are apt to go to the wrong place to park. Please keep an eye out for that confirmation email!

In light of the crowds, you need to leave ample time to park and walk to the information session location.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Unofficial Admission Statistics for #UVA22

The Office of Institutional Assessment is the source of all official statistics about UVA. They take a census to determine the final statistics for the class later in the year. You can see official admission data 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 yesterday, March 22, 2018. If you are a reporter, please contact the Media Relations team in the Office of University Communications for current, official information and all of your reporterly needs. :)

Total Applications

Total applications: 37,222 (36,779 last year)
Total number of VA apps: 11,338
Total number of OOS apps: 25,884
We use completed applications in our statistics.

Total Offers of Admission

Overall offers: 9,849
Total VA offers: 4,303 (38% offer rate)
Total OOS offers: 5,546 (21.4% offer rate)
Schools admit more students than the enrollment goal with yield in mind. Yield is how many students accept an offer of admission.

Testing/Rank (offers only)

Middle 50% SAT score:  1330-1490 (VA)  1420-1530 (OOS)
Middle 50% ACT composite: 30-34 (VA)  33-35 (OOS)
We use scores from each section in our review, but the reports on averages generate totals.

Defers and Waiting List

Overall offer rate for the defer group: 16.6%
Students offered spots on the waiting list: 28.6% of the RD pool (RD pool was 20,878)
The waiting list forms as students opt into it via SIS and we have seen up to HALF decline putting themselves on the list. The waiting list will have ten different segments (in-state and OOS for each of the five academic areas that take first-year students).

A couple notes:

1. I do not have additional statistics. You can see last year's stats broken down by residency, school of entry, and other criteria using the "official admission data" link I provided in the first paragraph. I'm on call today, so I may not be able to check in to answer questions until this evening.

2. An email is going out to Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars on Saturday.

3. Welcome packets with information about next steps will be leaving our office soon!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Let's Talk about #UVA22: The Offer of Admission

Admitted students can use this entry to talk. I imagine you might also want to join the UVA Class of 2022 Facebook group to chat with your future classmates. That group is just for students (I'm not even in there). Once the first-year class elects it's Class Council, the class officers run the group. 

I'll have post about admission statistics and 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*. Orientation registration will open on April 2nd and you'll get more information about that in the future.

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

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

*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 #UVA22 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 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 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.) and provides a decade of data about waiting list offers.

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.

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

Let's Talk about #UVA22 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 decisions 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. We will not be adding more students to the waiting list and there is no appeal process at UVA.

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. 

Details About the #UVA22 Decision Release

It's a posting bonanza today on Notes from Peabody! I have a few notes about this evening's decision release. This might be a little long, but this is important info.

1. At some point around 6 PM (this is handled by the tech people these days and I don't control the exact time), the "View Decision" link at the bottom of your SIS page will go to a decision letter. If you can't find your login info for the SIS, review the "After You Submit" section of the application instructions. Please do not open multiple windows or constantly hit refresh. Set a time tonight when you'll check and do something else until them.

2. The release is always exciting, but some of you aren't going to get the decision you wanted. I hope you'll focus on the college options you have instead of the ones you don't. Celebrate your successes, but also be gracious around those who might not have gotten good news.

3. I will post blog entries where you can talk about the different decisions. I'll be back to work through any questions that are asked in the comments tomorrow.  I trust you to be respectful of others in the comments. A lot of people on Grounds will be watching #UVA22 on social media so they can welcome our newest Wahoos to the UVA community. We love seeing your reactions when we check that hashtag!

Keep an eye on the UVA Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook accounts. There might be some nice messages!

4. Please don't post personal information in the comments (contact info, statistics, etc.). As you can see from my post earlier today, school-specific statistics like GPA are subjective and don't represent the applicant accurately. Parents, please be careful about sharing your student's profile. There have been times when enough information about an applicant has been shared (here and elsewhere) that classmates could identify them.

5. Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars will get an email on Saturday with some info and a formal letter in the mail. 

6. I will write posts about the waiting list and share admission statistics in the coming days. There is no lag time in our office, so we have transitioned to reading transfer applications. Please understand if my responses to questions are a little delayed.

THANK YOU to all of you who have read and commented on the blog and chatted via social media this season.We tried something new with Instagram Q&As and the feedback has convinced me to keep doing them.

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 openness to learning from them, not your location 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 and I'll be thinking about you all. Good luck!

Can we talk about your GPA?

All season long, I've been tweeting about GPAs when I've come across interesting practices at high schools. Admission officers don't have a strong opinion about what methodology is best. We know that your high school or district develops a system of assessment that they determined to be ideal for their environment. All we ask is that they explain that system in the high school profile.

The high school profile is a document that the school counselor sends to us along with your transcript. These documents go over important characteristics of the school, the hierarchy of the curriculum, grading scale, and the methodology used to calculate things like GPA and rank (plenty of schools stopped reporting rank to colleges, so we don't see rank on all transcripts anymore). The profile also explains any restrictions that might come into play when students register for courses.

GPA is not the major factor in our review. Methodologies differ so much that it's impossible to know an applicant's academic story from the GPA. Two students with identical GPAs could have very different coursework and grades on their transcripts. This is why we talk about the transcript being the most important factor in understanding your academic preparation. The GPA attempts to summarize the work you've done, but we use the courses and grades on the transcript to fully understand your academic strength.

Here are some of those tweets I mentioned...

As always, I'm happy to chat in the comments!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

#UVA Admission information sessions and tours are cancelled today!

Happy snow day, Hoos and future Hoos!

The University of Virginia is closed today, so we will not be holding admission information session or tours. Enjoy the beautiful snow!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Regular Decision Notification Update

We have happy news from Grounds!

Notification is moving up to Thursday, March 22, 2018!

We need a little sunshine in our day, so we huddled up and decided that we can be ready to release admission decisions for the Regular Decision process this Thursday around 6 PM. Wahoowa!

If you haven't logged into SIS in a while, now is the time to verify that you know how to get to your status page.

Please do not call our office to confirm what is written above. It's really happening. I'll do a bit of posting over the next 48 hours to prepare for the big release. If you have topics you'd like addressed, let me know about them in the comments on this post.

Transfers, my blog is geared towards first-year students. Please follow the UVA Transfer Blog link in the sidebar.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Days on the Lawn vs Orientation for #UVA22

There seems to be a little confusion out there about the difference between Days on the Lawn and Orientation. They are very different programs with different purposes, so I thought I'd use the blog to explain...

Days on the Lawn

Days on the Lawn are six events the Office of Admission plans for students who are admitted to UVA, but undecided about attending. There are students out there who haven't had a chance to visit UVA or really get to know the school. DOTLs are their chance to get questions answered so they can decide if UVA is right for them.

While DOTLs are fun, they aren't intended to be a pep rally or victory lap for students who already know they're coming to UVA. If you know enough about UVA to submit a deposit, you probably don't need Days on the Lawn. Days on the Lawn is probably going to be too basic for you. What you need is...

Summer Orientation

Summer Orientation is planned by the Orientation and New Student Programs unit in the Dean of Students office for all incoming students. Attending an orientation session is mandatory. There are sessions for each academic area and level (first year vs transfer). If you submitted a deposit to come to UVA next year, you can register for an Orientation session starting on April 2nd.

Orientation is when you'll learn more in-depth information about being a student at UVA. You'll be introduced to many different offices and resources on Grounds, get academic advising, and register for your first semester of classes.

I'm happy to answer questions in the comments!