Lawn Application

Application FAQs

 

Deciding to Apply (top)

What are the goals of the Lawn community and the expectations of community members?

The Lawn residential community program recognizes students who are undergraduate degree applicants in their final year for unselfish service to the University and outstanding achievement in scholarship and in their respective fields of activity.  It is expected that this group of students will work for the furtherance of the ideals and traditions of the University and will strive to build an inclusive and vibrant community while residing on the Lawn.

Who can apply to live on the Lawn?

Applicants for residence on the Lawn must be undergraduate degree applicants in their final year of study at the University. Students enrolled in the joint College of Arts and Sciences/Curry School Master of Teaching program may apply for residency for either their 4th or 5th year, but not both. Students enrolled in the joint College of Arts and Sciences/Batten School BA/MPP program may only apply for residency for their 4th year, because they qualify as undergraduate degree applicants in their final year of study. If it is determined after the start of the fall semester that a student will not graduate in May of that academic year, his/her Lawn room will be offered to the next student on the waiting list. Students must use their Lawn room as their primary University residence (e.g., the residence where the student sleeps a clear majority of nights while classes are in session) if selected. In addition, it is expected that a student selected to live on the Lawn will not study abroad during that academic term (exclusive of J-Term).

How many people apply?

Numbers vary from year to year, but the Lawn Selection Committee typically receives 250-300 applications for 47 rooms. The 7 remaining rooms are assigned through alternative selection processes.

What is the timeline for Lawn Selections?

The deadline for applications is set for 5:00 p.m. on January 3. This allows eligible students to complete their applications over winter break. Offers will be made on February 7, when the Selection Committee has completed their review of the applications. The deadline to accept an offer from the Selection Committee will be February 19.

Can I update my application to reflect new accomplishments after it has been submitted?

No. Because the evaluation of applications is blind, once the Selection Committee begins reading applications you may not provide any additional information.

The timeline for Lawn Selections conflicts with when my friends are signing their leases off-Grounds or applying for on-Grounds housing. Why can’t we find out any sooner?

Many students choose to secure their leases off-Grounds for the following year as early as October or November, but do not learn whether or not they will receive an offer to live on The Lawn until the spring semester.

Lawn applications cannot be made available to applicants before the Lawn Selection Organizing Committee has reviewed the application; time is required to thoroughly discuss and implement any desired changes to the application every year. Furthermore, initiating Selection earlier in the year would make it impossible for the Selection Committee to evaluate the applicants’ contributions and performance in their third year, which is often a time when many applicants come into their own and begin to have their greatest impact on their communities.

Should I make alternate housing arrangements? What should I do about my alternate housing if I am selected?

By accepting an offer of a Lawn residence from the Selection Committee, you agree to make the Lawn your primary place of residence; because of the expectation of community involvement, it is not acceptable to maintain a Lawn room for social purposes only.

If you are hoping to live on the Lawn but you also choose to sign a lease off-Grounds in the meantime, then it might be difficult for you to remove yourself from that obligation if you receive an offer. Off-Grounds housing is available throughout the year, and you may prefer to wait until offers have been made before you make a commitment to live off-Grounds.

If you do not want to wait to make your living arrangements, you can apply to live on-Grounds in Upperclass Suites and Apartments (Lambeth, Bice, Copeley, Faulkner or Johnson/Malone/Weedon), in a Residential College (Brown, Hereford or the International Residence College) or in a Language House. If you receive an offer to live on the Lawn, the Housing Division will allow you to transfer your housing contract and prepayment to your Lawn offer; this option is not available to students who commit to off-Grounds housing.

 

Writing the Application     (top)

What does the Lawn application consist of?

The specifics of the application may change from year to year at the discretion of the Lawn Selection Organizing Committee. Generally, the Lawn application will consist of an essay portion, a list of your extracurricular activities at U.Va., and your major GPA. Your major department can provide information on how to calculate your major GPA. The Lawn Selection Committee will additionally be reviewing transcripts of all applicants.

Can I include information about activities I was involved in prior to coming to U.Va. on my application?

Only activities occurring during a student’s undergraduate studies are acceptable. Do not include any activities from your high school experience.

Transfer students are welcome to include information about their undergraduate involvement at other universities.

What makes a well-written application?

Each member of the Lawn Selection Committee reads hundreds of applications; to ensure that your application is read fairly, please describe your involvement specifically and concisely. Do not assume that your reader has any prior knowledge of your organization or position. Note that there are strict word limits on each essay question.

What is the minimum GPA requirement?

Applicants must be in good academic standing as defined by their school. While high academic achievement is a criterion for selection, there is no minimum GPA requirement beyond that, and the average GPA varies from year to year. Your application will be evaluated holistically and your GPA will be taken into consideration by your readers as a component of your overall eligibility for the Lawn community.

How do I calculate my major GPA?

Information on how to calculate your major GPA is available through your major department.

 

The Selection Process      (top)

Who serves on the Selection Committee?

The Lawn Selection Committee is composed of 48 Fourth Year students, none of whom are permitted to be Lawn applicants themselves. Only students serve on the Selection Committee.

There are 24 ex-officio student members of the Lawn Selection Committee who represent a diversity of experiences and perspectives at U.Va., including: representatives from each of the seven academic schools offering undergraduate degrees; the Senior Resident of the Lawn (non-voting member); the President of Student Council; the Chair of the Honor Committee; the Chair of the University Judiciary Committee; representatives from the Asian Student Union, the Black Student Alliance, the Inter-Fraternity Council, the Inter-Sorority Council; the Multicultural Greek Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Global Student Council, the Latino Student Alliance, the Middle Eastern Leadership Council, the Queer Student Union, and the Student Athlete Advisory Council; the President of the Fourth Year Trustees; and a transfer student representative.

The remaining 24 committee members are selected by a random process. 40 Fourth Year students will receive an email request to serve on the Lawn Selection Committee, and the first 29 to accept this responsibility will receive training to read and rank applications. The first 24 to respond will serve on the committee, with the remaining 5 readers in reserve in the event that another committee member cannot fulfill his or her obligation and requires a replacement.

How is the Selection Committee chosen?

The composition of the Selection Committee is determined by the Lawn Selection Process Organizing Committee.

The University Dean of Students serves as the chairperson for the Organizing Committee, which includes the following members: the Dean of the Office of African-American Affairs, the Director of Information Technology in Housing & Residence Life, the Senior Resident of the Lawn, and the presidents or chairpersons of the following groups: Student Council, the Honor Committee, the University Judiciary Committee, and the seven undergraduate school councils (Architecture, Batten, College, Commerce, Education, Engineering, and Nursing).

The Organizing Committee is also responsible for determining and announcing the criteria for selection, the form of the Lawn application, and training the Selection Committee on the criteria and process of selection.

What is the Selection Committee looking for?

Applicants are held to high standards of scholastic and extracurricular achievement.

Scholastic achievement is evaluated using evidence of scholastic honors and awards, original research, participation in exceptional academic programs and contributions to specific programs.

Extracurricular involvement is evaluated in terms of meaningful participation, evidence of service performed for the University, offices held and/or the number of extracurricular activities. While a long list of activities can be impressive, it is more important to emphasize not only the breadth but the depth of involvement in those activities.

It is extremely important that you do not exaggerate any of your involvement at the University. Living on the Lawn is a great privilege. Misrepresenting yourself on your Lawn application is a serious offense which will result in expulsion if you are convicted in an Honor trial.

The Selection Committee will also be looking for evidence of continued commitment. Living on the Lawn is not merely an honor; Lawn applicants put themselves forward as representatives and role models to the entire University. Lawn residents are also expected to come together to form a vibrant model community. Applicants must describe how they plan to embrace this role and express their readiness to engage the Lawn community, continue to serve the University, and to distinguish themselves academically in their final year of study.

How does the Selection Committee determine who is accepted?

The application process is blind, which means that the readers do not know the names associated with the applications they are reading. Each application is assigned a number which the readers will use to identify the applicants. Each member of the Selection Committee reads every application independently, then selects the applicants that he or she feels would compose a complete qualified and well-rounded community. The Selection Committee does not collectively discuss the merits of individual applicants. After the committee members submit their votes, the votes are tabulated by the system, and the Senior Resident informs the University Dean of Students of the results. In the event of a tie, the Selection Committee will be asked to re-rank the applicants involved in the tie. Offers and waitlist positions will be determined based on the number of votes each applicant receives from the committee.

 

Other Questions     (top)

What if my application is late?

Because late applications will not be accepted, you should submit your application as early as possible in case you experience technical difficulties that require assistance or other unforeseen events. Extraordinary circumstances will be evaluated by the Senior Resident of the Lawn, who has the authority to waive this requirement. The decisions of the Senior Resident can be appealed to the University Dean of Students, who is the Chair of the Lawn Selection Process Organizing Committee.

Contact housingweb@virginia.edu if you have technical difficulties with submitting your application.

How are endowed or reserved rooms assigned?

There are 4 endowed rooms and 4 reserved rooms. These rooms have their own separate selection processes and their selections are approved by the University Dean of Students or a specific selection committee drawn for that purpose.

Room 1 West is the John K. Crispell Memorial Room, which is assigned to an outstanding pre-health student selected by a separate committee. This resident of Room 1 is chosen from the Lawn applicants who accept offers from the Selection Committee; no additional application is required.

Room 7 West is traditionally assigned to a member of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society from those members who applied to live on the Lawn, and is appointed by the University Dean of Students.

Room 15 West is the Gus Blagden Memorial Room, or the “Good Guy” Room, and requires letters of nomination to a separate committee describing the candidate’s service and impact at the University. The candidate does not need to be an applicant in the regular Selection process.

Room 17 West is assigned to a student nominated by the Trigon Engineering Society from those Trigon members who applied to live on the Lawn, and is approved by the University Dean of Students.

Room 26 East is reserved for the Senior Resident of the Lawn, who is selected by the Office of the Dean of Students/Housing & Residence Life unit.

Room 37 West is assigned to a student selected by the Honor Committee and is traditionally the Chair of the Honor Committee.

Room 46 East is assigned to a student nominated by Kappa Sigma fraternity from those Kappa Sigma members who applied to live on the Lawn, and is approved by the University Dean of Students.

Room 47 West Range is the sole Range room occupied by an undergraduate student. It is assigned to a student nominated by Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity from those Pika members who applied to live on the Lawn, and is approved by the University Dean of Students.