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!

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

2021-2022 #UVA First-Year Application Essay Prompts

With tours full of prospective members of the Class of 2026 this week, it seems like a good time to share our essay prompts for next year. Feedback from students and admission officers have helped us tweak our prompts over the years and it seems like we have them in a good place because we don't really have edits this year!

There are three required pieces of writing on our application: the Common App essay and two shorter responses that are specific to UVA. The Common App prompts are on their website

A couple notes about essays: the prompts are deliberately broad, these are supposed to be personal, and the word counts are guidelines meant to remind you to be concise. I'll elaborate on these and share some tips in future posts. Regarding the first essay, remember that we admit students to four schools and one major at UVA. The only students who apply directly to a major are the kinesiology students.

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

2021-2022 First-Year Application Writing Prompts


1. We are looking for passionate students to join our diverse community of scholars, researchers, and artists. Answer the question that corresponds to the school/program to which you are applying in a half page or roughly 250 words.
  • College of Arts and Sciences - What work of art, music, science, mathematics, literature, or other media has surprised, unsettled, or inspired you, and in what way?
  • School of Engineering and Applied Sciences - Describe an engineering feat that serves the common good and why it inspires you to study engineering.
  • School of Architecture - Describe significant experience that deepened your interest in studying in the School of Architecture.
  • School of Nursing - Describe a health care-related experience or another significant interaction that deepened your interest in studying nursing.
  • Kinesiology Program - Discuss experiences that led you to apply to the kinesiology major. 

2. Answer one of the following questions in a half page or roughly 250 words.
  • What’s your favorite word and why?
  • We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are.
  • Student self-governance, which encourages student investment and initiative, is a hallmark of the UVA culture. In her fourth year at UVA, Laura Nelson was inspired to create Flash Seminars, one-time classes which facilitate high-energy discussion about thought-provoking topics outside of traditional coursework. If you created a Flash Seminar, what idea would you explore and why?
  • UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?
  • Rita Dove, UVA English professor and former U.S. Poet Laureate, once said in an interview that "...there are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints." Describe a time when, instead of complaining, you took action for the greater good.

Monday, June 21, 2021

The UVA Class of 2025 is Complete

A waiting list update from Greg Roberts, Dean of Admission:

On behalf of the UVA Office of Admission, I’d like to send a heartfelt thank you to all of the applicants and their families who placed their faith in us during this challenging and chaotic year, including those who were on our waiting list and received our final decisions last week. We are honored and humbled that you chose to apply to UVA. While we were unable to offer admission to every deserving and capable candidate in this intensely competitive year, please know we saw you, we heard you, we believe in you, and we are grateful to you. And please know we wish you happiness and success as you begin your college journey in the fall. 

 


I know this is disappointing news for many of you. I hope you can look at your chosen school and move forward with you plans to go there with excitement. Thank you so much for being part of this blog.  Best wishes for a wonderful summer and exciting start to your college career!

 

Thursday, June 03, 2021

#UVA In-Person Tours for Prospective Students Resume June 14

I'm so excited to share that we will be hosting in-person tours soon! I remember posting that our admission events were cancelled back on March 11, 2020 and thinking we'd be back in a month or so. The day we were told to take our office phones home was probably the one when I realized tours would be on an extended hiatus. Suffice it to say, we have missed seeing prospective students in person! We've also missed seeing our guides, ambassadors, and student workers. The team of summer interns will ease us back into tours starting on June 14th (are you following them on Instagram yet?).

A few notes for those who want to visit...

  • As always, reservations are required, so please head over to the Visit page of our website to secure a spot on a tour. Once all the reservations for a day are taken, that date is no longer "clickable," so have a alternate visit date in mind. 
  • Prospective students can register themselves and one guest for the tour. If you'll be traveling with a larger group, please make plans for the other members of your party to do something while you tour. I suggest a walk on The Corner to see the shops and restaurants adjacent to the University along with a walk on the UVA Lawn and a visit to the new Memorial to Enslaved Laborers
  • The University's buildings are still closed to visitors at this time, to the tours will be completely outdoors. We suggest you use the housing youtube channel to explore the residence halls and check department websites for virtual tour options. UVA Recreation's website has descriptions and picture of their facilities, too.
  • We'll continue to offer live and recorded virtual options for connecting with the Office of Admission and our students. Links are on the visit page and we'll also email them to students who make in-person tour reservations. 

I'll do my best to answer your questions in the comments, but I hope you can appreciate that our plans will probably evolve during the summer. 





Monday, May 10, 2021

A 2021 Waiting List Update

If you watch my weekly live q&a sessions on Instagram, you've heard me talk about the waiting list a few times already, but I thought I'd share some information on the blog who aren't regularly tuning in (does one "tune in" for an Instagram live?). I save the live sessions on IGTV, barring an Instagram glitch, so you can watch old sessions if that is of interest.

It looks like the waiting list pendulum has swung (see over a decade of waiting list offers here), as it tends to do, and we are not seeing much movement on the list this year. A few offers have been made, but I don't think we'll see a total anywhere near what we saw last year.

As always, when the Dean decides to close/release the waiting list (meaning no more offers will be made), we will email all students who completed the waiting list interest form. 

I'm happy to answer questions in the comments and on this Thursday's live q&a session.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Miss a Virtual Days on the Lawn Event? Recordings Available Now!

 I've gotten so man questions from students who weren't able to join some of the live virtual Days on the Lawn sessions in the last few weeks, but are looking for recordings. All of the recorded sessions are available on the Virtual DOTL website! 

As a reminder, enrollment deposits are due by Saturday, May 1st. If there is anything we can do to help as you decide where you'll be starting your college career, please reach out to us via whatever channel is most comfortable. We have a dean on call each weekday during business hours, student volunteers who are eager to chat, and I'll also be monitoring my inboxes on the various social media platforms.


 


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Waiting List Reply Forms (the #UVA LOCI) Due TODAY!

If you were offered a spot on the waiting list at UVA, you have until the end of the day to submit your Waiting List Reply Form in the applicant portal. This form is your "Letters of Continued Interest" (aka LOCI).

If you are a Virginia resident who applied to the College of Arts & Sciences, you will also see a question asking about your interest in spending your first year at UVA's College at Wise.

 


If you accept a spot on the waiting list, you will see a confirmation message in your portal. You will also see a link to withdraw from the waiting list if you decide that you are no longer interested in UVA at a later date. 

 

Please remember to follow the instructions in the Waiting List FAQs if you would like to submit an update to your file. 

 




Friday, April 09, 2021

Meet Morgan, a Pre-Med, Anthropology Major from Baltimore!

I'm very excited to share the first 2021 entry 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 go on group tours this year, we thought we'd use social media to provide opportunities for you to connect.    
 Morgan offered to kick things off! She kindly offered her email address if anyone would like to ask her questions.

 

Wahoowa and welcome to UVA! My name is Morgan Suchin and I am a second year from Baltimore, Maryland. I absolutely LOVE UVA and am so excited to share my experience with you. I am pre-med and majoring in anthropology with a concentration in medical anthropology, ethics, and care. I am an Echols Scholar and involved in PhiDE (a pre-health, co-ed fraternity), Hillel/Brody Jewish Center, Virginia Ambassadors, Virginia Anthropology Society, and started my own project working with other CIOs using a mental health support website my brother and I made called Codyy.org.

 

I will be honest. I never even considered UVA until my mother forced me to tour it. I thought UVA would be too large for me, did not know anyone from my high school who went there, and did not know much about it. Well, a big thank you to my mom! I can confidently say that the second I walked onto Grounds, I immediately fell in love with the beautiful architecture and greenery, the vibrant and spirited student body, the traditions, and the warm feeling of community from both the students, professors, and staff. I am a true believer in that everything happens for a reason. There was some reason my mother forced me to tour one random day in July before my senior year. Another instance of this mantra happened at my Days on the Lawn which is our newly admitted students’ day.

I checked in with my parents and was walking from the Office of Admissions to the Rotunda for the welcome address from our Dean and to hear our amazing marching band. Before we got to the Rotunda, I asked my mother (there’s a theme here), how will I know where I am supposed to end up? She replied, there will be a sign. In that very second, Dean J and CavPup walked by and I stopped to take a picture. I am obsessed with CavPup and Dean J’s blog/Instagram that provided information and was a valuable resource that motivated me to go to UVA. I internally screamed with excitement. I think from the smile on both of our faces, we were pretty excited in this moment. This was another instance of everything happening for a reason.

 


My third moment of this mantra was during my first day of class. I walked into the lecture hall, which was also where I had my information session during my tour at UVA and sat down amongst 200 students. This class was medical anthropology with Professor China Scherz. I admire how amazing my support and advising system at UVA has been. During my summer orientation and per advice from my Echols mentor, two people recommended that I take medical anthropology. I knew nothing about it but figured I love the humanities and am pre-med, so this sounded like an interesting combination. My eyes grew with wonder during the first lecture. Professor Scherz made a 200-person class seem like 15 through her passionate lecture, engaging with students through conversations, and being so eager to share her love of medical anthropology and her research. The second I walked out of class, I pulled out my phone and googled if UVA had a major in medical anthropology. Sure enough, it was made just the previous year before I got to UVA! That same day, I met Professor Scherz during her office hours to discuss the major and my future trajectory. If it were not for the input from fellow UVA students and staff, I maybe would not have found my major. Medical anthropology has changed my life, and everything happened for a reason! (I am sorry I am so cheesy) Professor Scherz became my advisor and mentor who has provided so much guidance and support throughout my first two years at UVA. Everyone who I have met at UVA, whether it is an upperclassman who offers advice, your professor or academic dean, or just a person in the library you recognize from class, has been unbelievably supportive and welcoming. One of the reasons I chose UVA was because I saw a community like myself during my tour. UVA felt like the students were leaders both inside and outside of the classroom, but were also involved in the community with clubs, research, volunteering, or just being there for a fellow classmate. It is hard to express how generous and kind the people at UVA are in making Grounds feel like a home. 


To me, UVA is my second home. Despite being a large university, it has never felt like it for several reasons. My Jewish peers at the Brody Jewish Center have gone above and beyond to make all students have a home away from home during the holidays. I had a sense of community when the student body joined arms for the first time at a football game and sang the Good Old Song. My Echols scholar family introduced me to some of my best friends who made my first year so special. It is seeing someone in the grocery store wearing a UVA orange and navy shirt and we say Wahoowa to each other that sparks a smile on my face that confirms that UVA is a special place. You got into UVA because it was meant to be your home for the next 4 years because everything happens for a reason! I look forward to seeing you on Grounds! Please feel free to reach out to mis6mmf@virginia.edu if you have any questions. I love sharing my experience and how much it means to be a Wahoo! 

 



Wednesday, April 07, 2021

The #UVA Spring Showcase Outreach Events Start SATURDAY!

 

(Taken before the pandemic.)

The Outreach team within the Office of Admission has been busy planning the Spring Showcase, highlighting the experiences of Black and Latinx students at UVA. We wish we could host students in person, but we have two days packed full of virtual options will help admitted students connect with UVA faculty and students from afar. There are a few Outreach events next week as well.

See detailed descriptions of these programs on the Spring Showcase website and register there today!

Saturday, April 10th

2:00 PM -Spring Showcase Welcome
2:30 PM - A Day in the Life Tour
3:30 PM - Black Student Experience Panel
3:30 PM - Latinx Student Experience Panel
3:30 PM - Multicultural Student Experience Panel
4:05 PM - Black Student Experience Panel
4:05 PM - Latinx Student Experience Panel
4:05 PM - Multicultural Student Experience Panel

 

Sunday, April 11th

2:30 PM - Breakout Session: Grounds for Succeeding
2:30 PM - Breakout Session: Culture, Community, and Advocacy at UVA
3:30 PM - College of Arts & Sciences Student Drop-Ins
3:30 PM - Professional Schools Student Drop-Ins
4:30 PM - Spring Showcase Closing

Some Outreach events next week that might be of interest:

Tuesday, April 13

6:00 PM - University Achievement Award Welcome Event


Wednesday, April 14

6:00 PM - HoosFirst Welcome and Panel (first generation college students)


Thursday, April 15

6:00 PM - Transition Program Information Session


Monday, April 19

5:00 PM - Native and Indigenous Student Welcome Event


All events will be recorded and available to view a few days later on the Spring Showcase website.

Monday, April 05, 2021

#UVA25 Virtual DOTL Events for the Week of April 5th

 

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Virtual Days on the Lawn kick-off on Saturday! We have a month of programming planned for admitted students. This first week is full of academic sessions and opportunities to check in with students at the end of each day of programming. Don't miss the housing sessions on Thursday! Registration is open for admitted students on the Virtual DOTL calendar page.


Monday, April 5th

6:00 PM - Why UVA? Student Panel
8:00 PM - Evening Student Chat w/ University Guide Service (UGS)

Tuesday, April 6th

12:00 PM - Admitted Student Tour w/ UGS
6:00 PM - College of Arts & Sciences Information Session
6:00 PM - School of Nursing Information Session
7:00 PM - Kinesiology Program Information Session
7:00 PM - School of Engineering Information Session
8:00 PM - Evening Student Chat w/ UGS

Wednesday, April 7th

8:00 AM - International Student Panel
6:00 PM - Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy Information Session
6:00 PM - School of Education & Human Development Information Session
7:00 PM - McIntire School of Commerce Information Session
7:00 PM - School of Data Science Information Session
8:00 PM - Evening Student Chat w/ UGS

Thursday, April 8th

12:00 PM - Admitted Student Tour w/ UGS
5:00 PM - College of Arts & Sciences Mock Class Experience
6:00 PM - Housing & Residence Life Session
7:00 PM - Residential Colleges Session
8:00 PM - Evening Student Chat w/ UGS

Saturday, April 10

1:00 PM - Admitted Student Tour w/ UGS

Friday, April 02, 2021

Virtual #UVA Days on the Lawn Starts SATURDAY!

 

All throughout April, we will have virtual events geared towards our admitted students. Admitted students got an email about this already, but I thought I'd link to the Virtual DOTL website in case it's been missed. The calendar link on that site will take you to a page where you can register for as many events as you'd like. The kick-off event is tomorrow, Saturday, April 3rd at noon. There will be a special guest at that session! Afterwards, there is a live tour and a student chat. 

I'll be posting a weekly reminder of the week's programming here on the blog and on my instagram account. There are sessions for every school/college and topics like housing, career services, research, and study abroad. 

I especially want to highlight our Virginia Ambassadors' chat sessions. The Ambassadors went live on the UVA Admission youtube channel every week for the last few months to talk about their UVA experience and answer questions and the sessions are available to watch there. Check out future student chat opportunities here.

 

Screen grab of last night's Virginia Ambassador session with Sheeba, Brightney, Abby, and Sophie


Thursday, April 01, 2021

Notes for the #UVA25 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. 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 waiting list will be big because we need to ensure there are students for all ten sections of the first year class. The class is made up of Virginia residents and out-of-state students for 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 ~3,800 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.

2020 - 915
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 (we are working remotely), showing up 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, with last year being 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 Eastern.

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!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Let's Talk about UVA Admission Decisions: Admitted!

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

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. 

You'll be getting information about our virtual Days on the Lawn events soon. 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 considering UVA!

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 have until April 15th to 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. 

Regular Decision Admission Statistics #UVA25

Here are some unofficial numbers about this year's process. These numbers are up to date as of today, March 25, 2021. If you are a reporter, please contact the Office of University Communications for current, official information.

The Office of 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.

Total Applications

Total applications: 48,011 (40,891 last year)
Total number of VA apps: 13,983
Total number of OOS apps: 34,028

Total Offers of Admission 

Overall offers: 9,875 (28% of offers did not submit standardized tests) 
Total VA offers:  3,937 (28% offer rate) 
Total OOS offers:  5,938 (17% 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.
 
 

Total Regular Decision Applications

Total RD applications: 16,060 (13,635 last year)
Total number of VA RD apps: 4,482
Total number of OOS RD apps: 11,577

Total Regular Decision Offers of Admission 

Overall RD offers: 2,628 (2,409 last year)
Total VA RD offers:  890 (20% offer rate) 
Total OOS RD offers:  1,738 (15% offer rate)
We do not try to figure out an individual student's likelihood of enrolling (demonstrated interest), but overall yield influences the offer rate. Out-of-state residents tend to have a lower yield rate than Virginia residents. You can see yield rates on the statistics website.

Defers and Waiting List 

Deferred students offered admission: 4% (8% last year) 
Waiting list offers: 18% (17% 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 few notes:

1. I can not fulfill requests for more statistics. 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.

2. Admitted students will get a hard copy of their letter in their offer packet. I can't predict when USPS will put that in your mailbox.

3. The Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars program invitations will be visible to Regular Decision applicants in their portals. Echols and Rodman also allow self-nomination after your first semester. Miller Arts Scholars apply after the first semester.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

#UVA Regular Decision Notification Update!

 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
Thursday, March 25, 2021

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 2025. I'm not in that group (it's for students only), but I'll be watching the comments here on the blog and checking in on Instagram, Twitter, and reddit to answer questions. There will be statistics post tomorrow. I will also add a blog entry for discussion of each decision type tomorrow afternoon. 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 will take one uncertainty off the long list of them.



Friday, March 05, 2021

Observations about the #UVA Admission Process this Year

Some students on reddit asked the few admission officers who are in the Applying to College subforum to share some observations from this year. The number of up-votes my reply got made me think I should post some of what I wrote here.

  • More students are reaching out with very basic questions, which could be because many don't have as much access to their school counselors this year.

  • Some people obviously thought that test-optional would make selective admission less selective. This also might be due to less access to school counselors. Colleges were always more concerned with transcripts than test scores (we've always said this). Getting admitted didn't get easier at the selective schools. Applying got easier.

  • Regarding the app increase: We always pulled ridiculous hours during the reading season (November-March), but this year is definitely different. Some people ask why we don't just hire more people to help us read the files. It takes weeks to get new positions approved/posted, weeks to interview candidates, weeks to get them formally hired, and then weeks to train new readers. Diverting staff from reading to conduct a hiring and training process would put us even more behind. We just couldn't add to the team after a surprise increase in applications.

  • Those of us who are working from home do gain time back from not having to get ready for work and commute to an office. Our office also has a tradition of every available staff member greeting the tours as they return to the office. No visitors means more time for file review.

  • Yield season (when we have admitted student events) used to be the reward for all this cloistered work. I always looked forward to it. Moving to a virtual format last year was a novelty. The 50 or so programs we held online were exhausting, but exciting and different.

Now, the prospect of all those events being virtual again is tough. Everyone has spent hours on Zoom this year. This field tends to attract social people who love working with students. Many of us haven't visited a high school since Fall 2019 (I live for school visits and group travel), haven't given an in-person info session in a 11 months, and haven't gone to any industry events since the October 2019 NACAC Conference or our spring/summer 2019 regional events. It's a strange existence.

  • I'm reading more COVID statements than I thought I would. The majority cover things of which we're already aware - virtual classes, cancelled activities, etc. I haven't come across any student who got sick, but I have read about family members getting seriously ill and passing away. Those are obviously heartbreaking.

 

There are my personal thoughts about this application season, not based on any data. As always, I will post statistics about the application process around decision release days. Regular Decision results will be ready by April 1st.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

What should you do if you are deferred at #UVA?

Being deferred is tough. I got deferred from two schools that were on my list back in the day and I still remember that "now what" feeling that followed notification. The wait for a decision already felt long and it suddenly got longer. Back then, schools didn't provide you with much information beyond what was in the view book you got in the mail after taking the SAT. Thankfully, we can give deferred students a link in the decision letter that goes to the Defer FAQs page

 
If you are a senior, you have a lot on your plate. I've read your essays and answered your direct messages on Instagram about feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities, sleep deprivation, and struggles with time management. Try to see that our directions and FAQs are trying to help you manage this process. If we tell you not to worry about doing something (like writing a "Letter of Continued Interest," which is specifically addressed in the FAQs), take it off your to-do list. It's not going to move the needle. Use your energy elsewhere!

I know there are people out there who will cite the student from another year who sent all sorts of extras and got admitted. They may be convinced they were offered admission during Regular Decision because of those extras when the admission officers were really just looking for those mid-year grades. Keep it simple. Let the FAQs be your guide.



Not loving this situation.

Friday, February 05, 2021

Let's Talk about #UVA Early Action: 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.

Some housekeeping: 

  • You can submit an enrollment deposit between now and May 1st. The date that you submit your deposit does not affect housing or registration.
  • Be sure to check our financial aid checklist in SIS to verify that all required documents are submitted to Student Financial services by March 1.
  • We'll be sending an invitation to our virtual open house events in March.
  • If you decide to enroll, be sure to let your counselor know so they can send a final transcript. 
  • The Office of Orientation and New Student Programs will contact enrolled students about orientation registration after the entire class is finalized. 
  • Consider sending a note to the people who helped you through the process. They will probably be very excited to hear your results! 
Congratulations! We are so lucky that you are considering UVA!

Let's Talk about #UVA Early Action: 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 #UVA Early Action: 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.