Yesterday, this yellow house was a busy place. Final admissions decisions were being made, phone calls from anxious students and parents were being answered and our amazing staff was busy carefully stuffing decision letters.
And then, around 3 p.m., it became quiet. That quiet quickly grew to celebration when the announcement came that the letters are gone! More than 13,500 students heard a decision from us yesterday. We were so excited to share good news with many of our applicants – what a great group of students who applied to UVM! We agonized over those who we had to defer or to whom we had to say no. These are never easy decisions.
What’s more rewarding in this process than our team completing this part of the decision process is to see the Tweets, the Facebook posts, the emails from excited students and parents. Even after 31 years of doing this and watching my two children to through the process, I always can remember the impact of the admissions decision. For those who hear good news, especially when it is a first college acceptance, it is a moment that students don’t forget.
What do the decisions mean? Here is a brief description of what students heard from us:
Admit – Congratulations! When we admit a student, we believe that the student is both qualified to do the academic work at UVM but also because their record was competitive in our applicant pool. This year, on average, admitted students have a A-/B+ average with grades that put them in the top third of their graduating class. Average SAT scores for this group admitted totaled 1860. Our admitted students have until May 1 to make a decision. But we had five students pay their acceptance fee last night after seeing that they were admitted!
Defer – When we defer a student, it means that we want to wait and consider the application in the regular admission pool. Often it means that a student’s application was not as competitive because of a downturn in grades, because a student has applied to a very competitive major (such as athletic training, exercise and movement science or nursing), or because a student is currently taking courses that are minimum requirements for a particular academic program and it is important to see performance in those courses. Last year we admitted 42% of students who were deferred so we do offer admission to a significant number of deferred students. If UVM remains among a student’s top choice, students are encouraged to send semester grades when available as well as let us know of their interest in UVM.
Deny – These decisions are so difficult. Being an group of counselors that always work hard to say yes, having to tell a student no is a decision that we don’t make without thorough review and discussion. We try to send the message that students can make UVM possible in the future. We often see students who are not competitive for admission explore enrolling in our Guaranteed Admissions Program where students can take courses at UVM, live on campus, and complete a contract of eighteen hours. If a student earns a 3.0 gpa in those 18 hours, a student can gain admission. We also see many students who take college courses for a year elsewhere, perform well, and then apply as a transfer student.
We celebrate today with the students who are admitted to UVM. We hope to welcome many students admitted yesterday and earlier this fall to campus in the Class of 2018!