Thanksgiving weekend used to be the time when students completed applications. For about half of our applicant pool, that is still true. We anticipate receiving another 10,000 applications between now and the regular decision deadline of January 15. Now, Thanksgiving weekend is a time of waiting for answers back from the colleges and universities to which you have applied. For students who have chosen to apply early action to UVM, I want to share with you how the process will work between now and our EA notification in December.
Complete applications are undergoing a thorough review. Our team of 29 readers focuses our time reading applications, analyzing transcripts, and making admissions decisions. In that review, we look carefully at a student’s performance throughout high school, paying particular attention to the rigor in the curriculum, grade trends over the past 3 years, and individual grades in the five core academic courses. We develop a fuller picture of an applicant through standardized test scores, the essay, extracurricular activities, and recommendations. We look for students who will be contributing members of our community, both academically and socially. We review applications first by UVM college/school (i.e. students applying to the College of Arts and Science are reviewed by the same team of readers.) We also review students within the context of their high school.
For applications that are complete in December, we will post early action admissions decisions at 5 p.m. EST on December 14. Decision letters will follow before the winter break. We have begun to notify a portion of our applicant pool of their admission decision. These students were invited to apply because of some pre-screened academic credentials or because of early interest in UVM. Those decisions are made daily and we anticipate making those admissions decisions for complete applicants before the December 14 early action release. (This invitation was for selected out-of-state applicants; out of fairness to our Vermont students, we release all EA decisions at the same time!)
I hope this brief description of our review process is helpful to understand what goes on behind the scenes. Our staff will spend a great deal of time together over the next few weeks as we discuss applicants in committee, as we share stories about great students we’ve just reviewed, as we cry or laugh over outstanding essays. While it is very time consuming, application review is one of the most rewarding parts of our job because we get to know amazing individuals who have made an impact in their schools, on teachers, and in their communities.
Thanksgiving for me is about reading applications. I am thankful for students and parents who have found their homes at UVM. I am thankful for the educators who have helped mentor and nurture students to make it possible for them to consider great schools. I am thankful for the shouts of joy when a student sees that they have been admitted to the University of Vermont.
I’ll be enjoying some pumpkin pie as I read your application this weekend.