Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Admissions and Forrest Gump's Box of Chocolates

As Forrest Gump says, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you will get." Undergraduate Admissions, especially during decision time, has some real connections to this this quote. Our post-decision interactions (mostly with denied students and families) many times involves an attempt to compare their own student with other admitted students that they know. Many students think they know other applicants in detail due to the fact that they sit next to each other in Biology, they know their rank in class and they might know the ACT Composite if the student posted it on Snapchat.

But in the admissions world, life is really more like the infamous box of chocolates. When you look at all the chocolates in the box, you see the outer chocolate layer, and many times you think you know what is inside due to the shape of the candy. But in reality, you really only know the surface, and don't know if it is caramel, nougat, or coconut until you get to the center. In the same way, students know the surface information of other students, but they generally do not know the inner details of another person's life.

They might know a GPA or rank, but they do not know their UGA recalculated GPA, the academic trends we see, and the letter of recommendation that we receive from their AP Calc teacher. They might know some of their school activities, but they might not know about the volunteer work they did at the local food bank over the summer. They may know about the ACT composite, but they might not know about the stronger SAT R, or the individual ACT English and Math subscores that UGA focuses on. They might know where they live, but they might not know about the personal challenges the student and/or family has overcome due to medical/financial/personal issues. You might know that they are strong in AP English, but you might not know that this has led to some amazing essays that show true voice and excellent writing skills.

As such, you never know what you will get with an admissions application until to get to the heart of the file, and learn in great deal what each student is truly like. So please, don't judge other applicants by the outer shell that you know, and understand that there is more to them than just what you see from the outside.

As Forrest Gump said, "My Mama always said you've got to put the past behind you before you can move on." Decision time is tough, and you might not always get the answer you want, but the key is to move forward from this decision and focus on your future college experiences. Select a college that fits you best, and then do great there!



Friday, March 17, 2017

2017 Freshman Admits

We plan to make the final wave of freshman decisions available late afternoon on March 17th.

For those of you who have been admitted to UGA, here is a post for you and a chance to comment.  Please remember that this is not a blog where you should post statistics or throw fellow students under the bus. These types of comments will be deleted.

Congratulations to all of the freshman who were admitted and we look forward to you becoming part of the Bulldog Nation.  The next steps for a new student can be seen in the flyer in your admission packet, so please go ahead and review what you need to do next.  In addition, there will be a great deal of information you can access off of your Status page.  When you have the time, please review this, as there is key information in the Next Step materials.  Please remember a small number of students will be admitted to start in January 2018.  You will find specific information on your Status page and in your admissions packet.

Here are some rough statistics on the Entire Freshman Admitted Class for 2017-EA, February and March waves, where we admitted approximately 12,900 students total (I do not have separate data on just the final group, sorry):

UGA Calculated Grade Point Average mid-range/average:  3.94 - 4.20, with a 4.05 average

  • Please remember this is not the GPA students see on their high school transcript, but rather the GPA that UGA recalculates for everyone based on the core academic courses taken in high school and looking at the actual grades posted on the transcripts. 


SATR Best Score Total (EBRW and Math) average: 1381
  • Because of the shift from SAT 1 to SATR this year, I am giving out the SATR information with SAT 1/ACT information converted to the SATR scoring structure (or Best Score). This is not exact due to the SAT change, but it is the best we can do right now.

ACT Composite average:  30


 AP/IB/Dual Enrollment course mid-range/average: 6-10 courses, average of 8
  • We determine academic rigor based on all core classes a student has taken (CP, Honors, Advanced, AP, IB, DE, etc.), but this information is the most specific data I can give on it.

Remember that the Housing and myID pages may need a few business days before your information will be available.  Please be patient with these sites.

You have until May 1 to submit a commitment deposit in order to hold a spot in our freshman class.  We hope the next stage of the admission process is a little less nerve wracking than the decision process.  As you celebrate, make sure to be considerate of others in your school who may not have been admitted.

Good luck in the next stage of the college admissions process.  Go Dawgs!

2017 Wait List Decisions

We plan to make the final wave of freshman decisions available late afternoon on March 17th.   For some students, you will be offered a place on our wait list.  Every year our office has to predict approximately how many students we can admit in order to enroll our freshman class, but we can never be sure how many students will enroll until after the May 1 commitment deposit deadline has passed.  If the number of students who say they will be attending UGA is lower than we expect, we may need to go to our wait list group in order to get the size that we want for our freshman class.  This year we have just under 900 students on the wait list.  We carefully monitor the deposits coming into the University to see where we are in comparison to the predicted freshman numbers.

For those of you who have been wait-listed, here is a chance for you to comment.  Please remember that this is not a blog where you should post statistics or throw fellow classmates under the bus.  These types of comments will be deleted. Before commenting/asking questions here, please review the decision letter and the FAQ, as they give a great deal of details of the Wait List process.

The Wait List FAQ can answer some questions, but the most important thing you need to do is decide if you want to remain on the wait list.  Follow the instructions on the status check or wait list letter we mailed to let us know if you want to stay on the wait list or if you want to decline this option and move forward with admission at another college.  If you decide to stay on the wait list, you should still move forward with an alternate college plan as we will not know about any wait list options until May at the earliest.  If you select to stay on the wait list, we will know that you still want to attend UGA if an opportunity opens up.  The key word in wait list is wait as this is not a quick process.  So please be prepared to wait.

There are three options for the wait list reply.  You can say no, please do not consider me for the wait list.  The next option is to remain on the wait list, but only if it is for the Fall term.  The third option is to remain on the wait list and be considered for both Fall and Spring terms.  This is so that if there is space available for the Fall term, we will look at all of the students who have asked to remain on the wait list.  If the only space available is for Spring term, we will only look at students who said Fall or Spring.  Once you select an option, you cannot change it so be sure to think about your decision before you make your selection.

We will not know details about the wait list until after May 15, and it may be well well into June before we make wait list decisions.  Please be patient with our office and read the FAQ before asking questions as it can give you a great deal of information. If you do not feel like you can wait until mid-May through mid-June for a decision, it may be that the wait list option is not for you.

2017 Freshman Denials

We plan to make the final wave of freshman decisions available late afternoon on March 17th.   Unfortunately, we were not able to admit a number of strong applicants as we are limited in the size of our freshman class.  We know that you have a number of other strong college options and suggest you focus on the other great opportunities that are ahead rather than on a denial from UGA.  If your ultimate goal is to graduate from the University of Georgia, then we suggest you look at transfer opportunities down the road.  For now, focus on your current college options, find one that fits you best, and have a great freshman year there.  Please read our Denied Student FAQ if you have questions. If you decide to contact us next week, please understand that we will not be able to give you a specific "reason" for a denial, as in this process we have looked at everything within everyone's file, and the overall reason is really that the overall applicant pool is very large and very strong.

Please remember that this is not a blog where you should post statistics or throw fellow classmates under the bus.  These types of comments will be deleted.

Monday, March 13, 2017

2017 Freshman Final Decisions

Yes, the question that all freshmen applicants (and their parents) have been asking again and again can finally be answered. Final decisions for freshman applicants are scheduled to be released on Friday, March 17 (unless something catastrophic occurs). Decisions will be available on the status page sometime in the late afternoon on Friday (no do not ask for an exact time, I do not have it) and applicants will be able to view their decisions. As well, emails to all freshman waiting for a decision will go out shortly after we make decisions, indicating a change in their status.

There will be three decision groups (Admit, Deny and Wait-List), and I will try to post some information on all three of these decisions this week. We will also have a small group of freshman that we will admit for the Spring 2018 term. I do not have any statistics on the groups at this time, but we will have more data on the overall admit group by the end of the week.

Please do not have multiple people in your family try to log into the status page on Friday, as this will slow everything down. Just have one person (hopefully yourself) log into status, be patient, and tell family members who want to see your status page to wait until later.

Remember, we cannot and will not give out any decisions by phone, in person or by email, and we are as happy as you are to have decision day finally get here.

Transfers: We will continue to review transfer files and make decisions available on Fridays on the status page. Transfer decision letters will continue to be sent out and an email will go out shortly after the Friday decision release if an applicant's status has changed.

Go Dawgs!

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!!