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 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 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!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

2017 Freshman Application is Open

The 2017 Freshman application is now open! Here are a few key steps about what to do after you submit an application.

  1.  A short while after you apply, we will load your application into our system.  You will then be able to log into the Applicant Status page, and this is where you will be able to check on the status of your required supplemental items. When you enter your counselor's name and contact information into the Academics page of the application, this triggers an email to go to your counselor so they can submit the required school/counselor report. FYI, we are okay if your counselor chooses to send in a counselor form through Naviance instead.
  2. Be patient as we load your application into our our system and match up test scores and supporting documents. We suggest giving our office 5-10 business days to match up items, especially if they are sent by mail, so you do not need to send items multiple times.
  3. Parents-While we have had parents start an application in the past, I do not suggest this for the 2017 application, as we are using a new system that links the application with our recruitment system. If you start an application, this will create a new prospective student in our system, and that is not what you (or I) want to happen.
  4. Documents (transcripts, counselor/school evaluations, etc.) that are sent prior to applying are now able to be matched with your record in our system when they arrive, so they should display on the Application Status page fairly quickly. Just make sure any materials that are sent in have your full name and birth date on it. We accept electronic documents such as Naviance/Parchment (an electronic document system) documents and our own counselor form, as these get to us much quicker than printed documents that are mailed. The new GAFutures system is not functioning exactly as the old GA411 transcript system was, but we are working with the state to get it up and running ASAP. We are okay with mailed documents , but it takes more time to get materials to us through the mail, opened, scanned and into a file than with electronic documents.
  5. On the Applicant Status page, we have given the option for students to upload their fee waiver and Permanent Residency card (Green card) if these options were marked on the application. This will expedite the review process for these documents, and we do not need an additional paper copy if you upload the document through the Status page. We also have given students the option to upload a resume on the Status page, but that is not a required document.
  6. We will accept all nationally offered SAT/ACT scores that are both taken and sent by the Early Action 10/15 deadline, so we are fine with the October SAT but we cannot accept the October ACT. Make sure you send us scores on time so we can review your file.
  7. Use the Applicant Status page to keep track of your application and supporting documents/test scores. You (the applicant) are ultimately responsible for your application, but we will send reminder emails/texts if your file is incomplete. I repeat, use the myStatus page to keep track of your application. In addition, review the Timelines page for more details on when to expect a decision.
  8. Remember, we need an application fee, an official transcript, a school/counselor report and an SAT or ACT score to complete your file, and the supplemental items EA submission deadline is 10/22. We cannot review your application without all these items. See the Deadlines/Required Items page for more details.
I hope these suggestions help, and Go Dawgs!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Getting Ready to Apply

The 2017 Freshman application will open up on September 1, so here are a few things to help prepare for this process.
  1. Always take care of things well before a deadline. A student who applies and submits all documents well before a deadline shows that they are the type of person who does not wait until the last moment to do things, from applying to studying to going to class. If X university is number one on your list of colleges, act like it. We do not make different decisions based on this, but it helps everyone involved.
  2. Be prepared when you sit down to start the application. Before you start your application, make sure you have the following items on hand; your correct Social Security Number (SSN), a copy of your transcript which shows grades from 9th through 11th grade, a copy of your resume, your SAT/ACT/AP scores (for entering in the score area, but if you have sent them to UGA already, they will show up on the app), and your counselor's contact information including email. As well, have your payment information handy (either a credit card number or a digital copy of a fee waiver). Our new application system has you enter in your counselor's contact info and email when you apply, so make sure to have it handy.
  3. Proofread your application before you submit it. I am not just talking about proofreading your essays, but instead checking your whole application to make sure you are giving us the information you want us to see. We receive hundreds of emails right after a student applies to UGA asking for us to add X to their file where they forgot something, correct Y where they made a mistake, etc. After you complete your application, go over it one more time to make sure your birth date is right, all the clubs/activities that you want us to know about are listed, and your information looks correct. We even have one section that just lists the 8-10 most important items with your responses, and we ask you to make sure these are accurate before you hit submit.
  4. Be kind to your counselors and teachers. Make sure to give your HS counselor and any teacher who will be writing recommendations for you time to do their part. Don't rush in the day before the deadline to ask them for help, but instead give them 2 or more weeks if possible.
  5. Don't listen to rumors/myths about college admissions. I have been over this many times, so I won't beat a dead horse. All I can say is that I have had three surgeries in my life, but going through the experience does not make me a doctor, just a good patient.
  6. Map out your college application plan. If you are like most students, you will apply to 3-5 colleges. If this is the case, you will have to track the deadlines, materials timelines and actions needed for all of these colleges. Get a calendar (electronic or paper) just for admissions timelines, and enter in the deadline dates, scholarship dates, campus programs, deposit dates, etc. for all these colleges. This is the best way to keep this process organized and to not miss out on something. The worst calls we handle are when a student did not do X by a certain deadline and we can't do anything for them except say sorry.
  7. Let your parents be involved in the admissions process, but only so much. It is okay to allow your parents to be a part of the college admissions process, but make sure that you are the one who completes the application, writes the essays, etc. Your parents can be great at helping you keep track of deadlines, make plans for visiting colleges, and giving you suggestions about your application. In the end, though, make sure you are the one driving/managing this process, as you are the one who will be at college next year.
I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Test Score Deadline for 2017 RD and Deferred EA applicants

It seems like everything is changing for the freshmen who will be applying for Summer/Fall of 2017. The FAFSA date is changing to take into account tax/financial information from two years prior to their entry term (some are calling this Prior-Prior Year FAFSA), the SAT has changed, the ACT essay has changed, and the Coalition Application is now a part of some college's application system (not ours). As far as the changes to the SAT and the ACT, we have seen some changes in the timing of the release of scores. For the SAT, it might now take in between 26 and 39 days for us to get a score report. In addition, the ACT (without the essay) is now taking about 10-14 days to get to us.

In light of these changes, and in trying to help out our applicants during a confusing year, we have changed the required date for taking AND requesting a test score be sent to UGA. We will take any SAT or ACT (without the essay) that is both taken AND requested to be sent to UGA by February 11th. This means that we will use the SAT that is offered on January 21 and the ACT that is offered on February 11. This does not mean wait until the last minute to send any scores though. Since we use only your best scores, and we superscore by using the best subscores within each test type (ACT, SAT 1, and SAT R).

My best suggestion right now is to send us your scores as of now, and make sure to list UGA as a score recipient when taking the SAT or ACT, and if you will be taking one a test during the last dates we allow, it is imperative to list UGA as a recipient (or we will not be able to use it).

We hope this helps our applicants during a year of change, and Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Spring 2017 Transfer Reviews

Today, our office started reviewing Spring 2017 transfer applications. This is earlier than I expected, but we are way ahead of the timelines we have predicted for Fall transfers files and final HS transcripts for freshmen. The 8/15 application deadline for spring 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 for the spring term, please be sure to check your myStatus to see if we have your most up-to-date transcript(s).  If you were enrolled in coursework this summer and have not sent a transcript with your summer 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 you are attending a new college starting in the Fall 2016 semester, we do not need a transcript, as there will not be any grades on the transcript. If you are admitted, we will need a transcript when fall term is done, though, as we will need to post these grades.

Transfer decisions are made on a daily basis Monday through Friday, and it varies on how many decisions we can make in a day due to the complexity of some transfer files. The myStatus page is updated in the early a.m. every business morning, and decisions are posted on the myStatus page and are mailed to transfer applicants.We generally try to review files based on when a file is complete (earliest to latest), but this is not an exact science due to complexities within the transfer process. During the first few weeks of August, decisions might be a bit slower than normal due to also having to input summer work for incoming/returning students, but that should slow down by the start of class (8/11).

We will be reviewing Spring Freshmen applicants sometime in mid-late September after the deadline has passed and all files are ready for review.

Go Dawgs!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Camp Sunshine 2016

It is that time of year again, when I will be away from the blog for a week while I volunteer at Camp Sunshine, a camp for children with cancer. This will be my 21st year volunteering for the summer camp part of Camp Sunshine, and I have had a wonderful time over the years working with this program. This year, I will be a cabin counselor for seven 12-year old boys  (along with one other counselor), and I am guessing I will be involved in a great deal of mountain biking, fishing, tennis, gold panning, going up the climbing wall (or just watching as my campers go up), archery, dodgeball, arts and crafts, and a lot of  singing. If you have never heard 200+ campers and 150+ volunteers singing and dancing to "Peanut Butter Jelly Time", you are missing a great event.

So, for the next week or so, I will be out of communication with this blog.  Once I am back, I will begin posting/commenting/replying again!

Go Dawgs!