Early Action application deadline extended

Due to the potential impact of Hurricane Sandy on much of the northeastern U.S., we are extending the November 1 application deadline to November 5. Any application received electronically by November 5 at midnight (EST) or postmarked November 5 will be considered as meeting the deadline. This change applies both to students applying early action as first-year students for fall as well as students who are applying for spring 2013 entry (first-year and transfer students.)

Who typically applies early action? We find several groups of students who choose to file an early application. First and not surprisingly, students with a strong interest in UVM apply early action. An early application is a way to act on that interest and receive an answer prior to winter break. Secondly, students whose application can stand on three years of high school and on test scores through October typically apply early. In these cases, students have a consistently strong record through junior year and are satisfied with their SAT or ACT scores from testing prior to November. Finally, students choose to apply early action because they want to understand how competitive they are in the application pool early enough to decide if they need to make other applications during December and January. Early action at UVM is non-binding meaning that if admitted, students are free to choose among schools and have until May 1 to make that decision.

As we approach the November 5 deadline, here are a few tips:

–       remember to submit all three parts of the application…the application itself, the payment (remember the application fee is waived for early action applicants) and the supplement. Often students will think they have submitted the application but forget to click submit. We won’t receive it from Common Application until all three sections are submitted.

–       Allow time to review the essay and short answers one last time.

–       Follow up after submitting the application with the school to ensure that transcripts and the letter of recommendation are sent. Forward SAT or ACT test results from the testing agency. While they don’t need to arrive by the Nov. 5 deadline, they should arrive soon after.

–       Relax! We treat applications with real care and we say yes more often than was say no!

In our admissions office, we get excited to watch the momentum build as we approach an application deadline. This is true right now as we await our November 5 early action application deadline.  These applications represent students who are both excited and nervous about taking this next step in their educational journey. I often equate the days before an application deadline to watching election returns. In the world of electronic applications, we can get minute-by-minute application updates. You know what I’ll be doing next Monday!

Early Action Application Fee Waived

Earlier this month, UVM announced that we will waive the $55 application fee for any first year student who chooses to apply for fall 2013 enrollment as an early action candidate.

Since his arrival on campus, President Tom Sullivan has shared his commitment to addressing affordability for our students and future students interested in attending the University of Vermont. As a small but important step in helping with the cost of applying to college, he has waived the application fee for all students applying early action to UVM, something that has been done successfully with our Vermont students. For early action applicants, UVM is able to provide an admissions decision by mid-December, providing prospective students more time to learn and explore the opportunities available at UVM. Early action at UVM is not binding; students admitted to UVM have until May 1, 2013 to make a decision.

Why now? President Sullivan just recently completed his second month as President of UVM and he is beginning to articulate his vision and goals. We will offer the same benefit to EA applicants next year.

The November 1 Early Action deadline is an application deadline, and not a completion deadline. This means that students can still send supporting information after Nov. 1. Test scores, transcripts. and letters of recommendation can follow after Nov. 1.

We hope that any first year students who are interested in applying early action will take advantage of this opportunity to apply to UVM with no application fee. Our staff is happy to answer any questions about the application process. Check out our guidelines for applying as well as our application check list to help in this process!

We look forward to receiving your early action application!

Thinking about your teacher recommendation

Two weeks ago, I conducted a workshop for high school teachers who write many letters of recommendations. It was an engaging session and we all learned more about effective letters of recommendation.

So, what were some takeaways for students about what makes a strong letter of recommendation? Here are a few ideas to share:

  • Choose a teacher who can describe you in the classroom. Are you  a contributor, quiet, able to wrestle with ideas, a strong writer? Grades represent one part of your application; the teacher recommendation brings you to life in the classroom.
  • Your teacher can provide the context in which you are a student. We often read the teacher recommendation to understand what is covered in a class and what the pace of learning looks like.
  • Often a teacher shares information that isn’t evident on the transcript – improvement throughout the year, ways in which you engage with other students in the classroom, what motivates you, for example.

Be sure to give your teacher plenty of time to write a letter. If you are applying early action at UVM with an application deadline of Nov. 1, I suggest giving the teacher at least a month to complete your letter. Choose a teacher who you have had more recently. Even better, select one who you may have had more than once. We like to see a teacher recommendation from one of the five core subjects (English, math, science, foreign language or social studies.) It is not a requirement to have a teacher write a recommendation that connects with your intended college major. It is more important to choose a teacher who can describe your academic and personal qualities best.

I tell students not to over think the selection – choose the teacher who knows your academic talents best.

Finally be sure to send a follow up thank you to your teacher who writes your letter – it means so much! Maybe include a small gift card to their favorite coffee house! I imagine that teachers will need that extra latte as they finishing writing all those letters!