FAQ from Dean Leonard on the Difficult College Acceptance Decision

Email from a Parent to Dean Leonard

Hello,

I saw your email and blog post and am taking the liberty of emailing you. We live in Virginia, and our son has been admitted to both UVA and a private university. He has not gotten into McIntire but would like to do so if he attends UVA. We are struggling with this decision and would appreciate any perspective you may have.   

The economic choice for us, as in-state residents, is obvious: $30K for UVA vs. $72K for the private university. 

Since he is not guaranteed admission into McIntire, if our son chooses to go to UVA and does NOT get into McIntire, he will have to continue at UVA as a non-business major. On the other hand, with the private school, he is guaranteed to receive a business degree.   

How hard is it to really get into McIntire? And what are his options, short of transferring, if he does not get in?   

Thank you in advance for any perspective you can share.  

Anxious Dad

From Dean Leonard

Dear Anxious Dad,

Congratulations on your son’s acceptance to two great programs. I hope that he is attending one of the Days on the Lawn sessions being held this month for admitted students and that he will attend the McIntire session held at 10:30 a.m. each of the six days. At that session, he will learn about McIntire’s unique integrated approach to the delivery of business education combined with liberal arts preparation that only McIntire can provide. This integrated core curriculum is a key reason McIntire consistently ranks as one of the top business programs in the world. First and foremost, if you have this financial flexibility, I encourage you to let your son make the ultimate decision and to really think about where (geographic, demographic, etc.) he most wants to spend the next four years. Students can find their place and thrive at any institution if they go with an open mind and willingness to get involved and work hard.

The risk of not getting into McIntire is one that students who come to UVA with a desire to pursue business must accept, and understandably, that makes the decision more difficult.  However, “most” (60-70%) students who apply to McIntire are admitted, and those who are not remain at UVA, pursuing a major that leads them toward their desired career goals with a degree from one of the best public institutions on the country! Most business-related activities and organizations are open to all UVA students, and we have an exceptional University Career Center that works with all students.

I think if you ask anyone in public accounting, banking, finance, consulting, and even data analytics, they will say our program has a very solid national brand and that our graduates are aggressively sought out by top companies and firms. But again, determining where your son wants to be in terms of community should be an important factor. I am confident that if you calculate the return on investment over the long term, UVA and McIntire will come out ahead.

Thank you for your email and interest in the McIntire School of Commerce. Should you or your son (we always prefer to speak directly to the “customer”) have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the McIntire Office of Undergraduate Admission at 434-924-3865.

Best,
Rebecca Leonard
Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Admission

What Are Commerce Classes Like?

If you’ve ever looked in a Commerce classroom, you’ll notice that the room is amphitheater-style and that everyone uses name tents. The classrooms are designed this way to be more conducive to classroom discussion—students can see each other’s faces and learn their names. Professors lecture just like in any other University class, but there is a lot more student participation. Discussion helps students understand the topics from different perspectives and also challenges them to tackle problems differently than they normally would. This is a great way to learn content as well as to learn about your peers. Everyone is open, excited, and respectful, which makes for a great learning environment.

mcintire

You might be wondering if the Comm School is only a good fit for extroverts. The answer is NO, absolutely not! Many students want the opportunity to speak, but no one is speaking over others. Because the discussions are mediated by professors, everyone will have the chance to speak if they choose. I’ve noticed that most students usually feel strongly about or are highly interested in at least some topics throughout each course, and it’s a great opportunity to bring in outside examples or other related knowledge you might have. I was afraid at first of raising my hand to offer my opinions and responses in front of my class of 40 students; however, each time I spoke, it was less nerve-wracking than the last and I got a lot of public-speaking practice throughout as well.

–Third-Year McIntire Student

 

Undergraduate Admission Process, March 2017 Update

From the Desk of Rebecca Leonard, Associate Dean, McIntire School of Commerce

Re: Undergraduate Admission Process, March 2017 Update

The McIntire School of Commerce Undergraduate Admission Committee has completed the initial reading of fall 2017 applications from UVA students.

Summary of Application Information

Of the 508 UVA students who applied, the School will ultimately be able to offer admission to 320-330 students. The applicants once again presented remarkably strong credentials, with an average UVA cumulative GPA of 3.58. On March 9, emails will be sent to University students regarding the Admission Committee’s decision. Of the 508 students who applied, 260 were offered admission, 129 were deferred, and 119 were declined admission.

At the end of the spring semester, the Committee will review additional application information from the 129 deferred students and anticipates making offers to approximately 65 of those applicants. In addition to spring grades, deferred applicants will have the opportunity to submit another written essay and to participate in an interview to demonstrate oral communication skills.

A Holistic Evaluation

Throughout the selection process, the Committee considers multiple factors, including communication skills, leadership and teamwork skills, co-curricular engagement, academic performance, and strength of semester schedule/course load, as evidenced through the application. Those students admitted achieved an average UVA cumulative GPA of 3.75, with a range of cumulative GPAs from 2.95 to 4.0, demonstrating the Committee’s holistic evaluation of each applicant. Those students deferred achieved an average UVA cumulative GPA of 3.50. In addition to outstanding academic performance, students offered admission and deferral demonstrated exceptionally strong leadership skills and co-curricular activities. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

2017 Admissions by the Numbers

For Additional Information

Students with questions regarding the undergraduate admission process should contact the McIntire Office of Undergraduate Admission at 434-924-3865 or commerceadmissions@virginia.edu or are welcome to come by during walk-in advising beginning Monday, March 13, 2017.

Is an Internship Necessary between Your First and Second Years?

An internship is not at all necessary between your first and second years. Do what you love to do. I worked as a lifeguard between my first year and second years. This past summer, between my second and third years, I worked as an Orientation Leader instead of pursuing an internship. It is important to remember that you are not expected to complete an internship during these summers and that everyone has a different story. I viewed my Orientation Leader experience as an opportunity to improve myself in a holistic sense. I looked to enhance my public speaking ability, among other skills. Don’t forget, however, that everyone has taken a different path to get where they are today. Some of my friends traveled, some took classes, and some even took the summer off to relax. There isn’t a set path to success; do what you love and everything else will fall into place.

-Third-Year McIntire Student

What Now?

Now that you have submitted your application, you probably feel a great sense of relief as well as some apprehension regarding the upcoming admissions decision. So what do you do during those awkward weeks as you wait? Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Do not second-guess yourself. Don’t start thinking about what you should have, could have, or would have written now that you’ve had more time to ponder your essays. It’s done – do not dwell on this.
  • Be aware that we will update all SIS data prior to reviewing, so if your schedule changes, this will be reflected in your application. This includes withdrawing from courses, so be very careful when adjusting your schedule.
  • Keep up with your coursework and continue to work hard academically.
  • Don’t worry about the decision deadline. You will know your decision the middle of March – there is no set date for your decision e-mail to be sent.
  • Relax. The hard part is over. Enjoy whatever weather Mother Nature sends our way as much as you can, exercise, and start looking forward to spring.

Above all, keep in mind that you are at UVA, one of the best (okay, THE best) public universities in the country and the education you receive will provide a firm foundation for a successful future, no matter what happens in March. There are so many opportunities for you, whether or not you are in the Commerce School, and the McIntire Student Services Office will be happy to meet with you to discuss your options.

10 Suggestions for Winter Break

If you are a current UVA student planning to apply to the McIntire School of Commerce for fall 2017, you should be aware that the application is available online and you need to register by Jan. 9. You can register any time by Jan. 9 and start working on your application as soon as you receive confirmation of your registration; the application is due by noon, Jan. 25.

Be sure to register, and consider these tips to will help with the application process (even if you are not planning to apply to McIntire until next year, pay attention to suggestions 2, 4, 7, 9 and 10! These are good for us all!):

  1. Reread and review previous posts on this blog. There is a vast amount of information available and you can get many of your questions/concerns answered without even having to send an e-mail.
  2. Relax and get some much-needed sleep. This semester has been a trying and difficult one and it is important that you take care of yourself.
  3. Work on the application essays slowly. Format your responses in Word, leave them for a day or so, revisit, and make any needed changes. Eliminate all unnecessary words. Have more than one person review your essays. Cut and paste your essays into your application.
  4. Visit and spend time with friends and family. You deserve this much-needed break; you have been missed, so reconnect.
  5. By Jan. 12, your prerequisites will be viewable on your application, so pull up your application and review the coursework appearing in the Prerequisite Section. There is an area on the application under this section, and if you are missing a requirement, a paragraph titled “Unmet Prerequisites” will show the missing requirement and ask you how you have (or plan) to complete this requirement. Sometimes you might see that a course you took for humanities credit is not being picked up or that the placement exam you took for foreign language is not exempting you from this requirement. This is OK – don’t panic! Simply fill in the information in text box provided; these requests will be reviewed periodically through the remainder of winter break (and after) and waivers for these will be either granted or not. Typically, if you have already satisfied a requirement that is showing up as missing, this will be waived. If you are planning to take the requirement in the summer, this will still show up as missing, but we will have your explanation of how you plan to complete this requirement. Please remember that we are updating our system through SIS continuously, and as you add courses for spring 2016, this will be reflected on your application. If you have any questions regarding a requirement that you fulfilled with AP or transfer credit, please e-mail CommerceAdmissions@virginia.edu. You should first check SIS and make sure this requirement is showing up on your transcript.
  6. Pace yourself. Don’t wait until Jan. 24 to start the application.
  7. Eat lots of good home-cooked meals – spring recess is a long way away.
  8. SAVE THE DATE! Friday, Jan. 20, there will be an application review session from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. in Rouss & Robertson Halls, Room 123. This is a drop-in session, so you can come at any time between the times listed above. Bring a printed copy of your application or your laptop to pull up your application to be reviewed by a current Commerce student. This event is sponsored by the Women’s Forum at McIntire, the Black Commerce Student Network, Smart Woman Securities, and the Latino Student Network at McIntire. Do not be in a hurry to final submit your application – there are no early decisions. All applications will be reviewed after the Jan. 25 deadline, with decision notifications by mid-March.
  9. Do something nice for someone else. Help your mom around the house, shovel an elderly neighbor’s driveway or wash their car (for free), read to your nephew…you get the idea. Get your focus on something other than the stress of the application process.
  10. Last, but definitely not least – have a wonderful and safe holiday. Enjoy yourself and regroup. We are looking forward to seeing you in the new year!

The Application Is Ready — Are You?

By now, most of you who plan to apply for fall 2017 admission know that the application is now available online. As you begin to prepare to work on the application (after exams, please!), some questions/concerns may arise. Please be aware of the following:

  • Make sure that your name and all contact information are correct in SIS. Although the application pulls only name, e-mail, and phone number, it’s always a good idea to check your local and permanent addresses in SIS periodically to make sure this information is up-to-date.
  • Remember that you MUST have all of the prerequisites completed by the time you would enter the McIntire School should admission be offered. If you are missing a requirement, please make note of this on the application where provided. You will need to complete the course in the summer; if you do not and are offered admission, the offer can be rescinded. Please remember that you will not be able to view your prerequisites and how these have been satisfied until Jan. 12, 2017, so please review these before you submit your application.
  • Check to make sure that any AP credit and/or testing credit you received are listed on your transcript, especially if these are being used to satisfy any of the prerequisites.
  • Review any waivers you have been given. The more common of these are foreign language through placement exams and English writing through SATs or portfolio reviews. If you believe you have received a waiver(s) for a requirement and the requirement is showing up as missing, contact the McIntire Office of Undergraduate Admission for further information.
  • Spring courses should be on your transcript so that the committee will know what you are planning to take. Some of you may still be adding/changing courses, and if your schedule should happen to change after you have submitted the application, please be aware that we receive updated copies of your transcript and will be able to review these changes.
  • Do not make the mistake of getting hung up on courses that you think will look good to the committee. Although you should challenge yourself in your course selection, make sure these are courses that you will enjoy and learn from.
  • Check your essays, and do not rely on spell-check, as this feature, wonderful as it is, can give you a wrong word if you are not careful. Proofread more than once, and have someone review all of your essays.
  • You will need to either make the payment or request a fee waiver prior to submitting your application. Plan on doing this several days in advance so that you do not run the risk of missing the due date. Payment or waiver alone does NOT mean that you have submitted the application. After payment has been submitted or the fee waiver granted, you can then submit the application. These are two different processes, so please do not forget to click Submit after your payment has been accepted or your waiver request has been approved.
  • Do not hit submit too soon. The review of applications will not begin until after the due date of Jan. 25, 2017, so submitting early does not benefit you. Make sure you have everything taken care of, reviewed, listed, and completed before you click on that icon. Most importantly, make sure your grades from fall are listed and correct. Again, you should not submit your application until after you have been able to view your prerequisites between Jan. 12, 2017, and the application due date of Jan. 25, 2017.
  • Once you have submitted your application, you can still view your application, but no changes can be made. This is another important reason not to submit too soon! Keep in mind that SIS updates will still occur even after the due date.

Coming soon, suggestions for winter break!

Juggling the Demands of the Commerce School

The Commerce School has a reputation for being intense, especially during the first semester. Balancing lengthy readings, a variety of assignments, and endless group work can be challenging. I am going to share with you a few tips that helped me juggle all the demands of the Commerce School:

  1. Purchase a planner and use it. Without a doubt, this is the best piece of advice I can give you. By placing all of your assignments, project deadlines, and other commitments in a planner, you can easily carve out times to work on individual assignments or meet with your group. It also allows you to look into the future easily. You can quickly tell which weeks will be lighter and which will be much tougher, and then prepare accordingly.
  1. Be flexible. Especially within a group, everyone is going to have very different schedules. You are going to have to meet when you do not want to sometimes. Even if the meeting is not at an optimal time, it is better to go with that time than to push the meeting off until later. Due dates always come up more quickly than you ever expect.
  1. Use your free Fridays to your advantage. No, you do not need to work all day. Putting in two or so hours to read, however, will go a long way in making the following week easier. And if you are behind, this free time is a great way to catch up without falling further behind.
  1. Make time for the things you love. Balance is key in life. Although there will be a lot of work to do, it is important to make time for you. It can feel like you have no time to spare. You always do though. Giving just 20 minutes a day to do something you love is not that hard to do. You will feel better after you do it!

Everyone quickly finds their own ways to juggle all the demands. If you are unable to make it work, your professors are there to support you. Reach out to any of them. I can guarantee that they would be willing to help you.

Submitted by a Third-Year Commerce Student

Application for the B.S. in Commerce Now Available

The online application for UVA students who wish to apply to the McIntire School’s undergraduate program for fall 2017 is now available at https://admissions.comm.virginia.edu. The two-step process includes registration and application submission.

Registration: Nov. 15, 2016–Jan. 9, 2017

Students must register no later than Jan. 9, 2017. Students who have not registered by Jan. 9, 2017, may not apply for admission to McIntire for fall 2017.

Once registered, students are able to work on application; prerequisite information (pulled from SIS) will be viewable on the application starting Jan. 12, 2017.

 Application Submission: Jan. 12–25, 2017

Registered students must submit applications no later than 12 noon Jan. 25, 2017.

 For questions or additional information, contact:

McIntire Office of Undergraduate Admission
Room 163, Rouss & Robertson Halls, East Lawn
434-924-3865
commerceadmissions@virginia.edu

Message from Dean Zeithaml

Nov. 3, 2016

Dear McIntire School Community,

I write to you today from Asia, where I am meeting with many McIntire alumni, parents, potential students, academic and corporate partners, and friends from literally all regions of the world. Like all of us, they recognize that our increasingly diverse and inclusive community is one of our great strengths, and I am pleased that the McIntire School makes every effort to achieve this end and to realize the best in each of us.

Having said that, I am sad and very concerned to learn of the bias incidents taking place in the UVA Community. I join other University leaders in the call to stand together as a McIntire family to condemn acts of bigotry and hatred and to work together to create an inclusive environment where all members can thrive, grow, and learn from each other. McIntire is taking great strides this year, establishing a new Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as well as a strategic plan around Diversity and Inclusion that ensures all members of our community are valued and empowered. Many of you already participated in workshops and training around Valuing our COMMunity of Differences, and we will continue to offer training and resources around these issues. I reiterate some of the statements found in our new strategic plan around Diversity and Inclusion:

  • Our community is inclusive, acknowledging and removing barriers to empower all our members to engage fully and to contribute in and out of the classroom.
  • Our community is enriched by challenging assumptions, inspiring thoughtful discussion, and contributing to the development of innovative solutions.

As current and future global business leaders, we must create an environment that promotes constructive dialogue while maintaining civility and respect. I ask that you join me to speak out against bias and hatred; speak out when you see something you know is wrong; use the Just Report It system to report an incident of concern.

Both McIntire and the University have resources to support individuals who may feel the targets of bias or uncomfortable about events or conversations taking place. I encourage you to obtain support if necessary and engage in constructive dialogue around these issues. McIntire’s Office of Student Services (RRH 163) or Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (RRH 104) are resources for support. Many University resources are available to support students, faculty, and staff:

I sincerely appreciate everything that all members of our community do each day to make the McIntire School a wonderful place to live and learn. With the impending election and its associated rhetoric and media coverage both before and after next Tuesday, I ask all of you to redouble your efforts in the coming weeks to reject language and actions driven by fear, hate, and bias, and to participate in our efforts to make the School and University an even better and stronger community. Thanks very much.

Best, Dean Zeithaml