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.  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!

 

 

 

 

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. It’s that simple. You’ll gather at the Sheraton and we’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. You’ll hear from me, from students and from our university leadership. We’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!

Are you an Early Action applicant? What’s next?

UVM has received nearly 12,000 applications for early action!  In less than three weeks, we will release our decisions for this group. While our staff is focused on processing these applications and making decisions, I want to share all the information you’ll need in order to be ready for us to review your application:

  • Check your application status page regularly. We have an online application portal – no, it’s not fancy, but it does provide you with helpful information. You can log into the portal here using the credentials we sent after you applied (the login ID is a number that starts with 95 and the PIN is your birthdate in this format: MMDDYY.) When you log in, click on Admission Application Status and you will see a page that looks like this (with your name and address at the top):

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On this page, you will want to note your application status (complete, incomplete), residency (to confirm this is your correct understanding), the college/school and major to which you are applying, and if you have fulfilled the requirements to complete your application (if your application status is complete, then the items will all be listed as received). If your application status is still incomplete, then you will see which item(s) are missing.

  • If your application remains incomplete, there is still time to get the missing credentials to us before the Dec. 16 release date. If your transcript is missing, please be in touch with your school counseling office to send it to us. It can be sent electronically via the Common Application or Naviance, or through the mail. We are not able to accept faxed or emailed copies of a transcript. If your ACT or SAT scores are missing, we are aware that there continued to be some delays in those scores arriving. We continue to receive test scores from the testing agency (they have to be submitted this way in order to be official) several times a week, so missing scores will be added to the application as soon as they are received.
  • If your application is complete, please remember to send us your 1st quarter/trimester senior year grades. These help us in our early action decision making. These grade reports can come either through Naviance/Common Application, or they can be emailed or faxed to us (unlike full transcripts). Receiving these grades this week will allow us to include them in our decision making.

What happens to our applications once they become complete? They are checked for accuracy in grade point average/other academic information and then are sent to our team of readers to begin review. In the review process, we carefully review your academic record – grade point average, grades in the context of the school, rigor of courses taken, grade trends. We review letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, awards and honors, and citizenship/disciplinary record. We read the essay both for grammar/spelling as well as content. In this review process for early action, one of three actions will be taken – an application will be admitted, an application will be deferred (meaning the application remains under consideration but we will review it in the context of the larger pool), or an application will be denied, meaning that even with further consideration, the application is not competitive for first-year admission. Decisions for early action that were not sent on Nov. 11 will be available on December 16, beginning at 5 pm ET at the same portal described above. The decision (admit, defer, deny) will be listed on the Admission Application Status page.

Additional information to support the application can be sent in at any time during this process. Students/parents are encouraged to contact their admissions counselor (see the geographic listing here) or contact our admissions office at admissions@uvm.edu or by phone at 802-656-3370.

We look forward to reviewing your application!

 

#UVMsaidYES today! What does it mean if I didn’t hear a decision?

UVM Admissions sent positive news to the first round of our Early Action students. Starting about 4:30 pm today, social media lit up with excitement and relief….the relief that all the hard work pays off with the first college acceptance! We emailed out the news this afternoon; the admission letters went in the mail today (the picture below is the excitement we had loading the admission packets in the mail truck.)

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A number of students shared their excitement on Twitter as they heard the news. Some notable shares:

There are many more students that applied early action (and whose applications are complete) who are wondering what it means that they didn’t hear a decision today. The prioritization of those who learned a decision today was simply whose application finished the review process first (in other words, no prioritization on our part). As we receive credentials this time of year, they are processed in the order that we receive them until the Nov. 1 deadline, when credentials are received all at the same time. There is variability on when an application becomes complete because of the receipt of test scores. Some credentials need additional review because they have more complex educational history. Other applications remain under review because they are applying for competitive majors. Some applicants have told us that they are sending in 1st quarter grades and we want to wait for them. Many were complete and ready for review, but we simply didn’t finish the review process by today. In other words, those who have a decision today were simply the ones that were read first and they completed the review process by yesterday. The majority of our Early Action decisions, including all Vermont students, will be released on Dec. 16. The number of students who received a decision today, while exciting, represents only about 20% of our early action decisions.

I have been assuring students and parents to not read anything into not receiving a decision. We made the decision to release this group of decisions that were done, rather than holding them until Dec. 16. The majority of our decision making is focused on December 16 at which time all complete early action applicants will have a decision.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have – feel free to contact our staff.

We’ll be reading the remaining Early Action applications over the coming weeks. It is so exciting to see who has put UVM on their list of schools. What great potential the Class of 2020 is showing already!

May 1 is just 10 days away

Like the first day of spring, or the day that we “spring ahead” in time, the annual college selection deadline comes every year. It is a momentous occasion as students and parents make their final college decisions. The next ten days for me, while stressful in some ways, is my favorite time of year when we see the culmination of nearly two years of work in building this class. We share the excitement that  students feel when making their decision to come to UVM. And the good news…it is only the beginning of the lifelong relationship we have with students who decide to attend UVM.

We have had a number of students make the decision at our admitted student visit days. Nothing is better than to celebrate, in person, with students as they pay their fee. Second best is to see when students take to social media to announce their decision. Here are a couple of examples:

The Class of 2019 is coming together nicely. We know that many students will make their decisions in the next ten days. We’re here to help! Have questions that we can answer? Please be in touch with our admissions staff. I’ve been answering a lot of questions about advance placement credit, orientation, changing majors once at UVM, the new Wellness Environment community and scholarships and financial aid. We want to be sure that all questions are answered as students make their final decision.

Is UVM your choice? Be sure to pay the acceptance fee either online (preferred) or by sending the acceptance fee in the mail. Next Friday, May 1, is the deadline. Have you selected another school? Please be sure to withdraw your application (again online, email admissions@uvm.edu or return the card in the mail that was included with the letter of admission).

Good luck with your decision! We can’t wait for you to join the other members of the Class of 2019 who have already said yes to UVM!

 

Understanding financial aid at UVM

Just a week ago, our Student Financial Services office posted the financial aid awards for students and parents admitted to UVM. It is a both and exciting time and a stressful time as families make their college decisions this month.

Here are a few reminders and information nuggets that I hope will help clarify any questions.

1.  How do I compare costs? One of the most challenging things to understand right now is  having accurate information about the annual cost of a university. When a student logs on to our student portal and views their financial aid award, they will see an estimated cost of attendance. It is important to understand that this price includes estimates for things that will not be paid to UVM, such as books, transportation and personal expenses. Other schools may present the actual billed costs for comparisons. Therefore, when comparing cost after financial aid, be sure that you are comparing the same figures. The direct billed costs for UVM can be found at the bottom of the page with the financial aid award or on the student financial services website here. I also encourage students and parents to subtract the aid from the costs. I have communicated with a number of students and parents because they received a larger scholarship at another institution, but the costs are higher, and the cost of UVM after aid is actually comparable.

2. UVM awards students the best financial aid available and we are not in a position to change awards based on what other schools provide. We welcome questions and are happy to review special circumstances that students and families may have that do not appear on the FAFSA – the financial aid staff can review special circumstances. Our approach, however, to our financial aid awarding is that we will not negotiate a financial aid award.

3. We have issued some tentative financial aid awards (vs final awards) because we are missing required documentation that has been requested. If your award is labeled tentative, then I encourage you to send in the information that has been requested by student financial services.

We are very pleased that we have been able to offer the kind of financial aid to our potential new students. For some families, they may make decisions to attend other schools because the financial support or the overall cost of another school fits within their family resources. But for many students, the financial support makes it possible for students to attend UVM.

Our Student Financial Services website contains an extensive group of frequently asked questions. These questions and answers will prove to be very helpful to students and parents. The website also describes our monthly payment plan, Tuition Management Services, as a way to help manage the payment of tuition.

Our Student Financial Services staff is available to assist students and parents. The wait time on the phone is longer at this time of year, but the staff is happy to assist in answering questions. Their office customer service hours are listed here.

Please be in touch if you have any remaining questions.