Welcome to the Class of 2020!

In the past week, we’ve had many conversations with and visits from students and parents as they have made their decision to join the Class of 2020. Consistently, our newest members have reflected that they have opted for UVM because of academic excellence, the accessible and talented faculty, access to research, internships, and study abroad, advising and support for students to explore jobs and graduate school options, and the welcoming and friendly community they found. And the bonus is Burlington – one of the best college towns in the country and a gem for students searching for internships, part-time jobs, culture and entertainment. Few schools in the country have all this! Our students demonstrate success – in job placement, graduate school placement, retention and graduation.

Our newest members of the Class of 2020 (and proud parents) have taken to social media to announce their commitment to UVM:

Over the next two days, more students will decide to join the Class of 2020. In the coming weeks, information will be sent to students, describing the next steps to enrollment. In the meantime, be sure to check out the new student checklist. New students should be sure to activate their UVM NetID and sign up for orientation.

In May, we’ll share information about the next steps. In the meantime, congratulations to our Class of 2020! You are truly spectacular!

 

Investing in our Class of 2020

About ten days ago, our Student Financial Services office posted the financial aid awards for our admitted students who sent us a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Hurray! Providing funding to make it possible for many students with different stories and circumstances to attend UVM is a real benefit for our students.

Here is some important information about these awards and advice as students make their decisions:

  1. In case you haven’t checked for a financial aid award, it can be found at the application status website here. Click on the “Financial Aid Award” button. Awards are available for students that sent us a FAFSA.
  2. Financial aid awards are final unless the award is considered tentative (meaning that additional information is still needed to finalize the award). The sentence at the top of the financial aid award will indicate tentative if additional information is needed.
  3. There are typical categories of the financial aid award (provided you quality):
    1. Scholarship from UVM – any merit scholarship that was awarded is listed here
    2. Need based grants such as Pell Grant or SEOG – students with the greatest need, as defined by the FAFSA, may qualify for these grants
    3. Work study – students who quality for this award will have up to $1,600 allowed in earnings. This aid must be earned (paid in wages from a job on campus).
    4. Student loan – UVM is required to offer this loan to all students who qualify. It is up to the student if they choose to take any or all of the loan (or any amount). As a reminder, a subsidized loan has its interest paid by the U.S. Department of Education while a student is in school; for an unsubsidized loan, the student is responsible for all the interest on the loan.
    5. UVM Award – this is need-based grant from UVM (if awarded, it is in addition to any scholarship awarded). It can be renewed each year, provided the student’s financial circumstances are unchanged, and the student files a FAFSA (and is in good academic standing)
  4. We also take the approach that we provide the best financial aid award available – unless circumstances have changed or there are special situations that were not included, then we do offer students the best award. This is important fact to state since schools have different approaches.
  5. One of the most challenging things for families is comparing costs and financial aid. My recommendation is to start with the billed costs (tuition, fees, room and board – be sure you are looking at the tuition costs for 2016-2017) and subtract the financial aid (don’t include work study). I often have conversations with families who see a larger financial aid award, but aren’t taking into account the differential in cost (or they compare full cost of attendance against billed costs).

The good news is that this investment is for four years – students have a gpa requirement to meet for renewal of any scholarship; the need-based financial aid is renewed, provided a student files a FAFSA annually and financial circumstances remain the same.

What if you have questions about the award? Our staff in student financial services are happy to talk with you about questions. The SFS website also has answers to a lot of common questions that can be searched. The staff can be reached at 802-656-5700. Their office hours are listed here.

Our admitted students are choosing UVM! Comments, like the one below, represent what we are hearing from a number of our admitted students:

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We hope that YOU will say yes to UVM!

You’ve learned your decision – what does it mean?

March 11 was an exciting day for us – we completed the review of all the applications in our applicant pool. More than 22,000 students applied for admission this fall, and we are very excited about the students we selected to be part of the Class of 2020. We also know that we could not say yes to all students who wanted to enroll at UVM in the fall…I hope the information about each of the decisions below will help guide students through the rest of the process.

Admit – Yay! We selected a fabulous group of students to join the Class of 2020. The first-year class is targeted to be roughly 2,300 students. From nearly every state and with interests spread across 100 majors, the students admitted will join the UVM community in the fall. What’s next for you? Notifications about scholarships and scholarships were sent last week and are available online at our application status portal. We still have six admitted student visit days remaining, as well as other visit options. Students have until May 1 to make a decision (confirmed by paying the $495 acceptance fee). We selected this group of students who presented the most competitive applications and create the community we are looking for at UVM….and we want you to SAY YES!

Wait List –ย Wait list is probably the most challenging decision we need to make in the admissions process. As an applicant, you want an answer. But wait list is a maybe answer.

Why do we need a wait list? Because the university’s priority is to ensure we have a full class and full residence halls – but we can’t have too many! Imagine what it would be like if we oversubscribed and we didn’t have enough residence hall rooms for students. Airlines can place you on the next flight – the next flight at a university leaves four months later (meaning the next semester). So we use wait lists to fill any short falls in particular academic programs or residence halls. Our models and predictions are very good, but they are never perfect.

We encourage students who continue to be interested in UVM to accept the wait list (you can go online at the application status portal to accept a place on the wait list). In late April, we will begin to review our confirmations from admitted students, and make a decision about if we need to offer admission to our wait list students. Those decisions come any time from late-April to mid-May. How many students do we choose from the wait list? It has varied in recent years – in some years, we have selected several hundred…last year, we did not use the wait list because we full but we offered spring semester admission to selected students from the wait list.

Deny – It is always a difficult decision to say no to an applicant. When we do, we do so with the caveat that there are several paths to earning a UVM degree in the future. We ask students who want to attend UVM in the future to strengthen their academic record and apply as a transfer student. Transfer students who have completed a year of academic work (typically 25-30 credit hours) and have earned at least a 2.8 gpa or higher should reapply as a transfer student for fall 2017.

Our staff is available to answer questions about what’s next, about admissions decisions. Please be in touch with our office as you take your next step.

You are invited to our Admitted Student Visit Day

This month, we began hosting admitted students and their families on campus during our admitted student visit days. These programs are a highlight of the spring for the UVM campus because it is a time when we can welcome our admitted students to campus and help them to get to know UVM in an up-close and personal way.

What happens at an ASV? So much! It is a combination of structured program and then sessions from which you can choose.

Why does the program begin at the Sheraton Conference Center? Parking. Itโ€™s that simple. Youโ€™ll gather at the Sheraton and weโ€™ll transport you to campus for the opening session. Plan to arrive at the Sheraton by 7:45 am (earlier if you want to be among the first to arrive on campus).

The day kicks off with the opening session. Youโ€™ll hear from me, from students and from our university leadership. Weโ€™ll review the schedule and send you on your way. The morning is spent with the academic unit to which you are admitted. Once that session concludes, the rest of the day is filled with optional sessions, with an opportunity to tour our residence halls, to eat lunch in a dining hall and to learn about academic departments, study abroad, living on campus, and the Career Center. You’ll have the opportunity to meet with a financial aid counselor. You can talk with staff in the Academic Success Program office.

Even if you visited the campus previously, we encourage you to visit again during one of these programs. The schedule is designed to give you an up close and personal view of campus. There are parts that are unstructured which allows you to craft your own day.

While our program for this Friday is at capacity, we are still taking reservations for the March 25 program, and for all the programs in April. Don’t forget to make a hotel reservation – the hotels around campus tend to fill during these programs.

We’re expecting a great group of students and parents on Friday. I hope to see you at one of our upcoming programs.

#UVMsaidYes – what’s next?

Last Wednesday was a great day at UVM! We had the honor of inviting a wonderful group of high school students from across the U.S. and the world to join UVM’s Class of 2020. From 41 states, Washington, D.C, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and more than a dozen countries world-wide, our early action students are some of the best. They are well-prepared to tackle the rigor and inquiry at UVM, but they also are individuals who have already made an impact in their own communities. They love the outdoors, play sports, are Eagle Scouts, researchers, snowboarders, and class presidents. Together, they will become the university’s first-year class. Can’t way to see who says yes!

The highlight of my Wednesday evening was to watch the reactions on social media as students found out the decision. You can see them all by searching #UVMsaidYes. But here are a few:

And in summary:

So after all the excitement, what happens next? Just yesterday, we posted merit scholarships for our early action applicants. They can be found on the application status website. Letters are going in the mail next week.

We also receive a number of questions about invitations to the Honors College at this time of year. The first group of invitations will be extended during the week of January 11. The review will continue through the middle of March.

January 1 is the time to begin working on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The priority deadline is February 10. If exact 2015 information for taxes is not completed by that date, it is important to still submit the FAFSA with estimated information and then update it when it is available.

It’s also time to schedule an visit during an Admitted Student Visit Day. What happens during these days? The campus opens its doors for students and parents to learn more about the academic area to which a student is admitted, tour a residence hall, learn more about study abroad or the Career Center. Even if you have visited previously, this is a can’t miss day. Reservations should be made and can be done online.

In late January, we begin a series of 13 admitted student receptions, hosted by UVM alumni, around the country. The locations and dates can be found here. Reservations can be made online. I hope to see you at one of these programs this winter.

Finally, it’s a great time to explore all the great academic offerings in the college/school to which you are admitted.Your letter of admission as well as the Admissions Application Status on the website will confirm the college/school as well as the major to which you were admitted. Where do I start? First, explore offerings on the college/school websites. Links to their sites can be found on our academic homepage. Next, I suggest reviewing the catalogue. This online document has curriculum plans for each major and a description of each of the courses offered. Course registration happens in June during orientation but exploring offerings now will help you in making decisions about majors and programs.

Lots of good information can be found on our admitted student website. Be sure to check it out. Join the Class of 2020 Facebook group. An invitation was sent to each admitted student with a link to join the group.

Our staff is here to help! Be in touch with any questions. In the meantime, congratulations on admission to UVM’s Class of 2020!

UVM students in the news…it’s really good!

Yesterday marked the 1st day of exams for UVM students. It seems like last week we were welcoming the Class of 2019 and all the students back to campus for another school year. ย This semester, UVM students continued to exemplify what makes them so special and why their experience at UVM is so exceptional. Our students are curious, independent thinkers who want to make a difference in their world. They take full advantage of all that UVM, Burlington and Vermont have to offer.

Here are a few headlines that highlight ways our students are making a impact this semester:

COMPUTER SCIENCE STUDENTS SHOWCASE APPS AND INNOVATION AT ANNUAL FAIR

Meet UVMโ€™s COP21 Team

Vermont Soldier Is 1st Woman to Graduate as Combat Engineer

Animal Science Students Connect Vermont to the World through Public Science Exhibit

Nursing Students, Senior Citizens Learn From Each Other

Road to Ruins

Catamounts Capture 2015 America East Men’s Soccer Title

And you can follow a day in the life of UVM students, to see how making a difference and building community is something we do everyday.

A Day in the Life of UVM: Oct. 20, 2015

UVM has always been known as a place that embraces academic excellence and excels at research and new discovery. But what sets our students apart is the fact that UVM is about making a difference for people too – to help make lives better, communities better, the world in which we live better. Just read some stories about our UVM alumni – Catamount Nation. These are just a few examples of how four years at UVM have set our graduates on a lifetime course of making change. Once again, Vermont was named the top Peace Corp producing state per capita – another example of how this is in the DNA of place.

The headlines above show ways our students are engaged in noteworthy ways. But everyday, UVM students are making a difference in the lives of others. As we extend our invitations to join the Class of 2020 this week, we are excited about the students who will choose to come to UVM and add to this amazing community.

We can’t wait to say yes!

Are you an Early Action applicant? What’s next?

UVM has received nearly 12,000 applications for early action! ย In less than three weeks, we will release our decisions for this group. While our staff is focused on processing these applications and making decisions, I want to share all the information you’ll need in order to be ready for us to review your application:

  • Check your application status page regularly. We have an online application portal – no, it’s not fancy, but it does provide you with helpful information. You can log into the portal here using the credentials we sent after you applied (the login ID is a number that starts with 95 and the PIN is your birthdate in this format: MMDDYY.) When you log in, click on Admission Application Status and you will see a page that looks like this (with your name and address at the top):

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On this page, you will want to note your application status (complete, incomplete), residency (to confirm this is your correct understanding), the college/school and major to which you are applying, and if you have fulfilled the requirements to complete your application (if your application status is complete, then the items will all be listed as received). If your application status is still incomplete, then you will see which item(s) are missing.

  • If your application remains incomplete, there is still time to get the missing credentials to us before the Dec. 16 release date. If your transcript is missing, please be in touch with your school counseling office to send it to us. It can be sent electronically via the Common Application or Naviance, or through the mail. We are not able to accept faxed or emailed copies of a transcript. If your ACT or SAT scores are missing, we are aware that there continued to be some delays in those scores arriving. We continue to receive test scores from the testing agency (they have to be submitted this way in order to be official) several times a week, so missing scores will be added to the application as soon as they are received.
  • If your application is complete, please remember to send us your 1st quarter/trimester senior year grades. These help us in our early action decision making. These grade reports can come either through Naviance/Common Application, or they can be emailed or faxed to us (unlike full transcripts). Receiving these grades this week will allow us to include them in our decision making.

What happens to our applications once they become complete? They are checked for accuracy in grade point average/other academic information and then are sent to our team of readers to begin review. In the review process, we carefully review your academic record – grade point average, grades in the context of the school, rigor of courses taken, grade trends. We review letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, awards and honors, and citizenship/disciplinary record. We read the essay both for grammar/spelling as well as content. In this review process for early action, one of three actions will be taken – an application will be admitted, an application will be deferred (meaning the application remains under consideration but we will review it in the context of the larger pool), or an application will be denied, meaning that even with further consideration, the application is not competitive for first-year admission. Decisions for early action that were not sent on Nov. 11 will be available on December 16, beginning at 5 pm ET at the same portal described above. The decision (admit, defer, deny) will be listed on the Admission Application Status page.

Additional information to support the application can be sent in at any time during this process. Students/parents are encouraged to contact their admissions counselor (see the geographic listing here) or contact our admissions office at admissions@uvm.edu or by phone at 802-656-3370.

We look forward to reviewing your application!