Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

Within the next hour, we will send our last admissions decisions, inviting a talented and passionate group of students to join the UVM Class of 2021. This group of students comes from across the U.S. and around the world. Soon the excitement will grow on social media with #UVMsaidYES hashtags from admitted students.

New this year are a group of students who are being offered admission to UVM beginning in January. Because of the competitive nature of the admission to the university, and because we had more students show interest in UVM than we could accommodate in the fall semester, we have made admission for entrance in the spring possible for a cohort of students. Our spring students will have the same opportunities as those who begin in the fall (opportunities for housing, financial aid, etc). We look forward to welcoming this group in January.

What happens next for the students offered admission today? Notifications about scholarships, financial aid and Honors College will occur by the end of next week. Be sure to check out the admitted student website as well as the new student checklist. We also encourage all admitted students to attend one of the five remaining Admitted Student Visit Days in April.  Registration for these events can be done on the website.

I can’t wait to see who will be the next ones to say yes to UVM! Congratulations, again, to all who have been offered admission to the University of Vermont.

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.

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!

Who is choosing UVM?

The Class of 2018 is taking shape as May 1 nears in less than a week. This time of year is exciting for all universities, including UVM, as we discover who will be the newest members of our community. I’ve watched the posts on Twitter of students “making it official” when they choose UVM. The Facebook page is filled with students who are making orientation meet ups and roommate selections. It’s truly remarkable when this group of students who come from across the U.S. and the world come together to forever make a mark on UVM.

Since yesterday morning, more than 100 students have paid their acceptance fee and have said yes to UVM. Who are some of these newest members of the Class of 2018? Here’s a sampling…..

  • a student who plans to study nursing and who has lived in the U.S., France and Switzerland, and who has moved ten times in her life.
  • a student who plans to study animal science and is a counselor at a horse camp and who is an education assist at the Buffalo Zoo.
  • an actress who has played Peter Pan and Sarah Brown in school and community productions.
  • the founder and president of Cookies for a Cause, a service organization that raises money for local and international charities.
  • a student-athlete who has been named to the Indiana All-State first-team in basketball.
  • a writer selected to attend the New England Young Writer’s Conference at Breadloaf.
  • a student who played the lead in a play performed in Spanish during a school year abroad program in Spain.
  • an engineering student who participated in New York’s New Visions Engineering program.

This is just a sample of those who have recently joined UVM’s Class of 2018. We are excited to meet the rest as they say yes to UVM in the coming week. We look forward to answering any last questions. Can’t wait to see who will say yes next.

 

Making your college decision: Are you intuitive or a fact-finder?

At yesterday’s admitted student visit day, Vice Provost Annie Stevens asked the students in the audience if they took a fact-finding or an intuitive approach to their final college choice. Her question made me reflect on the decisions that many high school seniors will be facing in the next two weeks. The role of information in that final decision is an interesting thing to ponder and something that we think about a lot. What do students need to make the final decision (and most students wait until these last two weeks to make their decision?)

About the facts….over the course of the last eighteen months, we have been sharing lots of facts. Student faculty ratio, enrollment, graduation rates, average class size, percent of our students that study abroad, job placements, etc. All these facts paint a picture of a place that prepares students in an exceptional way in their academic area of interest because of our great faculty and staff and because of the unique commitment to undergraduate education in the context of a great, small research university. Dr. Stevens shared lots of facts yesterday as she described all the features and the accolades that describe a UVM education.

About the intuition…..often I find that the intuition plays a greater role this time of year in the final decision. Intuition is that feeling that you can’t put words to…you just know. You walk around campus, and around Burlington, and say, “I can see myself here for the next four years. I love this place!” Our admitted students get that feeling by watching UVM students interact, by confidently navigating the campus, by enjoying a meal on Church Street and seeing people smiling and enjoying themselves. I accompanied a student to pay her acceptance fee yesterday who already had the check made out and they came back for a final visit just to confirm her intuition that UVM was the right place. I spoke with another family who described the energy around campus and around Burlington….”you can just feel it.” In my opinion, UVM is the perfect place – a place that is both filled with natural beauty combined with an excitement and energy that comes from interesting and passionate students, faculty engaged with students and their own research, and welcoming and comfortable community. This vibe comes through when students walk around campus. The intuition becomes the strong voice that says yes, I love it here.

Over the next two weeks, many more students will say yes to UVM. Our staff is here to answer those last factual questions. We will welcome several thousand more students and parents in our last admitted student visit days. We can’t wait to see people on campus!

During yesterday’s visit day, nearly 25 students made the decision to say yes to UVM! For many of them, they simply said, “this is the right place.” Was it because of the facts or just taking in the atmosphere? My guess is a little bit of both.

Get a Jump Start at UVM

Have you chosen to attend UVM in the fall? The Class of 2018 is coming together nicely this year and the campus is engaged in preparation for our new class joining us in August. Long before students move into their residence halls in late-August, we have two ways that students can come to UVM before August 22!

UVM Jump Start is a unique program that provides UVM incoming first-year students with the opportunity to experience UVM’s curriculum, work closely with members of our faculty, and engage with other members of UVM’s Class of 2018. Participating students can commute or live on campus in UVM residential housing, take a credit-bearing course, and participate in workshops and activities designed to help them transition into the university. This program is a great opportunity for our new students to be on campus this summer and complete a course before the start of classes. The courses offered are ones that apply to many general education requirements or prerequisites for most colleges/schools at UVM.

How does Jump Start work? Basically, students participate in pre-class learning online June 16-20, participate in the on-campus portion of the course June 25-July 3, and then complete the course online July 7-11. The timing coordinates well with two of our June orientation sessions so Jump Start students can come to orientation and then stay on campus for Jump Start.  Answers to common questions and information about costs can be found on the Jump Start website. Students can sign up for Jump Start once they choose UVM and pay their acceptance fee.

In addition to UVM Jump Start, members of the Class of 2018 should consider participating in TREK, a pre-arrival program designed to bring new first-year students (and transfer students) together to participate in a week-long program. Three options exist – wilderness TREK, service TREK or transfer TREK. Approximately 10% of our class will choose to take part in one of these programs. These popular programs fill quickly in the months of May and June. Like Jump Start, once a student chooses UVM and pays their acceptance fee, then registration for TREK can take place online.

We can’t wait to welcome the Class of 2018 and hope that many of our new students will take advantage of these wonderful programs!

You are invited to visit UVM

UVM campus on a winter day

UVM campus on a winter day

Travel + Leisure magazine recently published a list of America’s best college towns and it  is not a surprise that Burlington was ranked #1. This ranking is only one reason that we extend the invitation to come visit UVM! Whether an admitted student or a junior just beginning the college search, we’ve got an option for most kinds of campus visits.

All of our admitted students are strongly encouraged to consider coming to one of our Admitted Student Visit Days (ASV). These day-long programs allow students and parents to get a close-up view of UVM. Students begin the day hearing an overview of UVM. Next students and parents spend about two hours learning more about the college/school to which the student is admitted. The balance of the day can be spent meeting with financial aid, touring a residence hall, visiting an academic department or eating lunch in the dining hall. It also is an opportunity for admitted students to meet one another. These visit days are offered eight times over the next three months. Be sure to make a reservation for the program as well as a hotel reservation – these programs do fill up!

Can’t make an ASV? We do offer a 2-hour visit (presentation and tour) with information specifically for admitted students, called an Admitted Student Information Session (ASIS). While these presentations don’t offer an academic component to the visit, the presenters (an admissions counselor and a student) share information helpful to students and parents about the next steps to enrolling at UVM. The presentation is followed by a student panel and a campus tour.

Just starting your college search? A Group Information Session (GIS) is the best visit for you! Students and parents will hear a great introduction to UVM, will hear from a panel of current students and then head out for a campus tour. We also offer a larger open house for sophomores and juniors, called UVM Preview. This visit day has all the elements of a GIS but also offers a faculty/student panel as well as information tables from various university offices. Reservations are encouraged for GIS programs as well as for the UVM Preview. Reservations can be made online. I recommend making a reservation early for a visit during a vacation week or on Saturdays.

We often get questions about two visit options – interviews and overnight visits, neither of which we offer. We don’t offer interviews because we don’t use them as part of our evaluation process. We do, however, offer the opportunity to meet with our admissions counselor on duty during a visit. We also have information conversations with our student AdvoCats. Reservations for these informal chats can be scheduled by calling the admissions office at 802-656-3370.

We are very excited to welcome you to our campus. We can’t wait to see you in Burlington!