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".

Monday, November 14, 2016

2017 Early Action Decision Release Date

For all of you who are waiting anxiously by your computer/mailbox, nervous about your Early Action decision, here is some good news. UGA is planning on releasing the EA decisions on the Status page on Friday, November 18 in the late afternoon, unless some serious problem arises, which I do not expect. If this changes, we will let you know, but this is the plan at this time. If there are issues, the release date and time would then be a little later, either over the weekend or the early part of the next week.  Do not call/email/text/message/tweet asking for the exact time of "late afternoon", as I cannot give an exact time. We will post a message here when it opens up. We are excited about this, and I am guessing you are as well, and hopefully it will allow for a little less nerve-wracking Thanksgiving break for some of you.

In addition to the decisions being available on the Status page, letters will go out in the mail for Accepted, Deferred and Incomplete students. Freshman denial letters will not be mailed out, as almost all applicants see their decisions online, and we, along with a number of colleges, did not want to have a letter that only served to reinforce the negative feelings they might already have.

Here are a few suggestions on how to react to the four different decisions:

Admit: Celebrate with family, buy a lot of UGA gear to wear for the Thanksgiving break, but remember that not everyone has received a decision of admission, and so be a little more low key with friends and classmates. In other words, do not run up to you best friend during English class and scream "I got into Georgia" while 10-15 of your classmates are mentally creating new and painful ways for you to meet your doom. In addition, be patient with the other parts of campus (commitment deposit, housing, the UGA myID system, etc.), as they might need a few days to take in your information. Remember, it takes a little while for information to flow to other offices. Read the materials we give you online and in an acceptance packet as it will instruct you on what to do next.

Defer: This is the most challenging one, as these are applicants who are truly strong students, but we want to see more about them, as well as the rest of the applicant pool, before making a final decision.  Please remember, this is not a denial at all, but instead a way for us to be able to review you in full, from your co-curricular activities, your essays, and your recommendations. As I usually state, defer is not a four letter word (even though you might feel this way), only a delay in an admission decision. This is your chance to let us know what you are like as an overall applicant. While this is probably not the answer you would like, I would suggest you treat it as a call-back for a second audition. Some roles have already been cast (or admitted), and we now want to look at you in more detail to see how you compare to the rest of the people auditioning (or applying). One of the worst things you can do is give up and not do the essays. The second worst thing is to call us up and berate us for not admitting you. We will be happy to talk to people, but make sure to communicate in a positive tone, understand that we cannot talk about other applicants, and please remember that defer does not mean denial. In past years, just under half of the deferred applicants who completed part II were later admitted. Each year, about 1,400+ deferred students do not complete part II, so we never even have a chance to even review them! If you are serious about UGA, take the time to complete your application, and then be patient as we review all of these files throughout Jan., Feb. and March. When completing part II/the essays, you do NOT need to do an entirely new application, and there is no new/additional application fee. You just need to go to your Status page after decisions are out, complete part II/the essays, and hit submit. As well, get a teacher from an academic area to write your teacher recommendation (it is optional but we suggest having one sent in). Remember, UGA is in no way done with the overall freshman admission process. We still have a long way to go, with a great deal of files to read and admission offers to make, so make sure you do your best to show UGA what you are like as an overall student/citizen.

Deny: While this is not a fun situation at all, the reality is that if you have been denied Early Action, you are truly not competitive for admission at UGA as compared to the rest of the applicant pool. It is not easy to write that, and it is very difficult to tell this to a student or parent, but when we look at this  student's application in comparison with the other 15,600 EA applicants (and remember, we expect to get over 8,000 RD applicants as well), they do not match up academically with the others. It is better to tell you now instead of waiting until late March, as this gives you time to make other plans. Unless there seems to be a serious error (you are in the top of your class, take a very challenging course load, and have a strong test score), my suggestion is to not contact us about the decision, but instead move forward with plan B. While we do not mind talking with you at all, the reality is that an Early Action denial means that the admission to UGA is not possible as a freshman.

Incomplete: For the small number of students who did not complete your EA file, you are now automatically deferred to the next step, and so you will need to get in the missing materials from EA, and also submit part II of the application and a teacher recommendation (the teacher recommendation is optional but we suggest having one sent in). We went three plus weeks beyond the deadline allowing you to get in the missing documents, sending reminder emails, indicating what was missing through the Status page, and it was your responsibility to get in the required materials. So I do not suggest contacting us to see if we can take items late, as that time has passed. Focus instead on sending in what is needed to be reviewed in the next round. When completing part II/the essays, you do NOT need/want to do an entirely new application, and there is no new/additional application fee. You just need to go to your Status page after decisions are out, complete part II/the essays, and hit submit.

Go Dawgs!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

UGA and the ACT

Over the past 5 years, UGA has had a huge jump in the number of students submitting ACT scores. UGA treats the ACT in the same way that we do the SAT (neither one is better or worse, easier or harder, etc.), but there still seems to be a great deal of mystery about how UGA looks at the ACT. I will try my best to give you some insight into our process.

When we look at the ACT scores, we are one of many schools that will superscore the ACT. This means that UGA will take your highest subscores in multiple ACT exams and use these highest scores both individually and in calculating the highest composite. The ACT determines the composite by adding together the English, Math, Science Reasoning and Reading subscores, then dividing by 4 (rounding to the nearest whole number). This is how you might have a higher overall Composite score than what your individual Composite scores show. Here is a quick example:
  • ACT 1: English-28, Math-29, Science-25, Reading-26 - Composite 27
  • ACT 2: English 24, Math 31, Science 27, Reading 23 - Composite 26
  • UGA Superscore:  English 28, Math 31, Science 27, Reading 26 - Composite 28
When UGA looks at the scores in more detail, though, we are focusing on the subscores that match the SAT scores. As such, our focus is on the English subscore and the Math subscore as these match up with the SAT subscores. If you have both SAT and ACT scores, we will then use whichever test has the strongest scores. In addition to these two subscores being a good match to the SAT subscores, there has also been research showing that these subscores are the best ACT score predictors of student success in college. The Washington Post has a good article about this ACT issue, although they use harsher language that I would.

So when you look at your ACT results and are discussing them with other people, know that we are looking at specific subscores, and that a Composite Score does not always give the most accurate information. Here are two more examples to give you a good understanding of the situation:

  • Student A: English -29, Math -30, Science -24, Reading -24, Composite 27
  • Student B: English -25, Math -22, Science -29, Reading -31, Composite 27
The Composite score for both students is a 27, but the eyes of UGA, Student A has a much stronger ACT, specifically in the English, Math areas. So if they both go out and state that they have a 27 ACT, that does not really give the full and accurate story. FYI, we give out the ACT Composite data in our information due to the fact that this is how all colleges share the ACT, and how we need to in our reporting, and generally the ACT E and ACT M averages are close to that average Composite.

I hope this helps a little bit in understanding how UGA looks at the ACT, and Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

2017 Early Action Update

With the Early Action deadline hitting about 10 days ago, here are a few updates about the process:


  • Total EA Applications (7% increase over last year):  15,560 (submitted and fee paid)
  • Complete Early Action Applications as of today: 13, 850 (89% of the group)
  • # of EA Applicants Applying within 4 days of Deadline: 4,264
As you can see, a large number of the Early Action applications are complete. The biggest item that is missing right now are official test scores, and as long as they were both taken and UGA was marked as a score recipient by 10/15, we can use them. You can see if your SAT scores have been sent by looking at the Score Sends option on your online score report. The ACT does not have an online listing of when scores are sent, so you would need to contact them directly. We just imported 3,900 10/1 SAT scores this morning, so a large number of files just changed to complete. If you took the 10/1 SAT with Writing, those scores are suppose to be sent to us on 10/30.

We are caught up completely on importing documents. If your documents were submitted by the 10/22 deadline, it will be considered for Early Action. If a document is not in, you need to take steps ASAP.

Your Steps

Be sure to check your Status Page to make sure you are complete!  If items you have sent are not showing up on your Status Page, double-check with your counselor, College Board, ACT, etc. to make sure that it was sent.  If a document was sent and it has been more than 5 business days, I would suggest either re-sending the document(s) or contacting us. We do not accept faxed documents, so make sure to send it electronically or by mail.

Now that you have submitted your application (and it is hopefully complete), take a few minutes to relax and enjoy the fall weather.

Go Dawgs!

Monday, October 10, 2016

2017 Early Action Updates

We are within a week of the EA deadline, so here are some updates about the process so far.

  • Currently, we have roughly 10,200 EA applications submitted as of right now (3;12 pm on 10/10). We expect a jump in application numbers as we get closer to the deadline, and we heavily suggest not waiting until the last minute to apply. Deadlines are usually when your computer fails, your dog gets sick on the keyboard, etc.
  • For students impacted by Hurricane Matthew, we will be extending the EA deadline to 11:59 pm on October 18. We hope that you and your family are safe following the devastating impact of Hurricane Matthew. We understand that recovering from the storm may be your top priority over the next week, and we have extended our Early Action application deadline to Tuesday, October 18 for applicants impacted by the hurricane. If you wish to take advantage of this deadline extension, please note that there is no need to contact us. Simply submit your application by 11:59 p.m. on October 18 and you will receive full consideration as an Early Action applicant.
  • For all students, we will continue to accept supplemental materials, including the school report and transcript, through October 22nd. 
  • Remember that in order to assure that UGA can use your SAT/ACT scores, the tests must be both taken and UGA must be selected as a score recipient by the 10/15 deadline. This means that if you put in UGA as a score recipient of the Oct. 1 SAT, we can use it. This also means that we are not able to use the Oct. 22 ACT, as those scores will arrive too late for EA.
  • Of the students who have submitted EA applications, roughly 60% have a complete file! This is well ahead of past years, in part due to our new system. The worst calls we have to answer are from students who did not get in all required materials, so make sure everything is sent in on time.
  • Applicants, remember to both check your application status page to make sure we have all required materials, and to allow for emails from uga.edu in case we need to send you a reminder email.
Have a great fall semester, and Go Dawgs!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Random Admission Thoughts, September 2016 Verson

It is September, which means that we are wrapping up Spring transfer decisions while at the same time we are almost 2 weeks into the freshman application (in a new system). As such, here are some quick notes on what is going on in our office, and some helpful hints for the freshman application.

Spring Transfers

  • Spring Transfers: I expect that our office will be finished with transfer decisions sometime this week, with the exception of anyone who has applied to a non-Athens program or someone with a conduct issue that is serious. 
  • Spring Orientation registration will open up in late September/early October, so accepted Spring students should keep an eye on their email for notification.
2017 Freshmen
  • As of today (9/12), we have 2,500 freshman who have submitted an application, and almost 8,200 additional students who have started an application but have not submitted it yet. While it is hard to predict the future based on 12 days, that is roughly 500 more than last year at the same time.
  • We have three automated emails which go out to applicants after they hit submit. Email #1 goes out right after you apply, and lets you know we received the email, what you need to do next, and a link to the Applicant Status page. Email #2 is a reminder for students who applied but have not submitted their application fee, and it goes out 5 days after application submission. Email #3 goes out 7 days after an application (with an app fee) is submitted to any applicant who is still incomplete. Make sure to pay attention to these emails, and to list uga.edu as an acceptable email that will not go into Spam.
  • We have officially completed the Peach State Tour with Ga Tech and Ga State, and we were able to reach over 4,000 student/parents and 500 HS counselors. We hope you were able to attend!
  • For those who were not able to attend, we are on the road for the next two months or so. Go to our UGA Near You site to see where our counselors will be traveling in the fall.
Application Hints
  • Before you start your application, remember to pull together a few things: correct SSN, a copy of your transcript, a resume, and your counselor's contact information.
  • For test scores, remember that while we ask for students to list their scores on the application, we need official SAT or ACT scores to be sent to us by the deadline from the testing agency.
  • On the Academics page, make sure to list the high school from where you will be graduating, and then give us your counselor name and contact information so an email can be sent to them. If you attended any prior high schools or are taking DE/MOWR college classes, these should be listed on a later page.
  • For the self-reported grades, make sure to read the questions carefully and then answer them. If you make a minor error on the self-reported grades, do not panic. We review each transcript and correct any minor mistake, so you do not need to contact us with a correction.
  • We also know that sometimes minor changes will happen with senior schedules (especially second semester), so just enter in your best estimate of what you will be taking this year on the Academics page.
  • Don't wait until the last second to apply. Seriously.
I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!