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

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Monday, May 18, 2020

A #UVA24 Waiting List Update

Hello, everyone! I'm stepping back into the blog after weeks of student takeovers to let you know some more about this year's waiting list. If you haven't read the Waiting List FAQ page (linked in your letter) and the first post about the waiting list on this blog, those might be helpful.

During our 4/21 question and answer session on Instagram, I shared that we would be making waiting list offers, but I couldn't predict how many offers we'd make. Historical data can help admission officers predict their yield (that's the term for the students to accept admission after we offer it) and something that is called melt.

Melt (sometimes referred to as "Summer Melt") happens when students who paid an admission deposit decide that they aren't coming after all. You can see melt happen as other schools go to their waiting list. Someone who deposited at UVA might get off the waiting list at another school and decide to withdraw from here to accept that other offer.

While admission officers have historical data to look at when trying to predict their yield and melt, no one anywhere had data that could predict the impact of a global pandemic. We are all learning about this together.

So...Who is Getting Offers?

You are probably aware that I think of our waiting list as having ten different segments: in-state and out-of-state for the five academic entry points. There are years when we need all of the segments to fill in spots and years when we might need one or two. Generally, more spots are available in the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering. The College is the largest school with about 11,500 of the 17,000 undergraduates enrolled there. Engineering is the next largest with 2,870. As usual, those are the schools where we've made almost all of our waiting list offers. We have made offers to both Virginians and non-Virginians.

Why is This So Slow?

This is a time when we work one-on-one with students, not with large groups. It may feel a little slow on your side. We review the applications of those who accepted a spot on the waiting list and submit the names of students we'd like to admit from our regions to the Dean. The Dean approves some of our students for an offer and we get to call to let them know that an offer is coming in the student portal.

Students coming off the waiting list get a few days to think about their offers and make a deposit.. If the student applied for financial aid, we let Student Financial Services know so they can put together an aid package and their days to consider the offer begin when we get word that the package has been posted to their SIS account.

On our side, the waiting list process moves like a pendulum. We make some offers, we wait for the replies, then we make a few more offers.

What Can You Do?

There are two things you can do if you are on the waiting list. First, you can submit any updates through your applicant portal. Second, you can look for an email that is going out to everyone on the waiting list asking you to confirm that you still want to be considered. That's it.


I'm going to make some calls myself in a moment, so I'm in for a happy afternoon. I hope I get to talk to a few of you!