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

There are 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 every year!

References to emailing updates to your application are from the years when we didn't have the current applicant portal. Please follow the instructions in your portal to submit all updates.

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.