Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Summer/Fall 2017 Transfer Reviews

In mid-February, our office started reviewing Summer transfer applications, as well as a small number of fall transfer decisions.  The deadline for summer has not passed and we are still receiving applications and documents, so we cannot say how long it will take us to finish or guess when you will hear a decision.  If you applied early for summer or fall, please be sure to check your Status page to see if we have your most up-to-date transcript(s).  If you were enrolled in coursework last fall and have not sent a transcript with your fall grades, you should have one sent as soon as possible.  To be complete and ready to review, we must have a transcript from each college/university you have previously attended.  If we see that you were enrolled in courses last fall and we do not have a transcript with those grades, you are not complete and this will delay a review of your application.

Once we complete the Summer transfer reviews, we will then begin to focus full time on our review Fall transfer applicants. Just like the summer files, we do not know how many will apply, how long each review will take, when you will hear, etc. The best this is to just be patient as we review the files. As well, Fall transfer applicants need to make sure we have the most up-to-date transcripts, and that we have individual transcripts from each college attended, even if it was dual enrollment work in high school.

One change for this year's transfer decisions is that we have a new admissions system, which allows for a little quicker review of files, but more importantly for communications to go out once a change to your application status (generally an admit or deny decision) has been made. We will be releasing transfer decisions every Friday late afternoon (starting this Friday, 2/24), and emails go out about 15 minutes after a decision is released. This means there is no need to constantly check on your status page for a change, and it allows us to perform a number of checks on decisions prior to releasing them. 

Go Dawgs!

Friday, February 17, 2017

2017 February Freshman Admit Group

The February freshman admission offers will be available late afternoon on Friday, February 17..

UGA will offer admission to a group of roughly 1,600 freshman applicants. This group of decisions is made up of only offers of admission, and if you were admitted, you will be able to see the decision on your Status page (so only admitted students will see a decision change on their Status page) and these admits will receive an email communication. Additionally, an admissions packet will be sent out in the mail early next week. Our office is too busy reviewing files for me to run any mid-range academic averages at this time, but the academic information should be very similar to the Early Action admitted students (it will not be exactly the same, as we had a large number of EA admits who were applying for our top scholarships, which slightly skews EA stats a little higher). The press release about our Early Action decisions gives more details on the academic averages for this group. As we did in the November Early Action offers of admission, there will be some scholarship offers in this group, and those who have received them will see it on the status page. We will continue to offer scholarships through early April, so please be patient as we do these reviews.

These admitted freshman, made up of mostly Regular Decision applicants, met the stringent academic criteria of Early Action admission that we used with our much larger wave of November admission offers. Do not panic if you were not admitted with this February group. We are still very much in the midst of carefully reviewing documents and data on a great many more files, and there are still lots of decisions to make.  Again, admitted students will see their decision on their Status page, while applicants who do not yet have a decision will see the same Status message as before. The final wave of freshman application decisions will be made by mid-late March after we have completed our holistic file reading process. Thank you for your patience as we finish our reviews over the next month.

Lastly, please make sure to review the Urban Legends page and all my posts about ignoring myths that you might hear about admissions, as these myths are incorrect (major has no impact on a decision, we do not limit the number of admission offers by school, zip code, etc.). As well, please remember that I cannot discuss any other students on this blog, I cannot guess about decisions, and I ask that any comments should not be harmful to other applicants.

Go Dawgs!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Importance of Depth

For the last fifteen years or so, my family has made an intentional decision to try and have birthday events and gifts be focused on an activity. We have planned scavenger hunts, rafter down several Tennessee rivers, hit the ski slopes in West Virginia, and gone cave spelunking in Kentucky. I vividly remember a trip early on where we went tubing down the Chattahoochee in Helen, GA. For those who don't know what tubing is, it is the outdoor version of a lazy river, and Helen is a wonderful location for this adventure. You park at the tubing center, catch a quick bus ride (with your inner tube and life vest) up river, then have a relaxing float downstream.

Unfortunately, during this middle of the summer tubing adventure, a problem arose: a drought that year meant the water level in the river was precariously low. In reality, nothing revolving around tubing is precarious. The worst that can possibly happen is generally a mild sunburn or floating a little too far away from your family. But a low level of water means less effortless floating and more standing, walking, pushing, and annoyance. It also means more complaining by family members, which becomes a downward spiral. Water depth (along with bug spray and sunscreen) is key to a good tubing adventure. Good water depth provides a smooth, consistent trip down the river.

In the same vein, depth is key in reading admissions files. When we are reading applications, we are looking at a number of factors, and one item we look for is depth. I love to see a student find a handful of co-curricular activities and, over the course of three to four years, develop both skills and leadership roles in these areas. Too many times we see files where a student suddenly adds 12th grade only clubs, sports, volunteer work and academic rigor in an attempt to boost their resume. To put it bluntly, applications that "are a mile wide and an inch deep" are not viewed as strongly as ones which show consistency. In the same way, we look for depth in a student's curriculum. When we are looking at a student's academic rigor, we are looking at what is available and what is then taken, and we focus on all four years of core courses, not just on the number of AP classes taken (a myth that I always have to correct).

In saying this, we still enjoy seeing students who try some activity that is outside their comfort zone. I have seen "jocks" try out for the senior play, a group of students start a diving team from scratch, or a person finding a need in their community that they try to help. We love seeing people step up and stretch out. But overall, we value depth in the application, from curriculum to grades to activities.

I hope this helps in understanding a little more about our review process. Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Summer/Fall 2017 Transfer/Transient Applications are Open

The Summer/Fall transfer and transient applications opened on Tuesday, January 24. While the application is now open, please take your time completing it. Again, please take your time, as it is much easier to submit a correct application than fix problems with a error filled one. Make sure you are applying for the correct program, the correct campus, the correct term, etc. Here are a few suggestions and updates for transfer applicants. 

While the application is open, we project we will not begin reviewing Summer transfers and transients until mid-late February, and we will not start with Fall transfers until March.
  • Review our transfer procedures and requirements, as well as our academic consideration levels.
  • Select the term you wish to attend, not one you have heard is easier to get in (this is a myth). If you select summer, for instance, we expect you to attend for summer, and if you do not, you cannot then attend in the fall.
  • Please send in all the required transcripts after you apply, not before. As well, we need all transcripts from colleges ever attended, even if you attended a college during HS.
  • When you are at the page where you enter in your previous schools, start typing in the name or city of the school, and it will auto generate schools that match. Select the correct one and the right code will then populate.
  • If a transcript has a different name than the one you applied with, please make sure to let us know so we can match up documents,
  • If you started a freshman application earlier to set up an account, you will need to change the application type, etc.
  • It is much better to get everything correct before applying rather than try to fix things after you submit an application, so triple check everything.
  • Once you apply, be patient. Review the timelines page on this blog, give us time to match up things, and relax. For document matching purposes, we suggest you give us 10 business days from when you apply or submit transcripts, whichever one comes last.
  • Make sure to monitor your status page after sending in transcripts, but give us time to complete your file.
Go Dawgs, and be patient!

Monday, December 12, 2016

December/January Admission Notes

The Holiday break is coming up, which means a large number of students will be completing their application (or part II of their deferred EA application). Here are some suggestions for Regular Decision and Deferred Early Action applicants to review.
  1. Patience. Patience is key, as this time of year brings out a rush of supporting materials. We will receive tens of thousands of documents over the next month, and we need time to match these items up, enter them into our system, and have them show up on the application status page. We have made great strides in importing documents, so the status page is almost a live feed, but mailed items take a little longer to add to a file. You do not need to call/email us if you do not see an item on your Status page. Give us 10 business days from when you applied or the document was sent (not requested but actually sent), whichever was later. As well, make sure your name on your documents matches your application data (and both name and email on test scores).
  2. Part II for Deferred applicants. For deferred EA applicants, your next step is to make sure you complete part II of the application (the 3 short essays), give us any updates on the Update section, and contact a teacher through your status page about sending in a recommendation. 
  3. Test Scores. We will take the January SAT for admissions review for this year and the February ACT (without Writing!), but these are the last exams we can use. In addition, you need to make sure to request as a score recipient when you sign up, as we have to keep on a timeline in order to get decisions out in a timely fashion.
  4. Fall Grades. While we do not require fall senior grades due to some high schools not having these ready until mid-February or later, we do heavily suggest you send in Fall grades. These can be sent in through the Update section of part II for Deferred EA applicants or by your counselor sending in an updated transcript. If you have a dip in senior grades, it is better to let us know now (and explain it) rather than us finding out in June and having to possibly rescind an admission offer.
  5. Timelines. Review the Timelines page on this blog, as it can give you more details on when things will occur. We do not have rolling freshman decisions, but instead have three decision release dates. One, the EA decision date in November, has already passed, another small group of admissions offers will go out for RD/deferred EA applicants who meet our Early Action admission criteria (see last year's February post for details on this group), and our final decisions will go out in mid-late March.
  6. Responsibility. While your parents, your HS counselor, and our office are here to help you with the application process, the ultimate responsibility for your application resides with you. Make sure that we have all the items needed for review, check your emails and your status page for details, and make sure that you have a complete application ready for us to review. The worst calls are always the ones from students where we were not able to make a decision, even with our reminder emails, phone blasts and text updates. Take care of your application.
  7. Scholarships. From about mid-November through mid-April, our office will be reviewing files and awarding scholarships to a limited number of admitted students. This is not a quick process, so please be patient as we do this. If you are awarded a scholarship, you will receive a letter in the mail, and email will be sent out, and a scholarship section will appear on your status page. You do not need to call/email about this process, just have patience.
  8. File Reading. From early January through about mid-March, the counselors in our office will be reading files. We will be reading, then reading more, then reading even more. As such, we will be limiting travel, we will have "quiet time" in our office where our counselors focus on reading and are not available to answer questions, and we will focus almost all our attention on reading files. Please be patient and think positive thoughts for our sanity.
  9. Finish strong. Admission to any university does not end with an acceptance and a deposit. It ends after you graduate from high school, when we review your final transcript. Senior year is a time of celebration, but don't take this to the extreme. We will be looking at senior grades and any new conduct issues, so make sure that you finish up your senior year academically and personally on the right note. I do not want to have to call you and ask why your grades tanked during the last semester, and I do not think you want to talk to me either. Keep on track with things.
Good luck, and Go Dawgs!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Early Action Decisions are Available

Early Action decisions are now available online! For students who were deferred, please understand that this is not a denial decision.  We want to be able to have a more in-depth review of you, including short essays, activities, recommendations, etc.  Please be sure to read the deferred student FAQ page before commenting on here.

While official statistics will come out early next week about the admitted freshman, here are some limited statistics on this group:

Quick Early Action Numbers*

Applications Received: 15,614
Offers of Admission: 8,059
Mid 50% Admitted Average GPA: 4.00-4.26
Mid 50% Admitted Average SAT (old, CR+M): 1300-1480

Mid 50% Admitted Average SAT (new, EBRW+M): 1300-1430
Mid 50% Admitted Average ACT: 30-33
Mid 50% Admitted AP/IB/MOWR courses (over 4 years: 6-11) 
    -Academic Rigor is based on an overall core course review, but this gives a good glance at the challenge of our admitted student's curriculum.

* Please Remember that these numbers are mid-ranges, not minimums.

If you have questions about your specific decision, please do not post them on this blog.  As well, do not give out or request personal academic information in your post, as we would then need to delete these posts. We are not able to answer questions about individual students here because we will generally not have your information in front of us and we cannot disclose individual student information in a comment.  I would recommend talking with both your family and high school counselor first, then reviewing this previous post on suggestions about how to react to an EA decision, and finally reading the FAQ's available from your Status page.

Please be patient, be nice and be courteous.

Have a great weekend and go Dawgs!

UGA Admissions - The Long Journey

In the past, I have used the image of a long cross country trip when looking at the Admissions process, and how we would not know the exact arrival time until we were almost to the destination. Now picture the Admissions process as a road trip with three legs to the journey. The first leg is Early Action, and we are now right at the end of that part of the trip. The second leg is a little shorter, and finishes up in late February when we review all Regular Decision and deferred EA applicants to see if they now meet Early Action admission standards (some EA defers will have a jump in their SAT/ACT scores that could shift them to admit). The last leg is the hardest, as it is the file reading part of the trip, and it does not finish up until mid-late March when final decisions are released.

So please know that UGA will not be done with the entire freshman admission decisions after we make our Early Action decisions. We will be done with the Early Action leg of the trip, but we are still a long way from being done with final decisions! We will still be receiving a large number of RD applications, deferred EA students will be completing their part II sections, we will be reviewing transcripts, reading essays, doing holistic reviews, etc. So if you are deferred, please know that we still have a lot of admission decisions to make! My rough estimate based on prior years is that will still be admitting a large number of freshmen after EA decisions. As well, please know that UGA will be treating deferred EA and RD applicants the same during the next steps of the process. The rumor always hits that deferred applicants will now be "put at the back of the line behind RD applicants", so let me just cut that off now and let you know that is incorrect. Again, in the next stages of the admission process, we will look at deferred EA (who then complete their file) and RD applicants in the same way.

In addition,  I heavily suggest that any deferred applicants that start comparing themselves to people who were admitted and questioning the decisions remember that UGA has a full view of everything in an applicant's file, from the various SAT/ACT subscores, and problem areas such as a D/F grade, lower grades that are out of balance with strong test scores, an applicant's overall curriculum, and more detailed information about their overall information, while others only have a partial and sometimes inaccurate view of things. This is just my suggestion, and you do not have to follow it, but it comes from 25+ years of talking with families about decisions.

Go Dawgs!

P.S. To quote Forrest Gump, "I'm pretty tired...I think I'll go home now".