Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Random Admission Thoughts-Sept 2014 Edition

The application has been open for about three weeks, so the flow of documents, test scores and applications is starting to increase. As such, here are a few thoughts to remember both before and after you apply.

  • For Early Action, we will be able to accept the October SAT (if you have requested UGA as one of the receiving schools when signing up), but we will not be able to use the October ACT. In addition, if you want us to be able to use your ACT scores, we need to have at least one ACT Writing score. If we do not have one, we cannot use the ACT. In addition, we have had a number of questions about ACT scores and rounding up. The ACT policy is the one that UGA follows.
  • We import test scores on Tuesday and Friday mornings, and we do not always receive the scores when you do, so please be patient.
  • About 1-2 business days after you apply, you should be able to see application data on your myStatus page (go to "Check your Application Status". This will display the documents and test scores we have in our system. This is also where you can input your counselor's email address so they can be sent information on how to submit the School/Counselor Evaluation form.
  • If your school uses the Naviance or Parchment electronic document system, we are fine with documents being sent in this manner. We also accept GACollege411 transcripts. If at all possible, have documents sent electronically, as it goes into your file much easier and quicker.
  • We superscore SAT and ACT scores, so there is no reason to wait until you see the test score results before you send us the scores. We are fine with test scores being sent to us before and after you apply, as we will match these electronically in our system.
  • For documents (school/counselor evaluation, transcript, teacher recommendations, fee waivers, etc.), we heavily suggest sending these after you apply, as it is much easier to match them to an existing application. If sent before the application, we can match them, but it takes much longer to do so.
  • If you send documents by fax, we will shred them. We cannot use faxed official documents, so please make sure they are sent electronically or by mail. As well, SAT/ACT scores MUST come from the testing agency.
  • Do not aim for deadlines. I repeat, do not aim for deadlines. If you do so, you will make your counselor, your parents, and yourself very anxious. P.S. The EA application deadline is October 15, and the deadline for required supporting documents is October 22.
  • We receive a number of emails/calls on how applicants should enter in information (should I enter in NHS in activities or honors?). There are no set rules for how to enter in information, so just do your best to give us details about you. While we do not use your activities/sports/work/honors in the EA decision, we do use this in our scholarship review and in the read process if you are deferred, so do not skip these sections.
I hope this information helps, and Go Dawgs!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Where is the Effin Waffle House?

About 11 years ago, my wife and I were driving home after picking up our six year old son at my in-laws house, with  him firmly strapped into his car seat  in the back. As six year olds are prone to do, his discussion turned to bodily functions and a wonderful discussion about gas. My wife, raised as a proper southern woman, re-enforced the notion that one should not use the word "fart", even going as far as to say "remember, we do not use the F word". Of course, this turned into a wonderfully painful discussion about what other words he should not say, from the S word, the H word, and the other, dreaded "F word".

We finally made it through the "words that should never be said" talk, and focused on the drive home from Greensboro, GA to Athens. We had just reached the bridge crossing I-20, when from the back of the car we heard the statement "Where is the effin Waffle House?" My wife jerked her head around in horror and asked "What did you just say?" in a tone only a mother knows. My son grinned back at her and said "Where is the effin Waffle House?" She sat stunned, unable to speak, when he once more repeated "Where is the effin Waffle House?", only this time pointing forward and up in the sky. My wife turned to look, and saw the Waffle House sign up ahead in the dark sky, with one of the F's dark from a burned out light bulb. In other words, "Where is the F in WAFFLE HOUSE?" Luckily, I was able to keep the car on the road through all the laughter, but it was not easy.

Why do I tell you this story?

Just like with any other community, college admissions has their own vocabulary, and applicants need to make sure they understand what these words (such as Early Action, FAFSA, superscoring, etc.) mean. You don't want to think that you are hearing one thing, but in reality an admissions office is talking about something else.You want to make sure you know what is needed for each admissions office in order for the applicant's file to be complete, how to apply for financial aid, and what the steps are from considering a college all the way through enrolling there. I even have a page on this blog called Admission Speak to help understand admissions terms.

So when you work with any admissions office, make sure you are asking specific questions, make sure to submit  things early in the process in case there is a problem, and make sure to use the sources at hand (status pages, your counselor, etc.), to insure that your application moves forward smoothly

Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2015 Parent Post

Every year we try to open a post aimed at answering questions from parents.  We want to educate parents about the UGA admissions process and dispel myths and rumors that may be floating around high schools, neighborhoods and communities.  We recently sent an email out to students regarding the First Year application opening and letting them know about our blog, so hopefully they have already started doing more research on our admissions process, but now we want to hear from you, the parents.
With the 2015 First Year application now open and fall travel beginning, our office is about to get even busier, so now is the time to ask us questions.  Parents, what would you like to know?  Please post your questions through the comment option and we will try to respond as quickly as possible.

Go Dawgs!

P.S. A good resource as you start this process is the Top 10 UGA Admissions Urban Legends site.

Monday, September 1, 2014

2015 First Year Application Suggestions

The first-year application opens up tomorrow, so here are a few hints for when you are starting your application.

When you start working on the application, we suggest you have four items with you.
  •  SSN card (you absolutely must give us your correct Social Security Number (please proofread it twice).
  • A copy of your resume (we ask you to list your honors, activities, leadership, and work experiences which you may have already collected for a resume). This information is not used for EA, but we do use it for scholarship review, so that is why we ask it for both EA and RD applicants.
  • A copy of your latest HS transcript (you need to accurately report the college prep curriculum you’re taking and the grades you've earned).
  • Your fee payment information (to complete the application you must give us payment information, ideally for a credit card).
After you have started the application and created your UGA “ApplicantID”, you can save your work and come back later to complete the application and make any corrections.  Warning: Once you agree to the UGA Honor Code and choose "submit" at the bottom of that final page, you cannot return to make changes or corrections to your application. As well, you need to complete a payment option (check/waiver or credit card) to finalize the submission of the application.

When you are selecting your term, decision plan (EA vs RD) or major, select the ones you want, not what someone told you would be "easier for admission". If you select summer, do so because you intend to start in the summer term. We are fine to change freshmen from summer to fall or fall to summer, but it takes time and effort on our part, and we would rather not take time away from other work to change your term due to a rumor. When you select Early Action (EA) or Regular Decision (RD), it sets up different required items in your application checklist. Once you select a decision plan, you need to stick with it, as changing causes issues with the back end process of your application. As for majors, you are free to change your major after you are admitted and send in a deposit, so there is no logical reason for us to use this in an admission decision, or for you to select a major you do not want.

I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Application for UGA's Top Freshman Scholarship Program Available Soon


The Foundation Fellowship and Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarships are the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship programs at the University, if not in the country.

The Foundation Fellowship currently provides an annual stipend of $11,072 for in-state students (in addition to the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship) and $18,180 for out-of-state students (plus an out-of-state tuition waiver). The Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarship provides $5,536 for in-state students (in addition to the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship) and $9,090 for out-of-state students (plus and out-of-state tuition waiver). Much more than financial support, program membership provides: Spring break travel-study programs, a May study abroad program at Oxford in England immediately following the first year, travel-study grants closely related to students’ academic and professional goals, which can be combined with study overseas for a full semester or academic year, grants to attend research and academic conferences, seminars and book discussions with UGA and visiting professors, and faculty and peer mentoring. For more information about the amazing opportunities for Foundation Fellows and Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholars, please visit the Honors Program website

To be considered, all applicants must be current high school seniors with a minimum unweighted high school GPA of 3.80 and a minimum combined, super-scored SAT total score of 2100 or ACT composite score of 31.

This separate scholarship application will be available in early September on the admissions website.  The deadline is November 4, 2014. 


Feel free to email questions to fframsey@uga.edu.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fall 2014 Travel

Fall travel is upon us! During this time of year admissions counselors leave their desks and offices behind and head out on the road for college fairs, college nights, high school visits, counselor programs and other recruitment events. This means you may be seeing UGA admissions staff on the road! Be sure to check our Meet UGA Near You page for a list of events we will be attending this fall. This page is updated weekly so check back regularly as we continue to plan travel and add events.

Georgia students, if you are attending a PROBE  fair you can register your information online ahead of time! When you register online, you will be able to print out a bar code to take with you to the fair. College representatives will be able to simply scan your bar code to capture your information. This will prevent you from having to fill out a different information card for each college you speak to at the fair.

While you're looking through travel schedules, consider looking up who the admissions counselor is for your school and sending a quick a message. Whether it's just to say hello or to suggest places we visit while in your area, we love to hear from prospective students!

Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Said No UGA Admissions Counselor Ever

In the UGA Admissions Office, there are some things we will never say no matter what. Some people will ask questions hoping for one of these answers, but you will not hear us give an answer (at least not the one some people expect). I sometimes feel like Dr. Seuss in "Green Eggs and Ham", (paraphrasing) "I will not say that in a house, I will not say that with a mouse. I will not say that here or there, I will not say that anywhere." Here are some of the top things we would never say:

  1. "Sure, I can tell you whether to apply Early Action or Regular Decision." This is a choice that needs to be made by the student, as it is a timing issue, not an issue that impacts the chances of admission.
  2. "Of course I can tell you what classes to take for the next year (or the next four/eight/twelve years)." While we know a great deal about high school classes, we are not an expert on what your school offers, when the courses are available, what you want to take and/or your academic preparation for courses. This is best decided upon after the student and family speak with their HS counselor.
  3. "Take the easiest courses so you can make the best grades possible." We want you to challenge yourself to the best of your ability while still doing well in your classes. You need to prepare yourself for the UGA classroom experience, and the best way to do that is to take strong courses.
  4. "The SAT/ACT scores are the most important thing to UGA Admissions." While test scores get the most publicity, our first focus is how you do in the classroom and the courses you are taking in high school (see #3 again).
  5. "Sure, go ahead and cut back on your academic schedule so that you can add another activity." Academics come first. Let me repeat, academics come first. If you are struggling with being overloaded, I suggest looking at cutting back on an extra-curricular activity, not academics. You will thank us sometime during your first semester in college.
  6. "You need to make XXXX on the SAT/ACT to get admitted to UGA." UGA does not have a required SAT or ACT score needed for admission, no matter what your neighbor/friend/family member says.
  7. "It is no problem if you wait until the last minute to do things." Waiting until the last minute to apply or send in materials is just asking for something to go wrong. Please give your counselors and teachers time to send in items, as they have enough stressful issues on their plates without this.
  8. "Yes, I can guess about whether you will be admitted or not." Here is the big one! We cannot guess about an admission decision, sorry. We just cannot predict what the overall applicant pool will be like year to year and how you fall into the group. P.S.-this applies for both freshman and transfers.
I hope this lists helps everyone understand why we will not say certain things or answer some specific questions, or why we redirect some questions back to the student for the best answer. If I think of any other things we would never say, I will add them to the list!

Go Dawgs!