It’s time to visit the University of Vermont

I chuckle when I see the gif of flamingos walking in a group, representing what high school students look like when taking a campus tour. It’s made its rounds on social media during times when lots of students are visiting campuses.

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In reality, I find students visiting our campus to be very engaged – while looking around and taking in all the activity, they are asking lots of questions to our student guides.

What does make a good campus visit? Here are a few bits of advice to make the most of a visit:

  • Make a reservation if the school accepts them. Most schools have online reservation options. We can plan the best visit for you (and make sure that there is a seat) when we know who is coming.
  • Try not to wait until the last minute to reserve a spot. This advice is particularly true during the busy visit seasons like October.
  • Spend some time on the visit website to learn about different visit options to see what fits best for you. Not every school offers interviews; not every interview is used in the admission review process.
  • If you are ready for a more in-depth visit, look for option that include some sort of academic experience.
  • Develop a system for organizing information – date/times of visits, notes about each visit.
  • Take pictures during the visit to help you remember various aspects of the school. Jot down impressions and notes during travel time between schools.
  • Think about questions you really want to know. Try to ask questions that you can’t find the answers to on the website or in the view book.
  • Talk with students besides the tour guide. We love our guides and think they are awesome. But you want a few students’ experiences.
  • Eat on campus.
  • Visit the bookstore.

The College Board also offers a comprehensive list of tips for campus visits found here. When you search the internet for “tips for a great campus tour”, you’ll see hundreds of entries that can assist you. There is no shortage of information and opinions!

What are some visit options this fall at UVM? We just mailed a visit brochure highlighting many of these options. They can also be found here on our visit website. For a great 1st introduction, try a group information session and tour. This option includes an admissions presentation, a student panel and a student-led tour. ย Students attending the Vermont in Person Day will benefit of all that is offered during a group information session and tour, plus sit in on a mock class and visit one of our colleges/schools. For a larger experience with options to talk with faculty representatives and staff or students from various student services, you should consider attending one of our two fall open houses. We also offer an overnight program for students of color, first-generation or students who identify as LGBTQ that takes place in October and November, called Discovering UVM. This program has an application as part of the process, so students interested in this program should complete the application soon. Note that the October open house fills quickly, as do hotels during the fall foliage season.

The University of Vermont has been recognized as one of the most beautiful college campuses, located in one of the best college towns in the U.S. I hope you’ll come see for yourself. Make your reservation today!

 

 

 

 

Working on your Common Application? Here are some tips!

Seniors across the country are working on their applications. I was traveling in several cities last week, talking with students and parents about the application process. Students talked about working on their applications – writing their essay, listing their activities, thinking about who will serve as references. In fact, more than 5,000 students have started their UVM application for next year – all in the past three weeks! There is still a lot of time to complete an application, but it’s a good time to start now on the different parts.

The Common Application shared some great information for applicants last month: Five Things Applicants Need to Know About the 2016-2017 Common App. Central to this message is to be sure applicants roll over their accounts, if they built them prior to August 1. The message about proofing your application is a really good one..often when students work on something for a long time, it is hard to be proof-reader too. Ask someone to help you out by reading over your application. Finally, be sure to allow your recommenders plenty of time to write a letter for you. Counselors and teachers are busy and are writing for multiple students. Ask them at least a month before the application deadline so that they have time to write a strong recommendation.

Are there unique things about the UVM Common Application? Not really. Our member page is short and no additional essay or short answer. Students are strongly encouraged to choose two possible majors (unless you are undecided, then you can choose undecided in the College of Arts and Sciences). Our member page is also the place that our Vermont applicants can choose the application fee waiver for in-state early action (Vermont residents who apply Early Action pay no application fee).

Our staff is ready to assist with any questions. Feel free to reach out to your territory manager found here. Good luck with your application! We can’t wait to receive yours.

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!