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admission formOn-Line Forms Make Applying To U.Va. Easier

Dec. 6, 1999 -- The University of Virginia has made the daunting task of applying for admission a bit easier.

For the first time, major portions of the U.Va. undergraduate application are available online. About 20 percent of those applying this year for entrance into the Class of 2004 are expected to use the application, admission deans estimate.

The majority of American colleges do not yet accept applications from prospective students over the Internet, according to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. However, an increasing number of colleges are moving in that direction.

Virginia Tech, for example, began offering an online application in 1994. This year Virginia Tech began informing prospective students that it prefers receiving online applications, and admission officials estimate that they will receive approximately 50 percent of the applications electronically, according to Kelly Queijo, public relations coordinator for admissions.

Encouraged by the success of a prototype application for transfer students last year, U.Va. admission officials launched the on-line application for first-year students this fall. The online application and enhanced home page are viewed by admission deans as ways of increasing access to U.Va.

"Access to the Internet is increasingly available to students in school and at home," said assistant dean of admission Stephen M. Farmer. "We see the Internet as giving people more access to a public institution."

In addition to the basic online application, the web site offers several forms, such as the school and transcript report and the mid-year grade report, that can be downloaded and printed for completion.

However, one significant part of the U.Va. application, the essays, cannot be completed on-line.

"We want prospective students to linger a bit over the essays," Farmer said. "We want them to write well about topics they've had a chance to reflect on. We're worried that on-line essays might be a little too instantaneous. We'd rather read a deliberate essay than an instantaneous one."

Response to the on-line applications, which became available Sept. 15, has been favorable, Farmer noted. "Students say they are pleased with the availability of the on-line application."

The recently revised home page of the U.Va. admission office contains news, a schedule showing when deans will visit approximately 100 cites in Virginia and the rest of the United States, and autobiographical profiles of currently enrolled students. Included in the profiles are their e-mail addresses so prospective students and their families can contact U.Va. students directly with questions they may feel uncomfortable asking an admission official.

"The profiles do a good job of breaking down barriers, such as geographic distance," Farmer said. "High school students feel more comfortable contacting students in the profiles than adults in suits."

The U.Va. admission office usually receives about 100 completed on-line applications over a weekend and approximately two dozen each work day.

The U.Va. admission home page address is http://www.virginia.edu/~admiss/ugadmiss/home.shtml

For more information, Steve Farmer can be reached at (804) 982-3390. Kelly Queijo can be reached at (540) 231-4293.

Contact: Ida Lee Wootten, (804) 924-6857

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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