Thursday, February 11, 2016

Summer/Fall 2016 Transfer Consideration Level Update

When the Summer/Fall Transfer application opened up a few weeks ago, the consideration level for admission for applicants with 60 or more hours was changed from a 2.80 to a 3.00 GPA. This was done in an effort to make sure we could control the size of the entering transfer class, and to make sure we had enough space on campus for all entering students. After a review of this change by both admissions and the administration, it was determined that we would not implement this new consideration level  for Summer and Fall of 2016, and so we will revert back to a 2.80 for applicants with 60 or more transferable hours for these two terms. There is a good chance that we will shift the consideration levels for future terms beyond Fall 2016, but I cannot estimate that situation at this time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

2016 Transfer Admission Update

On Monday, February 8, our office started reviewing Summer transfer applications.  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 myStatus 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 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.

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 morning, and decisions are posted on the myStatus page and are mailed to transfer applicants.

Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Summer/Fall 2016 Transfer Application

The Summer/Fall transfer application will open on Thursday, January 28. While the application will open tomorrow, please take your time completing it. 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 opens up tomorrow, we project we will not begin reviewing Summer transfers until mid-February, and we will not start with Fall transfers until early 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.
  • 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 select the Settings option on your admissions dashboard to change your application type.
  • 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 myStatus after sending in transcripts, but give us time to complete your file.
Go Dawgs, and be patient!

Friday, January 22, 2016

SAT Closings and Scores for Make-up Date of 2/20

A number of students will be taking the SAT on January 23, and if you take it on this date and you have already requested for the scores to be sent to UGA, we will be able to use these scores in our decision process for Fall 2016 applicants. For some students who have signed up for the January 23 SAT exam though, the weather has forced a closing of their test site and the make-up date is now set for February 20. Unfortunately, we will not be able to use these February 20 SAT scores in the review process for our Fall 2016 review.

While we would like to be able to use the February 20 scores, unfortunately these scores will not get to UGA until roughly the second week of March, which is when we will be preparing to release decisions. Our decision process is a massive project, and one where we need to keep on track in order to make the process flow correctly. In order to allow students to receive decisions, work with financial aid, and make plans for the next year, we have to make sure we get decisions out in a timely fashion. As such, we will not be able to use the February 20 scores.

We hope this helps you understand more about this issue and our process.

Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ok...So What Happens Now?

We are about to hit the RD application/Deferred EA part II deadline, and everyone now starts to get into the mindset of "Now what?". Here are a few hints to get you through the next few weeks/months.

  1. Patience. Patience is key, as any deadline brings out a rush of supporting materials. We will receive tens of thousands of documents, and we need time to match these items up, enter them into our system, and have them show up on the myStatus page. The myStatus page is not a live feed, so if a teacher recommendation is added to your file right now, it will not show up until at least the next day. If documents were sent prior to you applying, it will take longer to match things up, as we need to do it by hand. As well, some items get split up when we receive a packet, such as a fee waiver form, as different steps need to be taken with different items. A school/counselor form, for instance, needs to be reviewed by hand if it is not done through our online portal, and thus takes a little longer to enter into the system. Same with residency documents/permanent residency cards, etc. You do not need to call/email us if you do not see an item on your myStatus page. Give us 10 business days from when you applied or the document was sent (not requested but actually sent), whichever was later.
  2. Test Scores. We will take the January SAT for admissions review for this year, but that is the last exam we can use. In addition, you need to make sure to request any scores be sent to us by 2/1, as we have to keep on a timeline in order to get decisions out in a timely fashion.
  3. 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 late March.
  4. 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 myStatus 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.
  5. 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 myStatus page. You do not need to call/email about this process, just have patience.
  6. File Reading. From now 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.
  7. 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.
Hopefully this helps, and Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Admissions and Grocery Stores

Imagine that you are in an admissions grocery store, and every cart is a student's admissions file. The shelves are stocked with different items to fill each cart, from transcripts to teacher recommendations, counselor forms to resumes, etc. Every time a student applies a cart is created. The admissions office then needs to go to the different aisles and pull down the items for that specific student, and then add it to the cart so that it is ready for check out (or to be reviewed for admission). Sounds pretty easy, right?

But now imagine the days surrounding a deadline. It is sort of like the scene in a grocery store when the threat of snow hits, with everyone scrambling to add milk and bread to their cart, suppliers racing to the stores to restock the shelves before the weather hits, and employees trying to calm the masses as the checkout lines get longer and the aisles get crowded.

Now add into this suppliers shipping thousands of items to the store before the shoppers even get there, or worse, sending items to the store that will never be picked up (every year, we receive about 40,000 items for non-existent applicants). These items clutter up the aisles, the back storerooms, and all around the store, making it difficult to match up items with the right carts. If items are shipped to the store after the application cart is created, we can just add the items straight into the cart, but if they are sent well before the app (or are send by paper prior to the app), we have to stock them on the shelves and wait for the cart to be created. That takes time.

It becomes a little crazy during the days and weeks leading up to our deadlines, so we ask for a little patience as we get into deadline season. It becomes especially crazy during the holiday times (and right after), as some materials can't be loaded into carts if we are all on holiday.

Here are a few suggestions to help calm the madness:
  1. Don't wait until the deadline to apply. Deadline applications only cause stress for you, your parents, your school officials, and us.
  2. If you are going to send in items, we prefer electronic documents. We are lucky enough to have a great electronic document auto-matching system, even to the point of holding them for about 40 days in an e-cloud until you apply. This allows for us to wait until an application/shopping cart is created, and then have the items flow right into your cart without us having to even touch them.
  3. If you are not sure if you are going to apply, don't have your materials sent to us, at least not until you actually decide to apply.
  4. Check your grocery list before you shop/apply. Don't wait until the last minute to check and see what you need to have in your cart. Seriously, don't do it.
  5. Make sure your name and date of birth on your materials and test scores match your application. If you tell me to find Trey Rogers' test scores, but your real name is Jonathan Rogers III, we will not be able to find these on the shelf.
  6. The only exception to sending things in prior to the application are test scores, as these are always held electronically and can be matched at the point of applying or after, as long as the full name and DOB matches.
  7. If you need to have something mailed to us, understand that it takes time for the postal service to get it here and allow for that. In addition, only have mailed items sent to us after you apply.
  8. Be patient. If you request an item, don't expect it to be on the shelf or in your cart in 5 minutes. Give the sender and the receiver time to do their job.
I hope this helps, and Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Random Admission Thoughts-Post EA Decisions

We have made it past the Early Action decisions, and we are now at the next stages of the admission cycle. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts about what happens in Admissions and UGA from November to late March.

  • Statistics - Some rough mid-50% statistics on accepted and deferred Early Action applicants: Admitted - 4.00-4.22 UGA GPA, 29-33 ACT, 1320-1490 best SAT, 6-10 AP/IB/DE courses.     Deferred - 3.61-3.91 UGA GPA, 26-30 ACT, 1170-1330 best SAT, 4-7 AP/IB/DE courses.
  • Scholarships -We have released some scholarship offers in when we made the Early Action decisions, and this will continue until mid-April as we review files for different scholarships. We will offer about 15-20% of admitted student's scholarships overall, but it takes time. Scholarship information will be sent by mail, and they can also be seen on your myStatus page in a section that appears if a scholarship is offered.
  • Honors -The Honors program is working with our office to collect data on the admitted EA applicants, so please be patient with this office as they begin their review for their early offers. They hope to be able to start communicating with students in mid-December, but that is an estimate, not a specific timeline.
  • Deferred - Deferred EA applicants are beginning to submit part II of the application and get in teacher recommendations, and we expect the majority will finish these steps during the December holidays. Deferred applicants do not need to submit a new application or pay a new application fee, and it will cause problems for applicants who try to do this. In addition, the last section of part II is for any updates, where an applicant can give us new information such as updated activities, fall grades, new honors, etc. I also suggest that all RD and deferred EA applicants review the Timeline page for details on when we release decisions.
  • Senior Grades - While Fall grades are not required for RD or deferred EA applicants, I heavily suggest sending them in, either self-reported on part II or on a transcript. Accepted students do not need to send us updated grades unless requested by another office (Honors for instance). There are too many RD applicants and deferred EA applicants for us to recalculate every GPA with new grades, but senior grades are used in our holistic read process, and we do look at them carefully.
  • Applying RD - For RD applicants, it is best to apply first and then send in any school documents, as it is easier and quicker to match these items. Test scores can come in prior to applying without issue, but documents have to be saved in our holding files and then matched every day, and these files get a little overwhelming during deadline times with thousands of non-matched documents.
  • Senioritis - During your senior year, do not catch senioritis or do something that you will regret the next day. The main reason we would ever rescind an admission offer would be a serious drop in grades or a problematic conduct issue, so stay strong and focused. This is also not the time to start to drop challenging courses for spring term. If we admitted you, it was in part based on the strength of your core classes. As such, we want to see you continue to challenge yourself in the courses you are in. We are fine if you need to change from PE to Health, or from one similar class to another, but we don't want to see you suddenly dropping AP Calc, AP Physics, etc. just to have an early release.
  • Forest vs. Trees - Remember, more is not always better. If you have ten teacher recommendations sent to us, or decide you need to send us a five page resume, or decide that the word short answer limits are too limiting and decide to send us two page essays by mail, know that it becomes harder to see the forest through the trees. Brevity and being concise are not bad things.
  • Test Scores - We will accept SAT/ACT scores from exams taken and requested to be sent by February 1. Please make sure you request your scores be sent to UGA when you sign up for the exam. Do not wait until you have seen your January scores before requesting them to be sent, as that might be too late. Remember, we only use the highest scores, so there is no need to wait before sending them.
  • Teacher Recs - We are often asked about what teacher to select for a recommendation. We do not need a teacher who is a UGA alum, a department head, a person who has taught for 30+ years, or any other designation. Select a teacher who knows you well and can tell us what you are like as a person.
  • myStatus - Remember to check your myStatus page to make sure we have everything we need for admissions. The worst calls/emails are the ones where we have to say we could not make a decision due to an incomplete file. As well, re-review the Top 10 Urban Legends for UGA Admissions, as odd myths start to appear after EA decisions are released.
Go Dawgs!