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!

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.

Early Action Admission Statistics for #UVA

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

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. 

Early Action Applications

Total number of Early Action applications: 28,897 (25,160 last year)
Total number of VA apps: 7,849
Total number of OOS apps: 21,048
We use completed applications in our statistics.

Early Action Offers

Overall offers: 6,186
Total VA offers:
  2,380 (30% offer rate)
Total OOS offers:  3,806 (18% offer rate)
Enrollment Goal: ~3,750
It's misleading to average these offer rates together because residency is a major factor in our review. If you are going to share these numbers, cite BOTH offer rates. 

Early Action Defers

Overall defers: 7,185 (25%)
Total VA defers: 2,098
Total OOS defers: 5,087
Read more about deferral here (this link is in all defer letters).

I can also share that our total application number is around 48,000 right now. Remember, we use completed applications in our stats, so the total may go down by the end of the Regular Decision process.

A couple notes:

1. I do not have additional statistics. I know people want to see how many students were admitted without testing. I was not given that number. 
2. If you are deferred, you must submit the defer form in your portal if you'd like to be considered in RD and follow the directions on the defer student page about what you may add to your file.

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

4. If you are invited into Echols, Rodman, and College Science Scholars, you will see a short welcome message in the portal after you view your decision letter. Each program will follow up with an email on Monday. Echols and Rodman also allow self-nomination after your first semester. Miller Arts Scholars only apply after the first semester.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

#UVA Early Action Notification Update!

The stated times for decision 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 Action ahead of schedule and will post results to student portals tomorrow evening.

Early Action notification will be the evening of 
Friday, February 5, 2021! 

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 Action process in the coming days. As always, I'm happy to answer your questions in the comments.

BTW, the Class of 2025 Facebook group is here if you want to chat with others students. There are a few current UVA students in there to help out, too.

This is a portal of sorts, right?

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

We have to talk about GPAs again

For longtime readers of the blog, this post is going to be pretty familiar. If you tune in for my q&a sessions every Thursday on Instagram, you will probably be able to hear my voice as you read this. 

We have to talk about GPAs, but I want to point out two companion posts that might help you understand how we get an understanding of an applicant's academic preparation.

Course Rigor is Not a Number 

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

Now, let's talk about those GPAs.

1. GPAs are not standardized.

In Virginia and many other states, grading scales and GPA methodologies are determined by individual schools and districts. This allows school officials to consider what system works best for their specific population. People often ask admission officers what they think of various grading scales, but I really don't have an opinion on that front. As long as I get a school profile that explains how things work at your high school, I'm happy.

There are some states where grading and GPA calculations are standardized. If you're in South Carolina or Tennessee, for example, and this first point seems odd, it's because your state has a uniform grading policy. 

2. GPAs don't show trends.

Trends are important in the admission process. Most people know that admission officers want to see strong coursework and good grades on transcripts. That doesn't mean we are only admitting students consistent records. Lots of students have rough patches during high school. If a student has a stumble or a slow start, grade-wise, we want to see a rebound or an upward trend. The transcript will tell us that story. The GPA can't.

3. GPAs don't give us the details we need.

We obviously want to see students who are taking advanced coursework when it is offered at their high school. Students are preparing for a big step up to college work and we want to make sure they have a solid foundation from which to make that jump. What's more, we want to see that foundation across your core subjects (here's another gentle suggestion to read the "Course Rigor is not a Number" post if you haven't yet). 

We need to see the full transcript to understand your academic preparation. A GPA just can't convey that information. 

4. This is Virginia.

If you aren't from Virginia, you might not know that we have a lot of government and military workers in our state. We also have a lot of families from other countries here. As a result, there are lots of students in Virginia who have multiple high schools on their transcripts because their families have moved around. A school transfer usually has a significant impact on a GPA. It just doesn't make sense for us to use the GPA to assess a student's academic progress when we have coursework and grades on the transcript. 

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

That's a chair at a dog-friendly hotel in Northern Virginia...dogwood is our state flower and cardinals are the state bird!