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!

Friday, December 11, 2020

Let's Talk about #UVA25 Early Decision: Admitted!

 Admitted students can use this entry to talk and ask questions.

I imagine you might also want to join the UVA Class of 2025 Facebook group to chat with your future classmates. It just opened this morning, so membership isn't too large just yet. Please be careful about joining groups/chats on social media 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 #UVA25 Early Decision: The Defer

 Deferred students can use this post to talk and ask questions. Please be sure to read the defer FAQ page.

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 upload your midyear grades in your portal by February 15th.

Hang in there! 
Jack hopes you can find a peaceful place to wait.

Let's Talk about #UVA25 Early Decisions: The Deny

 Denied students can use this entry to talk and ask questions.

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. 

The #UVA Class of 2025 Facebook Group is Open!

There will be several posts this afternoon, but I wanted to make sure to share the UVA Class of 2025 Facebook group


Who Is in the Facebook Group?

Obviously, the group will have applicants in it 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 on any social media platform. If we have interacted on Instagram or Twitter, you'll notice that I don't follow you back. That's my rule...I don't follow student accounts. I do follow UVA student organization accounts on Instagram and Twitter. 

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. There are a few groups run by parents on Facebook. Check a few out and see if one feels like a good place for you.

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. However, we don't create or sanction GroupMe chats. I have heard about problematic content on that platform for several years now and I'm not convinced the people starting the college groups are students. Please be careful. 

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. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Unofficial #UVA Early Decision Statistics for #UVA25

As promised, here are some unofficial statistics for the Early Decision round of our application review this year. Institutional Research and Analytics 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. 

These numbers were up to date on Thursday morning. If you are a reporter, please contact the 
Office of University Communications for current, official information.

Early Decision Applications

Total number of Early Decision applications: 2,937 (2,159 last year)
Total number of VA apps: 1,573
Total number of OOS apps: 1,364
We use completed applications in our statistics.

Early Decision Offers

Overall offers: 965
Total VA offers: 617 (39% offer rate)
Total OOS offers: 348 (26% offer rate)
Enrollment Goal: ~3,750
It's misleading to average these offer rates together because residency is a major factor in our reviewIf you are going to share these numbers, cite BOTH offer rates. 

Early Decision Defers

Overall defers: 781
Total VA defers: 406
Total OOS defers: 375
Deferred students are no longer 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. Decisions will be posted in the applicant portal tomorrow night. You got login credentials back when we received your Common App. I don't control the posting of the decisions, but we will email everyone after the technical team finishes the work they do to add decisions to the poral. Your enrollment deposit is 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 Early Action and Regular Decision processes. Echols and Rodman also allow self-nomination after your first semester.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

#UVA Early Decision Notification Update!

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 11, 2020! 

This is official. Please do not call our office to confirm it. The decisions will be added to applicant portals in the evening so most students are checking after school hours (there are fewer people on the system after the business day is over).

I'll be able to share some statistics about the Early Decision process tomorrow. As always, I'm happy to answer your questions in the comments.

Monday, December 07, 2020

#UVA Admission AP Requirements (and Why They Don't Exist)

It's the time of year when colleges with early admission programs start releasing decisions (please see my post from the other day before asking for an update). Someone inevitably asks "what are your stats" when someone posts the result of their early application on social media. I want to revisit something I've posted before: GPAs are not standardized, course rigor is not a number and we don't require a certain number of AP courses for admission to UVA.

We can't have an AP requirement since course options vary from school to school. We use the high school profile, submitted by the school counselor, to understand course options and then look at what the student opted to take in light of those options. Putting together a great program looks different for each student

Don't assume that you understand someone's curriculum if they post their total number of APs. There are students amassing a large number of APs and post-APs in one subject while never taking an advanced course in another area (or areas). Also, there's a balance to be struck between rigor and grades.

Just remember that a few numbers posted on social media don't convey the details on application. Admission officers are looking at individual courses and grades at UVA, not just an AP total or a GPA.

A note for those in schools with International Baccalaureate programs: We have a good number of IB schools in Virginia and we recognize the difference between HL and SL courses.

Hope you're staying warm! We had a dusting of snow in Charlottesville this morning!

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Let's Talk about the #UVA Application Review Timeline

My inbox on Instagram has a steady stream of messages coming in asking when we will have decisions ready for the two early rounds of admission here at UVA. We include this information in the "Early Decision vs Early Action vs Regular Decision" section of the application instructions, but I thought I'd go over the timeline here and answer any questions you have in the comments.

Students often look at my posts on this blog, Instagram and Twitter to get an idea of when we finished the different phases of our review in past years. If you do that, keep in mind that the deadlines and application volume change from year to year. In 2019, the Early Decision deadline was October 15th. It was our first time having that process in a decade and our first time having three deadlines. We knew we wanted our decisions ready by the middle of December, so we went with October 15th. We also changed our notification language for Early Action to say decisions would be ready by he middle of February last year. We've been seeing a shift from Regular Decision to Early Action and we wanted to make sure we built in enough time for a thorough review of those EA files.

For 2020, we moved our Early Decision deadline to November 1, so our reading started two weeks later. That being said, we are still confident that we will have decisions for that group ready by the middle of the month. Similarly, we are still planning to have Early Action decisions ready by the middle of February. As has been the tradition for the 15 years that I've been writing this blog, I will post an update here with a specific dates of the decision release days when we are certain of them. Decisions are posted in your applicant portal, so make sure you have know how to use your login credentials.

If you have questions about how this works or just want to say hello, I'm happy to chat in the comments!

I'm pretty sure CavDog (Baxter) is logged into the old applicant portal (around 2008) in this picture.