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!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Meet Griffin P, a #UVA Music Major on the Pre-Med Track from New Jersey

Today's blog post is full of great information about housing, dining, and weekend life, courtesy of Griffin P. from the great state of New Jersey (my own home state, if you weren't aware). 
As a reminder, if you are viewing this on a mobile device, you'll want to click the "View Web Version" link at the bottom to get the Disqus comment box to appear.

Hi everyone! My name is Griffin Perry, I’m a current third year in the College of Arts and Sciences from Little Silver, New Jersey. I’m on the Pre-Med Track studying music with a minor in Health and Well-Being in the Curry School of Education. On grounds, I’m involved in the University Guide Service, Greek Life, Alternative Spring Break, and Madison House.

When I’m not doing any of these things, you can find me hanging out on the lawn with friends, exploring all that Charlottesville has to offer, and fending off bad New Jersey stereotypes. I’m taking over the blog today to talk about everything you’ll encounter outside of academics and extracurriculars at UVA. I’m talking food, living situations, the social scene, and whatever else you may have questions about, all entirely honest from my own experiences here.

Dining at UVA 

Many Virginia schools do a phenomenal job of providing students with top-notch dining options you’ll find during your time here. Schools near UVA that many students find themselves deciding between are consistently nationally ranked for having unbelievable food in their dining halls day after day. Though I hate to say it, UVA is not one of those schools. We have three major dining halls — Runk, OHill, and Newcomb — two of which are conveniently located right in the middle of first year dorms, making them easy spots to go to as a first year. Newcomb is located more centrally on grounds, making it a popular option for all students to go in between classes to grab lunch with friends.

First year students are required to have an unlimited meal plan, which I was excited about coming in as a first year as someone who was always seemingly hungry. This novelty soon wore off as I ate the same three cheeseburgers every day, but I was happy to find other options included in the meal plan that weren’t the dining hall food. I will give UVA dining the credit it does deserve in doing their best to accommodate every dietary restriction or requests that students may have — they are incredibly receptive to recommendations and emails and do a great job in making sure UVA dining remains sustainable and accessible for any dietary need.

Outside of the dining halls, UVA brings in food trucks from local Charlottesville businesses which are open five days a week at the centrally located amphitheater, all of which can be accessed via the unlimited meal plan. Same goes for the Chick-Fil-A, Subway, Five Guys, and sushi restaurant found in the lowest floor of Newcomb Hall. Around first year dorms, there are convenience stores and late night options that can also be taken advantage of with that first year meal plan.

Beyond first year, it’s up to you whether or not you want a meal plan. I’ve had one every year during my time here, as I find it convenient to grab lunch on a weekday on grounds. Most people, however, will end up meal prepping at home as an upperclassman or just regularly eat off-grounds. There’s also something called the Elevate Meal Plan, which is a popular off-grounds meal plan which you can use at most of the restaurants on the corner. Needless to say, there are a TON of options in terms of food at UVA, and whatever your preferences or palate may be you’ll undoubtedly find an option that works best for you once you get here.

Living in Charlottesville 

 All first years at UVA are required to live on-grounds; all first years live in one central area with the only other people living there being Resident Advisors, or RAs. RAs are just upperclassmen students that are there to keep an eye out for you in your first year, mediate conflict, hold programming with your hall so you get to know other people in your building, and be there in case you ever need anything. In terms of what you can indicate on your housing application, most of the first year living situations are randomized. The main thing you can indicate is your roommate, which you can either indicate a specific individual or go completely random. Most people will find roommates by “Facebook dating”, in which they will join the UVA Class of 202X Facebook group (here's the Class of 2024 Facebook group) after getting in, post a generic bio about themselves (which I’m sure many of you have seen) and seek out someone with a similar enough vibe to them that they’d want to live together for a year.

As a first year, you can have a fridge/microwave/coffee maker in your dorm, and most dorms will also have a community kitchen and common areas to spend time as well. Beyond first year, about 50% of the class will move off grounds each year, so by the time you’re a fourth year about 12% of the class will still live “on-grounds”. Off-grounds and on-grounds is a bit of a misnomer with upperclassmen housing, as some of the “off-grounds” housing for upperclassmen is closer to your classes than the “on-grounds” housing is, depending on where you’re living and where your classes are. There is a rush to sign off-grounds leases each year, with most people signing leases within the first three months of the school year. I did this, and was surprised to find that the same apartment complex I signed in October still had leases available the following May, so don’t worry about not being able to find housing if you don’t feel like signing right away.

If you don’t want to live in an apartment or dorm, many clubs and organizations have housing associated with them. If you come to Charlottesville and drive down 14th Street, you’ll see the Ski Club house and the Lacrosse house — guides even has a house off-grounds. Other on-grounds options include Language houses and residential colleges. UVA has three residential colleges which you can apply to even going into your first year: Brown, Hereford, and the IRC.

I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about any of these in the comments section or direct you towards their websites. Lastly, First years aren’t allowed to have cars at their dorms, while most upperclassmen will have parking spots associated with their leases.

Weekends in Charlottesville 

On a number of tours I’ve given, people will ask me “what does a typical weekend look like in Charlottesville?”, and I’m lucky to go to a school where there’s not one solid answer for that question. There are too many things going on each weekend here in the best way possible, so most students (if not all) stick around on the weekends to take advantage of everything going on. Greek life does have a presence here, with about a third of undergraduates being involved in Greek life. At many other schools, not being involved in Greek life might prohibit you from having a social life here, and that is not the case at UVA. Like I mentioned earlier, many clubs and organizations will have off-grounds spaces where they’ll hold events, and many of the Greek houses are not incredibly strict with letting people into functions. The corner — the main stretch of bars and restaurants — is active during the weekends, with a number of great options for the twenty-one-and-over crowd. Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall is a great spot with live music every weekend, fantastic restaurants, coffee shops, a movie theater, and space to walk around. Greater Charlottesville has tons of breweries, vineyards, hiking trails, and so much more that many students will take advantage of on their weekends here.

UVA has been described as a “work hard, play hard” school, and the environment during the week is definitely academic-centric. However, UVA students on the weekend love to let off steam and spend time with one another, and libraries don’t usually fill up again until midday Sunday. If (for whatever reason) you’d want to leave Charlottesville on the weekends, there is a major Amtrak station about a 10 minute walk from Grounds, Charlottesville airport about twenty minutes drive from grounds, and students posting in rideshares every weekend heading to DC, Tech, and other places who would be happy to get you wherever you need to go.

Why UVA 

When I graduated eighth grade, I became infatuated with the college process. I made a list of thirty schools and told my parents we were going to visit each and every one of them before I needed to apply to any, which was insane. My only criteria was that I was on the east coast, which is an awful criteria as there are so many phenomenal schools up and down the east coast. I ended up narrowing that list down to sixteen, which is the number that I ended up applying to (again, crazy). UVA wasn’t necessarily my first choice, but definitely ranked up there even though my process was so all over the place that I didn’t even have a clear ranking system. UVA was the first I got into (I applied Early Action) and the first I decided to visit after getting into.

The Days on the Lawn I came down for was rainy, and at that point in my process I just wanted it to be over, and wanted some sort of sign to tell me that UVA was the place. I saw the marching band play, got another Admissions tour, saw dorms, and never really got that sign, which bummed me out. I recognized how insanely beautiful grounds was, and saw other students walking around and could envision myself among that pool of people. Driving back up to New Jersey, for whatever reason I felt like I wanted and needed to be back in Charlottesville for at least another four years, so trusted my gut and sent the deposit in. I know that story isn’t helpful in the slightest, but why I keep coming back to UVA may be of more help to you as you navigate this process.

Since coming to UVA, I’ve been blown away time and time again by the things I find here. The students that go here are passionate about this place; they have a genuine love for the University of Virginia and it shows when you ask them about it. The other students I’ve come across here have impressed me beyond belief, and there’s a team mentality amongst us that I never experienced in high school. The people here are interested, interesting, and everything in between will be the individuals who elevate your UVA experience from great to unbelievable. When I was in your shoes four years ago, I couldn’t imagine finding a family and a home anywhere outside of my high school bubble and the experience there, yet UVA has so effortlessly given me that and so much more. I can’t put into words how amazing this place is, and though you won’t be able to come visit for DOTL, I encourage you all to reach out to students who go here, take note of how they uphold the energy of the UVA community even when they’re not in Charlottesville, and trust your gut — I did and it has done the absolute world for me.

Again, please reach out to me with any questions you may have about anything UVA related. My email is and I wish you all the best. Whether I see you on grounds in the fall or not, I hope you find in your college experience what I’ve found here.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Meet Vinny T, a #UVA Engineering Student from Fairfax

We have another installment of our student guest blogger series! I'm so excited to have a student from my Fairfax territory taking over the blog. Vinny has offered to answer your questions in the comments today. If you'd prefer to reach out on social media, Vinny is @VinnyThota on Twitter and @therealvineeth on Instagram.
As a reminder, if you are viewing this on a mobile device, you'll want to click the "View Web Version" link at the bottom to get the Disqus comment box to appear.

Hey All! I’m Vinny Thota, a Third year Systems Engineering major in the E-School from Fairfax County, Virginia. Although I reside in Charlottesville, I will always be a Centreville kid! A few of my interests include playing and watching sports, especially basketball, giving back to the community with non-profit work, and hanging out with my friends at various areas of Grounds. If someone were to describe me, I am a bright, smiling, full of boundless energy and desire individual who loves to work hard.

As a UVa student, I can undoubtedly declare that I am living the best life for a college student. From the beautiful architecture of every historic building, especially the Rotunda, to the amazing, genuine people you meet at every corner of Charlottesville, University of Virginia truly is the happiest place on Earth.

Academics are on another atmosphere in Charlottesville. The classes are truly beneficial and demanding, but I can say it will push you to limits you wouldn’t fathom. Every student at UVa puts their studies first, which is awesome, but students are also involved in many activities. For example, I am a brother at Alpha Sigma Phi and also a brother at Trigon Engineering Society. I also work for the intramural recreation department as a supervisor while also participating on the women’s basketball practice squad.

Lastly, I am proud to say I’m Indian. I truly love every single experience that I have encountered. All the friends, classmates, and peers I have met or interacted with have always accepted me and taken me for who I am. That is something I will cherish for the rest of life. UVa is the tightest close-knit community I have been a part of. From losing to a 16 seed to conquering the unthinkable and winning the National Championship is just an epitome of UVa in general. UVa will never say no and UVa will always come back stronger, and that is truly why I attend the University of Virginia.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Our first #UVA Student Guest Blogger: Abby S

I'm very excited to share the first in a series of guest blog posts by UVA students. Since you won't be able to meet current students at our Days on the Lawn open houses or on tours this year, we thought we'd use social media to provide opportunities for you to connect.    
Abby offered to kick things off! She is going to monitor the comment section, so feel free to post your questions below. If you are reading this on mobile version of this site you might have to hit the "View Web Version" link at the bottom of the page to see the Disqus comment box. 

   My name is Abby, and I’m a current third-year at UVa majoring in Media Studies with a concentration in Media Policy and Ethics and minoring in Religious Studies con. Buddhism. Outside of school I intern with UVa Athletics Strategic Marketing, and I’m involved with the University Guide Service and the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society. I’m popping on the blog today to talk a little bit about my experiences with UVa, why I chose to come here, and why that was the best decision I’ve ever made. 

   The main thing that drew me to UVa were the academics. I truly had no idea what I wanted to study coming to college, and I needed time and help to figure all that out. At UVa, you don’t have to declare your major for two years in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the curriculum promotes exploring multiple fields. That interdisciplinary promotion allowed me to find my passion and pursue all my interests. I’ve been able to take classes in every department you can think of: materials science, finance, German language, and my major department as well. In my first year I even got to take a University Seminar called “How College Works,” where we went in depth into the administrative processes required of a University. Some of my favorite classes are of course in my own major. What I love about the Media Studies courses is that my professors are truly dedicated to what they do. Last semester, I took Media Policy and Law with Professor Christopher Ali. He was a great lecturer and I learned a ton, but he also gave us great opportunities to interact with real media professionals. One day, he brought in two FCC Commissioners and did a Q&A instead of lecture, and I was lucky enough to be able to go to lunch with my professor and the commissioners after class. It was an incomparable experience and I loved it. I also took History of the Internet with Professor Kevin Driscoll, which may be the best class I’ve ever taken. He helped us access the older parts of the web and actually use them so that we could understand what the Internet used to be like. The incredible hands-on learning opportunities I’ve gotten at UVa are far beyond what I could have hoped, and one of the reasons I knew this was the place for me. 

   UVa has great classes, but that’s not the only thing here. I also love that UVa has given me internship and career opportunities that I never could have dreamed of. I have held four internships in my time here, two with Congressional campaigns and two with the University itself. UVa has so many great opportunities for student jobs and internships that really can’t be matched. In addition to my jobs, UVa has allowed me to make great social connections and given me a place I can truly be comfortable. I’ve gone on trips with my friends from here to the Outer Banks, New York, Nashville, and many other places. These are the people who are always there for me, and can help me with anything and everything I’m going through. This semester I joined the University Guide Service as a third-year, making me one of the older new members in the bunch. Still, everyone was always so excited and happy to be talking to me, and checking up on how I am. Even now in quarantine we met over Zoom just to say hi and see how everyone was adjusting to all this crazy news. I’ve also been able to get wonderful opportunities from my organizations and involvements. In the Jefferson Society, new members must pass a presentation in order to become full members. The members there helped me prepare and research and become a much better public speaker. I was able to learn a lot and use that knowledge in both my presentation and in my classes. My friends at UVa have become the greatest friends I’ve ever had, and they challenge me to be a better person and learner every day. 

 UVa is a truly wonderful and unique place. I know you may be worried about not being able to attend Days on the Lawn, but I couldn’t attend either. I was waitlisted from the University and did not find out I was accepted until I got a call during my AP Statistics course on May 2nd. My dad pulled me out of school the next day to drive me down to Charlottesville to see Grounds. It was relatively quiet, as it was finals, but people were still chatting on the Lawn, playing frisbee, walking dogs, literally any picturesque outdoor activity you can think of was happening. This may have been the first time I saw someone using a real life picnic basket. Walking around UVa was wonderful, but what really caused me to commit here were the people. Every single person I talked to was so happy to share UVa with me. Whether it was directions or checking out at the bookstore, everyone was so excited to see a new person enter this wonderful community. UVa is so much more than a college, it’s truly a place you can call home, and that’s why I chose to come here and I hope you do too. 

If you have any questions, please PLEASE feel free to reach out to me! I wish you the best of luck in your college search and I hope to see you at the first home game next year.
Signing off, 
Abby S.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Notes for the #UVA24 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 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 fill out the waiting list reply on the portal. We offer spots to many, but only a portion 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 last year:

From the 2019 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: 5,486
Number accepting a place on the waiting list: 2,969
Number of wait-listed students admitted: 8
Is your waiting list ranked? No
The waiting list will be big on 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.

What's this thing about UVA Wise?

Virginia residents on the waiting list who applied for the College of Arts & Sciences are given the option of enrolling at UVA Wise for one year before guaranteed transfer to UVA. There are some academic requirements for the time at Wise, of course. If you are a Virginia resident, you will see a question about the UVA Wise option on your waiting list reply form. Answering yes will get you some more information from our colleagues at Wise. You won't be removed from our waiting list process and you aren't bound to Wise if you select the "yes" option.

I accepted. Why is the form still there? 

You can always come back and pull yourself off the list. That is why the form remains after you opt in. There is no going back once you decline, so there are confirmation screens if you want to opt-out.

How many people will come off the waiting list?

Even though I've been doing this for years, I can't predict this one. If we don't have 3,748 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 the deposit deadline date. 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.

2019 - 8
2018 - 13
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. Uploading a letter in the portal 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. Following directions is important.

By the way, though this is not an option now, showing up in Peabody Hall wouldn't affect our process. I can't tell you how many students have driven here ask the questions covered in the FAQs. It was not the best use of their 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. In the past, we've wrapped the process up in June. Every year is a little different, but this year will probably be very 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 application. The call is a heads up that your status is about to change in the portal. 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 portal to remove their name from the list, but some people forget. When the portal updates, a new letter shows up along with the ability to pay a deposit. We work a traditional business day, Monday through Friday. Our office hours are 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

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 will always post 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.

Will my housing and class options be limited if I come off the waiting list?

In a word: no. Students coming off the waiting list aren't treated differently in the housing process. During the Orientation season, seats in certain popular classes are held for each orientation session. That means people who sign up for the first orientation can't scoop up all the seats in classes. What's more, the registration system opens up for course changes in August. Lots of students don't finalize their courses until that period. Many will continue to tweak their schedule during the "drop/add" period at the begging of the semester, when you can visit classes and make changes without penalty.

What now?

Look at your 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!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Let's Talk about UVA Admissions Decisions: 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, but those are not administered in any way by UVA. Please be careful about joining groups that say they are for the incoming class.

RD applicants who are invited to join the Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars programs will see that status in the portal. A letter about that is also in the mail. 

I've been told that the Office of Student Financial Services will start to post aid packages next week. Orientation registration will open around May 1st and you'll get more information about that in the future. Housing usually opens their system around that date. There's plenty of time for all that, though. For now, pat yourself on the back and consider reaching out to your counselor and the teacher who wrote your recommendation to let them know the good news, too!

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

Let's Talk about UVA Admission 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 via your portal.

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 UVA Admission 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. 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. 

Unofficial #UVA 2020 Regular Decision Statistics

Here are some unofficial numbers about this year's process. These numbers are up to date as of today, March 18, 2020. If you are a reporter, please contact the Office of University Communications for current, official information and all of your reporterly needs. :)

Total Applications

Total applications: 41,017 (40,839 last year)
Total number of VA apps: 12,180
Total number of OOS apps: 28,837
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.

Total Offers of Admission

Overall offers: 8,420
Total VA offers:  3,972 (33% offer rate)
Total OOS offers:  4,448 (15% offer rate)
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.

Defers and Waiting List

Deferred students offered admission: 8% (12% last year)
Waiting list offers: 17% (13% last year)
The waiting list forms as students opt into it via the portal and we have seen up to HALF decline putting themselves on the list. The waiting list can be thought of as having ten different segments (in-state and OOS for each of the five academic areas that take first-year students).

A couple notes:

1. There are more statistics on our website. You can see official admission data, including admission data by residency and school of entry from last year, on the website. The current year's data often goes up in the fall semester. Please understand that I won't be able to reply to requests for more statistics.

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

3. The Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars program invitations will be visible to Regular Decision applicants in their portals. Hard copies of the invitation letters are going in the mail today. Echols and Rodman also allow self-nomination after your first semester. Miller Arts Scholars only apply after the first semester.

#UVA Regular Decision Results Posted Tonight 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.We are ready.

Regular Decision notification will be tonight,
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

This is official. Please do not call our office to confirm it. The decision will get posted on your portal after office hours so there are fewer people on the system. I do not control the exact time of the release. There's a technical team that has to go through several processes to get the portals updated.

If you want to chat with some other students, here's a link to a students-only Facebook group for the Class of 2024. I'm not in that group (it's for students only), but I'll be watching the comments here and checking in on Instagram, Twitter, and reddit to answer questions. I will post an entry for each decision this evening. If you are offered a spot on the waiting list, you will have a link to FAQs in your letter on the portal. Please click through and read through those.

This is a difficult time for all of us, but I hope that having these decisions posted takes one uncertainty off the long list of them. The official visit events we planned for the next six weeks have been cancelled, but we are working on ways to connect with admitted students and give them opportunities to ask questions.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

All #UVA Admission Events Cancelled

At UVA, we've been getting messages about COVID-19 since January (we didn't even know that term back then). The University assembled a team of public health experts to provide direction to us as the situation developed. Today, they announced that university-sponsored events like the ones we host are suspended. 

Until further notice, we will not have any tours, information sessions, or open houses. Our staff is available to answer questions. As always, I'll be happy to chat with you in the comments of the blog and on Twitter and Instagram. 

The email below is going out to admitted students who registered for our open house events later today. Students who registered for tours and information sessions will get a similar email. 

In response to the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, the University has made the decision to cancel University sponsored events indefinitely, including: Days on the Lawn, Admitted Student Tours, Spring Blast, Spring Fling, and EscAPADe. Unfortunately, this means we no longer are able to host you on Grounds for your scheduled admitted student visit.  

This decision was made by University leadership after consulting with leading medical experts. It is our hope that these efforts and this decision will best protect the health of our students, staff, faculty, and visitors and assist in slowing the spread of the virus. Our admission deans are available to talk by phone or email if you have questions, and we will be providing updates on social media and on our institutional coronavirus webpage. 

We are terribly sorry for the inconvenience as we know you went to great efforts to plan and arrange travel to Charlottesville. We are honored that you are considering the University as a college destination and we are confident you would contribute greatly to our classrooms and community. 

Please know discussions have started about alternative ways we can introduce you to our dynamic student experience despite not being able to accommodate visitors. In the meantime, below are links to some resources that we hope will help you get to know our community, our students, and the University Grounds.
Most importantly, stay healthy and take care of yourselves and your families. Stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks. 

Best wishes,
The Office of Undergraduate Admission

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Geographic Quotas and Targets and the #UVA Admission Process

Our office has a tradition of deans coming out of their offices to greet our tours when they return to Peabody Hall. Our front desk emails us to let us know that the tours are starting to end and everyone who is available gathers in the lobby to answer questions. When students from my territory are on break, I tend to be a little more enthusiastic when families come through the doors. I grew up in an area that's sometimes referred to as a "pressure cooker" and I remember how reassuring it was to meet a friendly admission officer on college visits. I want to be that friendly face for students and parents.

We often find ourselves fielding questions that are about quotas, but phrased in a roundabout way. We are more than happy to talk about this topic. We know that rumors about quotas are pervasive in densely populated areas. I remember being convinced that my admission chances were related to how many students from my high school or county applied to the colleges on my list. For some of the schools on my list, that was probably correct. Some schools do have limits on how many students they'll take from a school or region. UVA is not one of those schools. 

UVA made an agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia to maintain a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio* between Virginia residents and non-residents. Beyond that, there are no restrictions on how many students we can take from any school, town, county, or region. You aren't competing with your classmates or neighbors for an allocation of spots.

As always, I'm happy to answer questions in the comments.

Quotas, again?

*Every now and then, a state representative will introduce a bill to mandate a change to our ratio, but the bills always fail in committee. Here are the bills from 2017, 2014, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007 on Richmond Sunlight, a great website for following the state legislature.

**Thank you to the kind parent who wrote to me about an error in this blog post. The Restructuring Act failed in 2004, but was successful in 2005 and has been amended a few times since. I apologize for my mistake.