Despite many efforts to promote it, it remains a lesser-known fact that Virginia community college students who complete a specified curriculum with acceptable grades are guaranteed admission into the University of Virginia.
Today’s Washington Post has an article by Dan DeVise that details how many students are taking advantage of the community-college transfer option. Also, the DeVise follows up today with a College Inc. post on the same topic, focused specifically on U.Va. and including a Q&A with President John T. Casteen III, a passionate advocate for the community college system.
Dean J., the fabulous blogger over at Notes from Peabody, the official blog of the Office of Admission, has announced the essay questions on U.Va.’s admissions application for rising high school seniors. These are in addition to the question on the Common Application.
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 you selected above. Limit your answer to a half page or roughly 250 words.
- College of Arts & Sciences: What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised, unsettled, or challenged you, and in what way?
- Engineering: If you were given a $10,000 budget and the opportunity to build a small team of talented, motivated individuals, what would you propose to accomplish?
- Architecture: Discuss an experience that led you to apply to the School of Architecture.
- Nursing: Discuss experiences that led you to choose the School of Nursing.
2. Answer one of the following questions in a half page or roughly 250 words:
- What is your favorite word and why?
- Describe the world you come from and how that world shaped who you are.
- Discuss your favorite place to get lost. (This question was written by U.Va. students who live in one of residential colleges, Brown College at Monroe Hill.)
- In The Dumbest Generation, Mark Bauerlein asserts that social media and youth culture undercut the skills necessary to be a global citizen when he writes: “We need a steady stream of rising men and women to replenish the institutions, to become strong military leaders and wise political leaders, dedicated journalists and demanding teachers, judges and muckrakers, scholars and critics and artists. We have the best schools to train them, but social and private environments have eroded.” Do you agree with his assessment or not?
How does U.Va. reach prospective international students? There are any number of ways: alumni relations, faculty and administration outreach.
But international students at the University have come up with what they think is a surefire way to entice new students to come to Grounds. “We train international students how to conduct presentations back in their home countries, where they visit their high schools,” says Veni Dhir, who is a member of the Global Student Council.
“We get current students to share their U.Va. experience with their peers while at the same time making the local community aware of a great school in the states,” says Dhir.
Training sessions are taking place today from 7-8 in room 130 of Minor Hall and Wednesday from 7-8 in Newcomb’s Commonwealth Room.
Check out their new admissions video!
The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council have teamed up to produce “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges,” which includes U.Va. Here’s a link to the press release and one to the guide itself.
The schools are not ranked, just listed. The guide cites U.Va.’s commitment to LEED-certified building projects, water- and energy-saving efforts and ‘green dining’ initiatives, among several pro-sustainability efforts.
Earth Day is April 22. The deadline for high school seniors to make their college choice is May 1.
Here’s something that links the two: WiseChoice, an online company that seeks to advise students about how to choose the best college for them, has named U.Va. one of the top 10 schools in the country for students seeking “green-collar” careers. The press release announcing the list notes that “Students majoring in Urban & Environmental Planning focus on the environmental impact of community development, to prepare for public, private and non-profit sector professions.”
The other top 10 schools: University of Kentucky, Arizona State University, University of Florida, University of California-Berkeley, Middlebury (Vt.) College, Aquinas (Mich.) College, Oregon Institute of Technology, Defiance (Ohio) College and Washington State University.
First-year graduate landscape architecture students Joey Hays, Alexa Bush, Jen Lynch and Seth Porcello decided to welcome their future peers during Friday’s Architecture School Spring Open House for Admitted Graduate Students with a rather unique piece of art. The pink things are little plastic piggy-bank busts of Thomas Jefferson; the sod recalls the Lawn; and do not worry — it’s fog, not smoke.
Eric Hoover of the Chronicle of Higher Education has a great blog post about how the U.Va. Office of Admission handles all of the disappointment from those where were denied admission — and in one case, of those who were accepted:
Once, Ms. Ward got a call from an applicant who was upset because she had been admitted. She had planned to attend a less-selective college with her boyfriend, but she knew her parents would not let her turn down an offer from UVa. The student, who hidden the letter, asked Ms. Ward if the admissions office could send a rejection letter instead. The answer was no.
Just got back from the Office of Admission, where I chatted with the dean about this year’s process in the wake of Friday’s online unveiling of the admissions decisions.
Just waiting in the reception area, you could see that there were a lot of phone calls coming in — from those who were rejected, admitted, wait-listed, and from juniors coming in for a visit over their spring breaks.
I’ll have some more detail later in a piece for UVA Today, but basically, this appeared to be a hard year to get in. There were 22,520 applications for about 3,240 spots in the incoming class. They made admission offers to 6,907 students (just under 31 percent of applicants), and wait-listed another 3,700 (of whom about 1,700 have elected to remain on the list). The average SAT score went up about 10 points, and the percentage of students in the top decile of their graduation classes rose to 93.8 from 91.1 last year.
Still, there were a lot of fabulous students who got bad news. Dean J is doing a great job on her “Notes from Peabody” blog, with long lists of comments after separate posts for accepted, wait-listed and rejected students. There was also a post beforehand laying out the cold, hard numbers.
There were some really great comments from students who did not get it. Here’s one:
I was rejected. It was hard reading that statement on SIS, but I just want to say thank you to Dean J (and CavDog!) for this blog. It has made the admissions process more fun and less stressful. Thank you for your comforting words. I knew getting in from out of state would be hard but it still hurts some. Thanks to Dean J and to CavDog for lessening the “blow” as it is. Good luck to everyone still waiting on other decisions!
Given rising tuition and flat salaries, it can be hard for U.Va. faculty and staff members to figure out how to send their kids to the school where they work.
There is help available, however, in the form of the Faculty and Staff Scholarships, available for sons and daughters of U.Va. faculty and staff — either currently enrolled or incoming — who will be attending U.Va. in the 2010-11 academic year. Preference will be given to those with financial need.
The deadline is March 31. To apply, download the application here. You must also have completed the dreaded FAFSA form and the University’s own aid application.
Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a pretty anxious time for applicants, as they await the University’s admissions decisions.
The first college ranking of 2010 is already upon us, and U.Va. has retained its No. 3 ranking in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance “Best Value” list of public colleges and universities. The financial magazine cited U.Va.’s financial aid program — known as AccessUVA — for keeping costs affordable in a time of rising tuition.
Overall, Virginia schools fared very well in the rankings, taking six of the 100 spots. In addition to U.Va., William & Mary ranked fourth, Virginia Tech 16th, James Madison 21st, Mary Washington 38th and George Mason 64th.
Nos. 1 and 2 were UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Florida, respectively.
Retiring U.Va. President John T. Casteen III will return to his home region Friday to serve as the commencement speaker for Tidewater Community College.
During Casteen’s tenure, he helped broker a 2006 agreement in which the University guaranteed admission to graduates of the state’s 23 community colleges who meet certain academic requirements.
In May 2007, Audrey Catalfamo of Virginia Beach, Va., became the first student to graduate with a University of Virginia diploma through a groundbreaking partnership program between Tidewater Community College and U.Va. that allows TCC students and recent alumni to earn a U.Va. Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree while taking classes on TCC campuses.
So the story is that Genna Matthew was a senior at St. Anne’s-Belfield in Charlottesville when she applied to U.Va. A singer-songwriter, Matthew sent a CD of her work with her application.
When she was placed on the waiting list, she recorded another track and sent it in. Called “Wait List,” the song was apparently well-received; she ended up getting in, and is now a first-year student. (Here’s a link to her MySpace page.
That brings us to tonight, when she will have a release party for her new CD, “Don’t Let the Sun,” at the Southern (formerly the Gravity Lounge), beginning at 8. Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood.
Here’s a video from a tune that she posted on Vimeo:
Late last week we read a lot about the U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings.
Over the weekend, a reader alerted us to a ranking we like a little bit better.
The Google College Rankings are apparently based upon how often people visit college and university Web sites, and how many people link back to them. Lo and behold, we’re No. 2 — not just among public universities, but among ALL universities (trailing only some school up in Massachusetts somewhere. Harvard, I think they call it.) Or at least we were as of May 1, when the article was written.