Peabody is the building, Jack is the dog, and I'm Dean J (she/her, btw).

There are 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 every year!

References to emailing updates to your application are from the years when we didn't have the current applicant portal. Please follow the instructions in your portal to submit all updates.

Welcome to the blog and thanks for reading!

Monday, December 30, 2019

School Selection and Majors in the #UVA Admission Process

The ApplyingToCollege subforum on reddit is the most active forum for college applicants that I've seen in years. I try to stop by every day or so to check for questions related to UVA so I can provide some good information. When I see a certain issue come up multiple times, I know that I need to address it across my social media channels.

One of the things I see mentioned over and over again is a choice of major mentioned with questions about UVA admission. Right now, I'm seeing lots of students saying they applied to specific majors in the College of Arts and Sciences or School of Engineering.

At UVA, the only first-year applicants that are applying directly to a major are the students interested in Kinesiology. Otherwise, students apply to a school or college within UVA and have 1-2 years to declare a major. If this is a surprise to you, please be sure to read the applications instructions since you may have missed important information about applying to UVA.

Many students in those schools don't wind up declaring the major they thought they would anyway. There's no need to rush to declare. UVA students use the first few semesters to take a variety courses which will help them explore their options. After all, the subjects you have access to in college are a bit more numerous than the ones you had in high school.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Let's Talk about #UVA24 Early Decision: Admitted!

Admitted students can use this entry to talk.

I imagine you might also want to join the UVA Class of 2024 Facebook group to chat with your future classmates. There will inevitably be a GroupMe that spins off from that group, too. Please be careful about joining groups that say they are for the incoming class. Remember, that Facebook group is for students.

This was in your letter, but your enrollment deposit should be paid online by January 1st. The Office of Student Financial Services will have aid packages posted next week. Orientation registration will open around April 1st and you'll get more information about that in the future.

Congratulations! We are so lucky to have you joining us!
Image by Jen Fariello Photography

Let's Talk about #UVA24 Early Decision: The Defer

Deferred students can use this post to talk.

Your application hasn't finished it's journey yet.

We know the wait is tough, but we think reviewing your application during Regular Decision could help your case. You must submit the deferral form in your portal if you want to be considered in Regular Decision. Please make sure we get your midyear grades by February 15th.

Hang in there! Review the defer FAQ page for answers the most common questions.

Jack hopes you can find a peaceful place to wait.

Let's Talk about #UVA24 Early Decision: 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 defer group. We do not have an appeal process. This decision will not change.

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. 

Five Notes about the #UVA24 Early Decision Release

Jack's ready!

I've been fielding a lot of questions via DMs in Instagram and reddit, but I really need to read applications right now. I'm going to answer the most frequent questions here.

1. I don't control the release time. Our operations team has to run several processes to make the decisions show up. Please don't open multiple tabs or constantly hit refresh your portal. Set a time tonight when you'll check and do something else until then. We'll send a mass email when the decisions are posted, but news usually spreads quickly on social media when people notice the update happened. 

You don't need to call us to verify that decisions are going up tonight.The receptionists can't tell you an exact time or your decision.

2. I've seen the chatter on reddit that multiple schools are releasing decisions this weekend. This is always an exciting time, but some of you aren't going to get decisions you wanted. I hope you'll focus on the college options you have instead of the ones you don't at the end of the day. I hope those of you who get offers will celebrate your success, 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 #UVA24 on social media so they can welcome our newest Wahoos to the UVA community. We love seeing your reactions when we check that hashtag!

4. Please don't post personal information in the comments (contact info, statistics, etc.). As I discuss often around here, school-specific statistics like GPA and rank are meaningless without context. There have been times when enough information about an applicant has been shared that their classmates could identify them.

5. EcholsRodman, and College Science Scholars will be notified after Regular Decision.

And here's my biannual (now triannual, I guess) thank you/pep talk...

THANK YOU to all of you who have read and commented on the blog and chatted via social media so far this season.

Regardless of what SIS shows you tonight, you are going to attend a great school. You're going to learn from amazing, inspirational 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 what you learn 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!

Unofficial #UVA24 Early Decision Statistics

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. You can see official admission data in the data digest part of their website. 

Here are some unofficial numbers about the Early Decision process. These numbers were up to date on Friday morning. If you are a reporter, please contact the Office of University Communications for current, official information and all of your reporterly needs. :)

Early Decision Applications

Total number of Early Decision applications: 2,159
Total number of VA apps: 1,165
Total number of OOS apps: 994
We use completed applications in our statistics.

Early Decision Offers

Overall offers: 748
Total VA offers: 466 (40% offer rate)
Total OOS offers: 282 (28% offer rate)
Enrollment Goal: ~3,750
This means 20% of the class will have come from the Early Decision round.

It's misleading to average these offer rates together because residency is a major factor in our review. If you are going to share these numbers, cite BOTH offer rates. 

Early Decision Defers

Overall defers: 570
Total VA defers: 334
Total OOS defers: 236
Deferred students are no long bound by Early Decision agreements. Read more about deferral here (this link is in all defer letters).

A couple notes:

1. I do not have additional statistics. We are already immersed in the Early Action review process and I have to read files!

2. Enrollment deposits are due by January 1st.

3. Admitted students will get a paper copy of the offer letter by mail.

4. The Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars program invitations will be extended at the end of  the Regular Decision process. Echols and Rodman also allow self-nomination after your first semester.

The #UVA Class of 2024 Facebook Group

I've had a hands-off approach to Facebook over the years, except when I see companies trying to be part of groups that should be left to students. It seems it's happening again. Thanks to some students on reddit last year, I found out that an adult (initials DP) created Facebook groups and GroupMe chats for applicants to colleges all over the country. Regardless of why an adult is doing this, I don't like it and want to share a new group with you.

Here's a link to a students-only Facebook group for the Class of 2024:
Click the logo to go to the Class of 2024 Facebook group!


Who Is in the Facebook Group?

Obviously, the group will be for future members of the Class of 2024 at this point. Membership will evolve in the next few months as students make their college choices. After regular decision results come out, the students in these groups often create questionnaires to facilitate roommate matches. I'm told that the questionnaires the students create are more detailed than any being used by a housing office or roommate matching service. Student self-governance works again!

Who Is Moderating the Facebook Group?

There are a few current UVA students who keep an eye on the group. They are not paid to promote a business or product. They are students who know the ins and outs of UVA and have offered to field questions without an agenda. You'll notice that we don't really sell UVA. We present UVA to you and let you decide if the University has the things you need to be happy and challenged. Their answers to your questions will be honest and straightforward. I am not in the group.

What Happens to the Group in the Future?

When your class elects officers, the admins will hand the group over to your chosen leaders. This has been happening for over a decade and it works pretty well. For now, the admins are fine with answering questions, but they usually sit back and let you chat. Nothing in these groups will be saved or connected to your applications.

Is Facebook Activity Used for Admission Purposes?

Nope. I have absolutely no interest in tracking you or looking at your profiles. 

Can Parents Join?

No. Every so often, I hear about a parent requesting to join the student group. Please let the students have their space to talk.

Why Does UVA Create the Group?

We didn't always create a Facebook group for the classes. I used to talk about how it was the students' domain (it was back when you had to have a .edu email address to get an account!) and groups should grow organically. I changed my mind in 2008 when a company started creating groups with school names on them. Content in the group we created won't include advertisements from third parties and your information won't be mined.

What About GroupMe?

I fully support students using whatever channels they feel are most helpful. We don't create or sanction GroupMe chats. I realize that students like GroupMe, but I have seen issues arise on that platform for a few years now.

Please just keep an eye on the admin/mod of groups you join and don't share too much information in groups that may include companies looking for data.

Remember that anyone can slap the word "official" on a group. That doesn't mean the admin is affiliated with UVA. A good hint that they aren't part of our community: they call you freshmen and they talk about campus. Those words aren't in our lingo. 

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Early Decision Notification Coming this Friday for #UVA24!

If you're a regular reader of the blog, participate in my live q&a sessions on Instagram, or see me reply to questions on Twitter/reddit/etc, you've inevitably noticed that we release admission decisions early whenever possible.

The stated times for decisions releases are mid-December for Early Decision, mid-February for Early Action, and April 1 for Regular Decision. I'm so happy to share that we are finishing the Early Decision ahead of schedule and will post results to student portals in a couple days.

Early Decision notification will be the evening of 
Friday, December 6, 2019! 

This is official. Please do not call our office to confirm it. The decisions will go up after hours so most applicants are checking from home instead of school and there are fewer people on the system after the business day is over.