Deciding to Apply
- What are the goals of the Lawn community and the expectations of community members?
Residence on the Lawn recognizes students who are undergraduate degree applicants in their final year of undergraduate study, for unselfish service to the University and/or Charlottesville/Albemarle County communities 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?
Residents on the Lawn must be full-time undergraduate degree applicants in their final year of undergraduate study at the University. Students enrolled in a joint bachelors/masters degree program may apply to live on the Lawn if they will receive their bachelor’s degree in May of their year of residency. Second year students who will graduate at the end of their third year may apply for residency for their third year. Second year students who will graduate at the end of their third year may apply for residency for their third year.
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 in recent years the Lawn Selection Committee has received 150-200 applications for 47 rooms. The 7 remaining rooms are assigned through alternative selection processes.
- What is the timeline for Lawn Selections?
The deadline for 2024-2025 applications is set for 12:00 noon on January 2. This allows eligible students to complete their applications over winter break. Offers will be made no later than February 16, when the Selection Committee has completed their review of the applications. The deadline to accept an offer from the Selection Committee is 5:00 p.m. on February 23.
- 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 academic performance in the fall of 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 Lawn offers have been made before you make a binding contractual 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 Apartments (Lambeth, Bice, Copeley, Faulkner or Bond), in Upperclass Hall-Style Housing (Johnson, Malone, and Weedon), in a Residential College (Brown, Hereford or the International Residential College) or in a Language House. If you receive an offer to live on the Lawn, Housing & Residence Life will allow you to transfer your housing contract to your Lawn offer; this option is not available to students who commit to off-Grounds housing.
Writing the Application
- 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 and description of your extracurricular activities at UVA, and your cumulative and major GPA. Your major department can provide information on how to calculate your major GPA.
- Can I include information about activities I was involved in prior to coming to UVA 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. Be creative and true to yourself. 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. The academic rigor of the courses you have elected to study is also taken into account in evaluating an applicant's GPA.
- How do I calculate my major GPA?
Information on how to calculate your major GPA is available through your major department.
The Selection Process
- Who serves on the Selection Committee?
The Lawn Selection Committee is composed of 60 Fourth Year students, none of whom are permitted to be Lawn applicants themselves. Only students serve on the Selection Committee.
There are 32 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 Pan-Asian Leadership Council, the Asian Student Union, the Black Student Alliance, the Black Presidents Council, the Global Student Council, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Inter-Fraternity Council, the Inter-Sorority Council, the Cultural Organization for Latin Americans, the Middle Eastern Leadership Council, the Multicultural Greek Council, the Muslim Students Association, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Native American Student Union, the Queer Student Union, the Student Athlete Advisory Council, the Fourth Year Trustees, the Student Veterans Association, the Student Disability Alliance, the Transfer Student Peer Advisors, and the Black Student-Athletes Offering Service and Support
The remaining 32 committee members are selected by a random process. A small group of Fourth Year students will receive an email request to serve on the Lawn Selection Committee, and the first 37 to accept this responsibility will receive training to read and rank applications. The first 32 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 content of the Lawn application, and training the Selection Committee on the criteria and process of selection.
- What is the Selection Committee looking for?
The Committee seeks to select a diverse community of peers, each of whom will bring their own unique contribution to the Lawn and the broader community. 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 challenging coursework, 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. Involvement in the local Charlottesville and Albemarle county communities is also considered. While a long list of activities can be impressive, it is more important to emphasize the depth and impact of involvement in those activities.
It is extremely important that you do not exaggerate any of your involvement. Living on the Lawn is a great privilege and misrepresenting yourself on your Lawn application is a serious offense which can result in referral to the Honor Committee.
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 and to be welcoming to students and visitors alike. 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.
- 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 [email protected] 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 approved by the University Dean of Students from the nomination forwarded by the Society.
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 Lawn 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 from the nomination forwarded by the Society.
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 from the nomination forwarded by the Society.
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 from the nomination forwarded by the Society.
- Is it expensive to live on the Lawn?
The current housing rate for a Lawn room with a fireplace is $8,370 for the academic year. If you are on financial aid, you can discuss options with Student Financial Services to accommodate your situation. In addition, residents no longer need to furnish their Lawn rooms, as each room is furnished by the University with a lofted bed, a ladder, a daybed, and a hutch containing a microwave and refrigerator with a freezer.