On the Wait List? Here’s what’s next.

Two weeks ago, we sent out thousands of additional admissions decisions. We share a lot of information about decisions when we say yes. To help the more than 3,500 students who were offered the wait list, I want to share more information about the process and what happens next.

Why do we use a wait list? For UVM, it is a necessary part of the admissions process in order to ensure that we are able to enroll the maximum number of students without over- enrolling and exceeding our capacity in residence halls and classrooms. It also provides a way to add additional students if the response to offers of admission don’t materialize in any given majors.

Who is offered the wait list? We find that students on the wait list are qualified, but whose records are not as strong and competitive as those who are offered admission. We saw promising qualities in the applications of students that were placed on the wait list and we know that these students are often offered admission at other colleges and universities. When we make our offers of admission,  they are made to students who, within our pool of more than 25,000 applications (or 2,200 in Vermont), present the most competitive application. In addition to grade point average and academic record, those students who are competitive often have strong upward grade trends, a challenging curriculum, and an impressive set of extracurricular talents. The most challenging wait list decisions are for those students who are applying to our most competitive majors, such as nursing, athletic training, exercise and movement science, business and engineering this year. Many applicants who were interested in these programs who had solid academic records found themselves being offered the wait list because of space constraints in these programs.

Students are encouraged to accept the wait list in order to keep options open. If students remain interested, in addition to accepting the list, students are highly encouraged to send an email indicating that they remain interested and send any 3rd quarter grades. These additional items should be received by April 15.

In mid-April, we will assess where we are with our class enrollment and will begin formulating a plan for using the wait list. Offers of admission from the wait list have come as early as April 23 in prior years. More common are offers that come closer to May 1 and in some cases during the two weeks after May 1. Offers are doing via telephone and email. When a student is going to be offered an opportunity for admission, we begin with students who have accepted the wait list. We make decisions about who will receive an offer of admission through a combination of those who have expressed interest, the academic program that may still need space, as well as geography (for example, are we running short on Vermonters?)

When an offer is extended, students are asked to make a decision within a short amount of time. If the offer is made prior to May 1, then students still have until May 1 to make a decision. Otherwise, students will typically have 48-72 hours to make a decision if they are interested enough to decision to say yes to UVM. Financial aid is available for students being offered admission from the wait list and our Student Financial Services office will create a financial aid award within 24 hours for students who have a FAFSA on file. Students offered the wait list are required to pay an acceptance fee by May 1 or within two days if the offer comes after May 1.

In any given year, the number of offers from the wait list varies greatly. In recent years, that number has been as small as 50 to as many as 200.

The FAQ that was sent with the wait list letter is valuable information in explaining the next steps. I’ve posted it below:

How do I remain on the Wait List?

The University of Vermont offers wait list status to a number of students we may be able to consider admitting for the fall, if space becomes available after the May 1 acceptance fee deadline. We hope you will choose to join the wait list, although we also encourage you to make alternate plans for the fall. You may join our wait list online at http://www.uvm.edu/admissions/appstatus by selecting ‘Join the Waitlist’ on the application summary page. We request that you accept the offer online no later than April 15. Only students who have accepted the wait list offer will be considered for admission from the wait list.

What number am I on the Wait List?

UVM does not rank wait listed students. Through May 1, we are unable to predict the enrollment rate of admitted students or determine how many students offered wait list status choose to remain active. In addition, UVM must consider the distribution of enrolled students in each academic program. If we are able to offer admission to active wait listed students, each application is reviewed again, using both original credentials and new materials.

 How can I help my chances of admission?

If we are able to admit students from the wait list, candidates will be evaluated based on their overall qualifications and degree of interest in UVM. It is our policy not to schedule personal interviews with students on our wait list. We believe it is more helpful for you to send additional information for your file. Here are the items you may wish to send us before April 15 to enhance your candidacy:

 Recent Grades – Your most recent grades illustrate your academic strength through your senior year; ask your college counseling office to forward them as soon as possible.

Statement of Interest – An email or letter from you indicating your level of interest and your match for UVM helps us further evaluate your interest in attending the university if given the opportunity.

When will I be notified if I’m accepted…or not?

The decision regarding whether we use the wait list is typically made in early to mid-May. Offers of admission to selected wait listed applicants are usually made by June 1, and are made only to those who have accepted a place on the wait list. If you are offered admission to the University of Vermont from our wait list, we will ask for your response within the quick time frame spelled out in this future correspondence. We allow extensions on your decision at that point only if you are waiting for financial aid information. If we are not able to offer you admission from the wait list, we will notify you by email in June.

Can I still visit campus?

You may be visiting colleges in April that have offered you admission in order to evaluate your plans for the fall.

If you feel that it is important to visit UVM at this time, we offer tours of campus most weekdays through April, as well as information sessions and tours on most Saturdays. Note that our spring semester visit programs end on Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

Will financial aid be available if I’m accepted from the Wait List?

You will be eligible for any federal or state financial aid for which you qualify, as well as UVM grant aid.

What if the Wait List is not used this year?

If you are not offered admission to UVM for this fall, we invite you to consider transfer admission. UVM welcomes well-prepared transfer students. You are encouraged to successfully complete the equivalent of two full-time semesters at another college or university and apply as a transfer student for fall 2016. You may also want to explore our Guaranteed Admission Program (GAP) offered through our Office of Continuing and Distance Education. We’d be happy to discuss these options with you.

Who can I contact with more questions?

If you still have questions, please call (802) 656-3370 and ask to speak with an admissions counselor or e-mail admissions@uvm.edu.

#UVMsaidYES to the next group of Catamounts

The release of admissions decisions is always an exciting time. It is exciting for the admissions staff members who have been choosing students who are the best prepared to be at UVM. It is an exciting time for students who have been invited to join the Class of 2019 at UVM. We can’t wait to see who will say yes to that invitation.

We anticipate welcoming a class of more than 2,300 new students. Who are these students who have been offered admission to UVM? First, we have an outstanding group of Vermont students who reign from across the state. These Vermonters come from 113 different secondary schools, including 75 in Vermont. In addition, we have admitted students from across the U.S., 49 states (missing South Dakota this year), Washington D.C. Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, as well as students from sixty-three different nationalities. A fun fact…231 of these admitted students have a perfect SAT Reading score and 164 have a perfect SAT Math score.

Students took to social media to share their excitement. Here are some examples:

What’s next? Students admitted to UVM are encouraged to attend an admitted student visit day if that hasn’t already happened, or plan a campus visit for another day. Financial aid awards will be available at the end of this month. Let us know what questions you might have… is ready to help!

To date, we have nearly 450 of our admitted students who have decided to choose UVM. We hope that you will be next!

Financial aid – what’s next?

This week, we received FAFSA records for more than 12,200 applicants for fall. Congratulations to those who successfully submitted these forms! It is an important first step to learning more about any additional financial support available from UVM.

What happens next? Students who submitted a FAFSA should receive a confirmation letter from our Student Financial Services office. Students can also check on the receipt of the FAFSA at our application status website using the same credentials sent earlier (ID that begins with “95”. On this site is a button like the one below entitled Financial Aid Application Status.

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If a student clicks the button, then the confirmation of the receipt of the FAFSA can be seen in the section at the bottom entitled “Satisfied Requirements”. If any additional information is required, then it will be listed in the “Unsatisfied Requirements”. Please send the requested information to the SFS office as soon as possible. If this sentence says,  “You have no unsatisfied requirements at this time”, then no additional information should be sent as nothing else is needed.

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By the end of March, the final financial aid award will be available on this same website (click the button entitled Financial Aid Award after March 30). The financial aid award will be listed here.

Some families have shared that they have extenuating circumstances that have significantly impacted their financial situation. This information can be sent to the Student Financial Services office to be included with the information on the FAFSA. This kind of information includes loss of job, or change in income that is not reflected on the FAFSA. This information should include the student’s name and their UVM 95 number. Here are three ways that they can be sent:

  • Submit by fax to 802-656-4076
  • Upload and submit online using our document submission form
  • Mail documents to: UVM Student Financial Services, 223 Waterman Bldg., 85 South Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05405

This is the same process if you have been asked to submit additional information that is displayed on the financial aid status website.

We understand that this part of the process can be stressful – waiting for the financial aid award and planning how to weigh cost against value. We feel good about the commitment that UVM has made to scholarship and financial aid support. While not always the least expensive option, UVM is clearly a great value for the kind of educational experience we provide our students.

Our staff is here to help answer questions. In addition, students and parents attending the Feb. 20 and the March 20 Admitted Student Visit Days will have the opportunity to meet with staff from Student Financial Services. We look forward to working with you.

Lots to look forward to in 2015!

Last week, we passed the first-year application deadline for students interested in applying for fall 2015. There were many high school seniors working on applications and sending them to UVM. This weekend, we surpassed the highest number of applications ever submitted to UVM. As of today, we are just shy of 25,000! (contrast that to 10 years ago when the total number of applications received for first-year admission was 13,015 and this was a record then.)

One of the common questions we continue to receive is if it is too late to apply for fall admission. Since we’ve heard from some students that they are working on their applications, we will continue to accept applications this week (week of Jan. 19) and consider them as on time. Beginning the week of January 26, we will consider accepting applications on a case-by-case basis. There is still plenty of time for transfer students to apply for fall admission- the transfer applicant deadline is April 15.

Our staff continues to read applications and make admissions decisions. Our final notification date is Friday, March 13. There also will be a group of admit decisions that ail be released in mid-February. Students who applied under the VIP admissions plan will receive their admissions decision on a rolling basis. Students whose application was deferred will learn the admissions decision in the March 13 decision release.

Last Monday, our spring semester classes began and it was great to welcome students back to campus. Winter in Vermont is an exciting time – in addition to engaging classes (UVM hosted Salman Rushdie last week) and great campus activities (Winterfest is a student favorite), students are cheering on our nationally-ranked men’s hockey team and a men’s basketball team that is currently undefeated in America East play. Our students are also finding time to take a break from studying to enjoy skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and all the other favorite winter activities.

What are our students looking forward to in 2015? Here’s a video highlighting a sampling of a few of our students sharing what’s happening for them in 2015. We look forward to many of our admitted students saying YES and joining us as UVM students in the fall of 2015. There’s lots to look forward to at UVM in 2015!


Ten days left….lots of reading going on!

We can count on one thing happening over weekends in December….there is a lot of application reading going on. While we continue to have a number of applications left to review, we have made decisions on more than 8,500 early applications. In ten days, that number will grow to more than 13,000.

What happens when we review an application? The process begins in our operations area where the parts of the application are virtually compiled – the application form, test scores, the transcript (including the counselor recommendation and school profile), letters of recommendation and any additional information such as resumes or other supporting material. Every student has a record in our student information system and images of the documents can be viewed from that application record. In addition to assembling the information, our operations team confirms the grade point average and class rank if provided.

Once this information is confirmed, then the review process begins. The application review consists of reading all parts of the application. I typically begin with the application itself – I review the background of the student, review the activities, and then read the essay and any additional information shared by the student. Next, I move to the transcript. On the transcript, I read to understand the nature of the school through the school profile, if it is one with which I am not familiar, I read the school counselor recommendation if provided, and then I review the transcript. On the transcript, I am interested in learning if the student has met or exceeded our minimum entrance requirements for the major to which the student is applying, I look at grade trends – what is the pattern of performance in the courses the student is taking. I consider the student’s cumulative grade point average and what that gpa means within their school. The calibre of the courses a student is taking is also a factor, including the strength of the senior year schedule. Has the student challenged him/herself in the context of the courses offered? Has the student completed honors/AP/IB courses if appropriate? To complete the review, I read the letters of recommendation provided which with either confirm what I’ve seen in the application, or they provide a new insight into the student.

In our review process, the most competitive applicants are read by an admissions counselor. Those who are the strongest applicants are then offered admission. Those who are more borderline as well as those who have more difficult circumstances are reviewed several times, and often by our admissions committee before a decision is made. Students who are deferred or denied admission always have multiple reviews.

When making decisions, we work hard to keep the admission criteria between our seven colleges and schools to be similar – and they are. The difference in the decisions are often because of two reasons – first because there are additional course requirements to be completed successfully in high school for some colleges and schools. Also, areas can be more competitive because of demand for the program and/or the size of the incoming class. For example, athletic training is one of our most competitive programs because we admit a very small number to this program since their entering class is 20 (and it is popular with students). Programs in Nursing and Health Sciences, School of Business and Engineering and Mathematical Sciences are the most competitive because of demand.

Our staff continues to read applications this weekend – this afternoon, I will spend time with our Vermont admissions staff beginning the final review of our Vermont applicants. This week, we will be focused on completing decisions for our VIP applicants. The remaining decisions for all of our early applicants will be completed by December 16, the day that all decisions for early action are released. Students and parents are encouraged to check in with our admissions counselors if any questions exist about the admissions process at UVM.

Today will be filled with getting to know more about the students we will be admitting to UVM’s Class of 2019 – I can’t wait to meet them!


It is exciting to see the Twitter feed light up with the excitement of a number of our students who are beginning to hear their admissions decisions. Some of my favorites:




And finally:

What is the timetable for our staff making our decisions? We began our review process in mid-October and the first student was offer admission on October 16, (congratulations to this student from Central Bucks East in PA!) As applications become complete, the review process commences. There is no specific order in which applications are reviewed; as they become complete, then they become available for review. The students who have been invited to apply as a VIP candidate are hearing a decision on a rolling basis. In fact, we’ve already sent out nearly 3,700 offers of admission. Most students will hear a decision on the December 16 notification date.

What does the early applicant pool look like? It’s the largest we’ve seen in the history of UVM! More than 14,000 students had applied by our November 1 application deadline. We also are seeing that the applicant quality is strong; while the admission criteria are similar between the seven UVM colleges/schools, admission to engineering, business and most of the health sciences majors (nursing, athletic training, exercise and movement science) appears that it will be more competitive this year.

When we review an application, what are we looking for? First and foremost, we are looking for a competitive academic record. For us, this means strong performance in the five academic solids (English, math, science, social science and foreign language) each year of high school. The most competitive applicants have demonstrated their readiness for the university curriculum by challenging themselves with a minimum of four (and often more) honors/AP/IB courses. Competitive applicants also earn grades that put them among the top third to the top quarter of their graduating class. We also consider a student’s scores on standardized tests (SAT or ACT). Is the score within our middle 50%? As a reminder, we do super score the SAT and ACT – it is in a student’s best interest to send all occurrences of the test scores directly from the testing agency. Finally, we are interested in how students will contribute in positive ways to the UVM community – we are looking for answers to this through extracurricular activities, the essay and through letters of recommendation.

Students are reminded to check their application status at our application status website. The login credentials to this handy link were emailed to the student at the email address on their application for admission soon after the application arrived in our office. The ID number is one that begins with “95” – a number that will be helpful to a student throughout the admissions and enrollment process at UVM. The PIN is a student’s date of birth. This website is also the place that we will announce the awarding of merit scholarships, need-based financial aid, and any transfer credit a student might earn (blog posts at a later time about these topics).

Is there a deadline for us to receive the supporting credentials? There is no specific deadline; however, the sooner a student sends the credentials, the sooner we will be able to review the competed application and make a decision. When we receive updated information such as test scores, we will include that with a student’s application and the information will be incorporated even if the review process has begun.

How will a student know that s/he is admitted? First we do send a congratulatory email. Secondly, as soon as the decision is live, then it can be viewed on the application status website. Finally, we do send a letter of admission in the mail. I get questions about if a scholarship notification will accompany this letter of admission. It does not; scholarship notifications will be sent by mail at a later time and will also be available on the application status website.

It has been a real pleasure to begin to uncover the talents of those students who have put UVM on their college list and who are hoping to call UVM home for the next four years.


You’ve applied! What happens next?

November 1 is a popular early deadline for colleges and universities across the country. The Common Application recently reported the following, according to a communication from Paul Mott: In the 24 hours from Friday morning to Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m., for instance, 102,785 applications and 425,422 recommendations were submitted. In the week leading up to the first major deadline of the admission year, nearly 500,000 applications and more than 1.75 million recommendations have been successfully submitted. UVM saw significant activity as well, with the largest single-day submission of applications to UVM since we joined the Common Application. We also received a record number of early applications – more than 14,500 as of yesterday. It is a great indication that students and parents recognize the value of a UVM degree and that students want to put UVM on their list of schools they are considering.

Now that the application is in, what happens next? Since our deadline is an application deadline, we will receive the supporting credentials (transcripts, recommendations, and test scores) over the next several weeks. Students should ensure that the request for transcripts and recommendations have been shared with those responsible for sending them. Test scores must come from the testing agency (either College Board or ACT).

When credentials are received in our office, if they come to us electronically (through Naviance or the Common Application, for example), then they are automatically connected with a student’s application, based on the ID that the Common Application assigns the application. Test scores that are received are matched based on the identifying information in the test score file and the application. Students can check what has been received/not received at any time on our application status website. Each part of the application is tracked – application fee, high school transcript, SAT/ACT scores. When it has been received and checked, it will appear as begin received.

When a transcript is received, it goes through a checking process by our processing staff to ensure that the transcript is legible and contains the information we need to begin review. Once that transcript is “checked”, then it will appear as being received on the check list described above. Right now, it is taking us about seven business days to check the transcript and add it to the checklist as being received. This means that a transcript that was received on November 3 should appear as being received by the following Tuesday or Wednesday. Once we get through this large influx, that timeframe will be reduced. Transcripts that have been mailed to us will be opened, scanned, and then must be manually connected to the student’s application. As a result, it will take longer for the transcript received in the mail to show as being received.

Students will see that letters of recommendation are not tracked on this website and often ask why. Because UVM requires only one recommendation in our admissions process, that recommendation can come in many forms…it could be a school or college counselor rec, or it could be a teacher recommendation. Since the letter from the school counselor is often embedded with the transcript, we decided not to put another check point in the process that had to be recorded on the application status checklist and that could slow down beginning the review process. Rarely are letters of recommendation missing so if there is any reason that it is, our staff will do that follow up, therefore, no need to contact us about the receipt of those recommendations (but we always are happy to answer questions about their receipt!)

Once all the pieces are received, then the review process begins and the application status will show as complete. On our website, we have some commonly-asked questions about what happens after the application is received that should also be helpful.

Advice in this process…..

– Because of the large influx of transcripts and recommendations that come all at once after the deadline, it does take us a bit longer to show a transcript as being received. Don’t panic if the transcript doesn’t show as being received right now! Check back in a week – even if a transcript is received several weeks after the deadline, we will be able to process it and review the application in time for the mid-December release.

– We will send an email reminder toward the end of November to students whose applications remain incomplete.

– If the school indicated that they sent the information, they have.  Rarely do we “loose” a transcript. And we will bend over backwards to ensure that students are not penalized if credentials have to be resent.

– Test scores have to be requested by the student. Send all occurrences so that we can be sure to have the highest. When score reports are received and loaded (which we do several times a week this time of year), they will show as received immediately. I also encourage students to send scores regular delivery – no need to spend the additional money to rush scores.

Our staff is here to help! We are happy to answer your questions by phone, by email or by social media – @uvmadmissions on Twitter or on our Facebook page University of Vermont Admissions. Thank you for sending your application to UVM! We look forward to reading season!